The NFC East might be the worst division in NFL history. That opens up the door for the New York Giants to make a run at the playoffs.
The New York Giants are 1-5 and don’t look like anything close to a playoff team on the field. Under normal circumstances, fans would already be looking ahead to 2021, but “2020” and “normal” don’t belong in the same sentence.
Shockingly, the Giants are just one game out of first place in the NFC East. With a win on Thursday and a Dallas Cowboys loss on Sunday, Big Blue would be in first place in the division. Yikes.
Let’s take a look at just how bad the NFC East has been this year.
So much for the NFC Beast. The division is 2-11-1 against non-NFC East teams which is, by far, the worst record of any division in football. Counting division wins, the NFC East still only has five wins this year. The second-worst division in football, the AFC East, has twice that amount.
Following this Cowboys loss, the NFC East will be 2-11-1 against non-NFC East teams. Woof.
— ESNY (@EliteSportsNY) October 20, 2020
Total wins by division so far:
NFC West: 16
AFC North: 15
NFC North: 12
AFC South/AFC West/NFC South: 11
AFC East: 10
NFC East: 5
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 20, 2020
Now, I know what you are thinking. One of these teams has to figure it out and end up winning seven or eight games en route to the playoffs. Not so fast.
The Philadelphia Eagles are completely banged up, especially on the offensive line. The Washington Football Team doesn’t know who their starting quarterback should be going forward. And even though the Cowboys are in first place, Dak Prescott is done for the season and players are starting to turn on the coaching staff.
#Cowboys players initially bought into keeping things internal. Now as they sit 2-4 the discontent is leaking out. On the coaching staff “totally unprepared. They don’t teach. They don’t have any sense of adjusting on the fly.” Another “they just aren’t good at their jobs”
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) October 20, 2020
The NFC East is a collection of four separate dumpster fires. The good news for the Giants is that they aren’t good, but they don’t seem to have the same level of internal turmoil as the other teams in the division.
How The Giants Can Win The Division
Defense, defense, defense. New York’s defense hasn’t been great this season, but Patrick Graham‘s unit has been competent. They are 16th in scoring defense, 12th in total defense, eighth in rushing defense, and 16th in passing defense. Again, they are not elite, but it has the potential to be good enough to steal a few wins here and there.
The Giants can’t rely on the offense. It has to be the defense. The offense is without its best weapon, Saquon Barkley, due to an ACL tear he suffered in Week 2.
Not to mention, Daniel Jones has taken a big step back in his second season. He has three total touchdowns against nine turnovers. That won’t get it done.
But perhaps the biggest issue on the offense is the line. They struggle to open up holes in the running game and can’t keep the pressure off of Jones. This shouldn’t be used to excuse the quarterback’s turnovers, but we cannot overlook the offensive line woes.
A great defense can help prop up an underwhelming offense. The Giants need the defense to be great.
That is their path to the playoffs and it’s not as crazy as it sounds. After all, weird things happen in 2020. The Giants sneaking into the playoffs with a 6-10 record would be way down on the list of craziest things to happen in 2020.