Daniel Jones
Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports

A heartbreaking Christmas Eve for Big Blue.

After tying the game late in what was a defensive battle in Minneapolis, the Giants allowed the Vikings to execute an 8-play, 33-yard drive in the final minutes. It was Greg Joseph who ended up the hero — the Vikings placekicker drilled a 61-yard game-winning field goal at the buzzer. The Giants dropped the huge holiday matchup 27-24 and are now 8-6-1 on the year.

Entering Saturday following last week’s huge win over the Commanders, the Giants had a shot at their first playoff berth since 2016. New York needed to win and two of the following teams needed to lose: the Commanders, Lions, and Seahawks. This makes the loss that much more unfortunate and keeps the Giants’ playoff chances in the air.

The playoff scenarios have yet to be determined (the Lions and Seahawks both lost Saturday afternoon and the Commanders still need to play their late-window game), but the Giants aren’t eliminated just yet.

All in all: they need to beat the Colts next week.

Especially if the Commanders defeat the 49ers late Saturday, the Giants need to take advantage of what’s an absolutely winnable game at MetLife Stadium. Because just a week later, they must travel to face the powerful Eagles. While Philly could already have the NFC’s top playoff seed locked up and be resting players in that Week 18 meeting, the Eagles will always and forever be a tough matchup for the Giants. Regardless of who’s taking the field.

The Giants cannot put themselves in a position where they need to win a division game over the Eagles in a tough Philadelphia environment to make the playoffs. In early January no less.

With the Colts pivoting to their third different starting quarterback in Nick Foles and still rolling with the Jeff Saturday experiment, the Giants have a gift from the schedule gods. And they must cherish it.

Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.