Brian Daboll giants
Jessica Alcheh | USA TODAY Sports

The Giants could have clinched a playoff spot on Christmas Eve in Minneapolis. They did not, falling to the Vikings on a last-second 61-yard field goal.

But now they can punch their ticket at home Sunday with a New Year’s Day victory over the Colts. And they don’t even need that.

Here are the ways the Giants can wrap up their first postseason appearance since 2016 during Week 17, according to NFL Playoff Scenarios:

• Giants win
• Giants tie + Seahawks loss/tie + Lions loss/tie
• Giants tie + Seahawks loss/tie + Commanders tie
• Giants tie + Seahawks tie + Commanders loss
• Giants tie + Lions loss/tie + Packers loss/tie + Commanders tie
• Giants tie + Lions loss/tie + Packers tie + Commanders loss
• Giants tie + Lions tie + Packers loss + Commanders loss
• Commanders loss + Lions loss + Packers loss
• Commanders loss + Seahawks loss
• Seahawks loss + Lions loss + Packers loss/tie

It’s good to have options, of course. But the Giants would like to take care of business the easy way, obviously.

Here is the NFC playoff picture after Week 16:

1-Eagles (13-2)
2-Vikings (12-3)
3-49ers (11-4)
4-Buccaneers (7-8)
5-Cowboys (11-4)
6-Giants (8-6-1)
7-Commanders (7-7-1)

8-Seahawks (7-8)
9-Lions (7-8)
10-Packers (7-8)

The Commanders are still in a surprisingly good spot to grab the final wild card spot, even with back-to-back losses and a three-game winless streak. They play the Browns at home in Week 17 and then will get a Cowboys team that may be inclined to rest in Week 18 with its playoff seeding locked in.

The Packers are charging hard. But their three-game win streak is in real jeopardy this coming week against the Vikings, who could still be in the hunt for the No. 1 seed when the game kicks off. The Lions and Packers play in Week 18 at Lambeau Field — will it mean anything?

The Seahawks are in a tailspin — they’ve lost three straight. But they have a somewhat-favorable remaining schedule with home games against the Jets and Rams.

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James Kratch can be reached at

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.