Thursday, December 16, 2010

Giants: Playoff Arithmetic

The Giants win over the Vikings was enormously important, inartistic though it might have been. With 9 wins in the bank, it is almost unimaginable that they will not get to 10 in the last game of the year against the Redskins. Washington has nothing to play for, is all beat up with injuries and is not very good besides that. Giants will have everything to play for and Redskins will be going through the motions.  Assuming that gets the Giants to 10, it means that if they just split their other two tough games, this week against the Eagles and next week against the Packers, they will get to 11 wins. If I calculate things correctly, they are assured of a playoff spot. If they beat the Eagles and Redskins, they will win the NFC East division title, because then the best the Eagles can do would be to tie the Giants at 11 wins. If so, the Giants will win the tiebreaker with the Eagles on the strength of a better conference record. Giants would be 9-3 in the conference and the Eagles would be 8-4. At that record, the Giants would also have a chance at the second seed in the conference. The Bears would have to win their last 3 games and finish with 12 wins in order to get the second seed, because the Giants beat them and have the head to head tiebreaker. Bears games are interesting - they have the Vikings this week, which they should win since the Vikings do not have a QB to send out on the field. They have the Jets the following week, which looks like a winnable game the way the Jets have been playing the last two weeks. They have the Packers the last week of the season, and the Packers are definitely stumbling now. Bears could definitely win out and get to 12, but if they lose one of their last three, the Giants would get the second seed with 11 wins. If the Giants win all three of their remaining games, they have the second seed guaranteed.

If the Giants lose to the Eagles but beat the Packers and Redskins, they have a very good chance to get the second wild card and be the sixth seed. They would have a tie breaker over Packers with the head to head win. The only other team that could beat them out is the Buccaneers if they win their last 3 games. Giants have tie breakers over them in strength of victory, which is the cumulative record of the teams you have beaten. Since the Bucs have played the 1-12 Panthers and the sub-.500 NFC West, and have not beaten a team with a record over .500, the Giants have that tiebreaker.

Check the NFL tie breakers to make sure I am right.

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