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Some Week 16 Giants Scenarios

Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants reacts in the first quarter while taking on the Washington Redskins at FedExField on December 3, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. Tom Coughlin.

As of right now, the Giants are on the outside of the NFC playoff picture looking in: Their ugly loss to Atlanta allowed both Washington and Dallas to catch them in the standings, with the Redskins owning the tiebreaker. Meanwhile, at 8–6, the Giants are fifth in the Wild Card standings, with just two available playoff spots for non-division winners. (Seattle, at 9–5, is currently in one of the Wild Card spots, while Minnesota is sitting in the other, ahead of three other 8–6 teams, because of tiebreakers.) But with two games remaining, there's a pretty wide range of potential outcomes for the Giants.

Depending on how a bunch of games turn out, the Giants could clinch a postseason spot in Week 16, but they could also be eliminated from playoff contention. They can't win the NFC East this weekend, but they could be eliminated from the race prior to the season's final weekend. So what could happen this weekend? Some scenarios, courtesy of the NFL, via the Daily News.

How the Giants Clinch a Playoff Berth in Week 16
One of the following two scenarios needs to play out:

Scenario 1:

Giants beat the Ravens.
Redskins lose to or tie the Eagles.
Cowboys lose to the Saints.
Vikings lose to the Texans.
Bears lose to the Cardinals.

(Worth noting: Of the teams the Giants need to win — or at worst in one case, tie — only Houston is above .500.)

Scenario 2:

Giants beat the Ravens.
Redskins lose to the Eagles.
Cowboys tie the Saints.
Vikings lose to the Texans.
Bears lose to the Cardinals.

How the Giants Can Be Eliminated From Playoff Contention in Week 16
Just one scenario here, but it's not all that implausible:

Giants lose to the Ravens.
Redskins beat the Eagles.
Cowboys beat the Saints.
Seahawks beat or tie the 49ers.

(Obviously, a single additional win anywhere would have helped the Giants, but their play within the NFC East — and the tiebreaker losses that their play resulted in — is currently making things more difficult for them.)

How the Giants Can Be Eliminated From NFC East Contention in Week 17
There are four scenarios, with the first two, obviously, being the most likely to happen:

Giants lose to the Ravens.
Redskins beat or tie the Eagles.

or

Giants lose to the Ravens.
Cowboys beat or tie the Saints.

or

Giants tie the Ravens.
Redskins beat the Eagles.
Cowboys beat or tie the Saints.

or

Giants tie the Ravens.
Redskins tie the Eagles.
Cowboys beat the Saints.

Something to keep in mind: The Giants don't control their own destiny in the NFC East — they'll need help to win the division — but they do control their own destiny as far as earning a playoff berth is concerned. If they win their last two games — thanks to the tiebreaker system explained here —  they're in.

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Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images