As was discussed last week, part of the beauty of the Giants’ hair-raising comeback to beat the Cowboys was the clarity it gave to their playoff hopes. Simply put: As long as they keep winning, they don’t have to worry about Dallas or anybody else nipping at their heels and determining their destiny for them. Even if the Cowboys keep pace, the Giants can push their way into the postseason with a win in their Week Seventeen rematch. So, for now, it’s less about scoreboard-watching and more about getting it done on the field — much simpler working conditions, one would think.
The home stretch begins at home against Washington this week — a chance for the Giants to avenge their opening game loss. These days, the Redskins have nothing left to play for, which is always slightly eerie at this point in the season. They’ve got a perfectly adequate defense, particularly against the pass, and have given each of their last two opponents a bit of a scare before folding (just ask Jets fans). It’s a potential trap game, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that Dallas will have already played when the Giants take the field. (But again: No scoreboard watching! Just don’t do it!)
Meanwhile, the Giants’ own defense will remain incomplete. Osi Umenyiora will not play, while Justin Tuck’s status is still up in the air. Tuck is reportedly giving his injured toe a test in today’s practice, but won’t make a decision until game time.
So, things are inwardly still a bit complicated for the Giants, but the path ahead of them is as straightforward as ever. Just win, and they needn’t worry about anybody else.