Every year, we debate whether the higher-seeded team that won double-digit games has the advantage or the disadvantage to the wildcard team that has reeled off four or fives wins to crack the post-season tournament.
In each of the Giants’ last two Super Bowl runs, they have not been the top 1 or 2 seed. In 2007, they were that wildcard team, having won three of their final five contests to earn the 5 seed. Last year, the Giants won the NFC East with a 9-7 record, and won three of their final four games to become the 4 seed.
This year, it appears the G-Men will win the NFC East and are currently projected be the 4 seed yet again.
As history has proven, though, a strong finish down the stretch of the regular season has paid dividends in the playoffs.
Obviously, a dismantling of the Green Bay Packers was a step in the right direction. The road remains difficult, with four of the last five games coming against teams still in contention for a playoff spot.
Monday, Dec. 3: The G-Men travel to the nation’s capital to face a red, hot RGIII. In the teams’ last meeting, it took a heroic effort from Eli Manning with 73 seconds remaining to defeat the ‘Skins.
Sunday, Dec. 9: The Giants host New Orleans. Pending the outcome of Thursday’s bout with Atlanta, New Orleans could be 6-6 with an eye on that sixth playoff spot. With Drew Brees at the helm, it’s unlikely the Saints will tank the rest of the year.
Sunday, Dec. 16: The Giants will have to travel to the ATL to face off with the Falcons, who are yet again undefeated in the Dome. Last year, New York ran over the Falcons in the post-season, so atonement will serve as motivation for the Falcons as they gun for the top seed in the NFC and a bye week.
Sunday, Dec. 23: A trip to Baltimore to face the Ravens, who are pretty Jekyll and Hyde this season. Of course, their ceiling is very high, and they too are undefeated at M&T Bank. The Ravens should be vying for a first-round bye with the Texans and Patriots.
Sunday, Dec. 30: The Giants end their regular season with a home game against the lowly Eagles. Based on what I saw last night, the Eagles are done for the year. However, with a chance to possibly spoil the Giants’ season, the birds might fly again.
With five games remaining, four are winnable. Of course, I am assuming the Giants prevail over the ‘Skins, which is not a given. I’m assuming the Giants can beat New Orleans at MetLife Stadium. I’m chocking up a win and a loss against either Atlanta or Baltimore, and I’m assuming Tom Coughlin’s troops are still fighting Week 17.
How do you think the G-Men will fare in their final five games? And how important do you believe momentum is for their post-season run?
Follow Sam on Twitter @SamSpiegs