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Don’t look now, but here comes the Giants

Jamie C. Harris | 10/31/2013, 3:04 p.m.
Tom Coughlin has his Giants on an upward move to playoff land Photo by Bill Moore

Don’t talk about the P-word! Just saying it might get you excited, and it also lends itself to huge disappointment.

Playoffs for the Giants? A two-game winning streak with the Oakland Raiders up next at home on Nov. 10 following this Sunday’s bye week has generated newfound hope among diehard believers that a once dismal 0-4 season is turning into a miracle resurrection.

The Giants’ 15-7 road victory over the Philadelphia Eagles this past Sunday boosted them to 2-6 and only two games behind the NFC East-leading Dallas Cowboys, whose crushing 31-30 loss to the Detroit Lions reflects the sorry state of the division.

I think we still believe,” said Giants head coach Tom Coughlin from Philadelphia after his team scored all of their points on five field goals. “I think that’s been a great credit to this team and coaches … guys have stepped up and done well, and we’re going to keep fighting, and hopefully, you never know what can happen.”

The NFC East is the only division in the NFL in which the frontrunner doesn’t have at least five wins. At 4-4, the Cowboys are essentially at the top by default, as the Giants, Eagles (3-5) and Washington Redskins (2-5) have all bordered on abysmal.

Nonetheless, thinking about the P-word for some Giants fans doesn’t seem delusional. They just need to do so with extreme caution. After the Raiders, the Giants host the Green Bay Packers and Cowboys on consecutive weekends. Defeating the Cowboys on the Sunday before Thanksgiving is imperative to any chance the Giants have of playing past the regular season.

A 36-31 loss to the Cowboys in Week 1 forced this scenario, and a second defeat would place the Giants in a mathematical disadvantage, as Dallas would hold the head-to-head tiebreaker. But that possibility is still several weeks away from playing itself out. Today, the Giants will continue to grind upward, knowing the rest of the division pack is severely flawed.

“I do not like to look ahead, but we are now in reach to get back on top,” said wide receiver Victor Cruz. “It seems like someone will win the division only one win ahead of everyone else.”