When was the last time the NY Giants played a Game 16 with the season on the line? How important are division games in any season?
Joe Judge and team revive Giants fans’ zest for January football.
Since his introductory press conference in January of this year, Giants fans have hopped on the Joe Judge bandwagon since his introductory press conference. But, little did we know this bandwagon was actually a roller coaster with downs and ups, twists and turns, lulls in the ride, and breathtaking loops (see Seattle victory). Just like the roller coaster Giants’ season, fans have alternately ranted and raved about the Giants on social media with each loss and each win.
That’s what we do as fans…we live and die with each game, right?
But then you watch and listen to Joe Judge at every press conference. He has kept this team off the roller coaster. His focus, and the team’s focus, is on continuous improvement week-to-week. The season will take care of itself if the team focuses on making improvements every day in preparation for every game. He has held his coaching staff just as accountable as the players throughout this season. It’s clear the coaches and players have bought into the message.
Well, here we are at Game 16 of the 2020 season. In the previous three seasons, the fans were debating draft position and draft picks, lambasting coaches and GMs as the games finished to no fanfare.
This year, while the record is an unimpressive 5-10, this game has meaning.
With some help from the Eagles (there, I said it), the Giants could still make the playoffs by beating the Cowboys Sunday afternoon. They then need to watch the Eagles take care of the Washington Football Team (WFT) on Sunday night to know their fate.
So, how does a team with a 5-10 record still have a chance?
Because the Division Champion goes to the playoffs. The Giants are 3-2 in NFC East Division games with one to go on Sunday. Every coach will tell you division games are more important than other games. They, in essence, count double because a division win also means a division opponent loss. Tiebreakers start with head-to-head records, then move to division records.
With a win on Sunday, the Giants would end the season with a 6-10 record and a 2-0 head-to-head record against WFT (currently 6-9), as well as 1-1 records with the Eagles and Cowboys. If the Giants win and the WFT loses Sunday, the Giants and WFT both finish with 6-10 records. But, the Giants would be deemed Champs based on the head-to-head record.
The Giants haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 2016, the last season the Giants were in the playoffs. The Cowboys have just as much on the line Sunday. It’ll be a tough battle.
As fans, we get to text, tweet, and post about an important game that carries playoff implications…in January! Save your conversation about the 2021 offseason and draft status until it really is the only topic on the table. We’ve got a game to watch and a season on the line.
Win or lose, Coach Judge has made us want to talk Giants football games and playoffs this late in the season.
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