How things change. Just a few weeks ago the Jets were all but out of the playoff hunt and the Giants were ranked among the favorites to win it all. Today, the Jets are in control of their own playoff destiny while the Giants are completely out of the playoff picture.
As the Giants have fumbled away their playoff chances, many Big Blue fans have been wondering what happened to the team that opened the season 5-0? The Giants were frontrunners at the start of the season, only to lose seven of their next ten games. Even this week’s game will be no picnic if the Minnesota Vikings (who have long sealed their playoff spot) put their starters on the field.
So what happened?
Well, for one, their schedule caught up with them.
The Giants first five games were against pretty lousy teams (save for their game against the Cowboys). Of their first five wins, four came against the Redskins, Raiders, Bucaneers, and Chiefs. All four teams are well below .500.
Although the Giants would sweep the Cowboys in the season series, the Giants other two wins came against the Falcons and, again, the Redskins.
Meanwhile, the Giants losses all came against playoff teams. Since week 5, the Giants have lost to teams like the Saints, Cardinals, Eagles, Chargers, and Broncos.
Still, while schedule may be a big factor, the Giants were supposed to beat those teams. What happened? They didn’t show up.
The Giants defense has stunk up the joint all season, including their star defensive end Osi Umenyiora who was benched several weeks ago.
In total, the Giants have allowed more points per game than 27 other teams.
It also didn’t help that while statistically the Giants offense has looked solid, they have also turned the ball over 29 times this year. It isn’t even that bad a number until you realize that eight of those turnovers came when it counted most, during the Giants last two losses against the Eagles and Panthers.