Monday night's game between the New York Giants and Washington Redskins will determine who will win the NFC East.
Both the Giants and Redskins can gain some momentum with a victory tonight. A win by Washington would bring them to an even .500, and it would put New York in a precarious position – 7-5. Maybe not precarious if QB Eli Manning continues to perform like he did last week, but take a look at the games left in the NFC East:
New York Giants
New Orleans comes to New York (Jersey, Meadowlands, Giant’s Stadium, MetLife, oh, forget it) next Sunday, then they will visit a raucous Atlanta crowd, then a City by the Bay -- Chesapeake, that is -- and finish the season with a game at home versus the Eagles.
None of those are a lock. New Orleans at home may be the only shoe-in, and that’s not even guaranteed. Baltimore and Atlanta are on fire, and wouldn’t the Eagles love to bring in their new rookie tandem of Nick Foles and Bryce Brown to go 2-0 against NY this season?
QB Robert Griffin continues to put on a show, and if they were to beat the New York Giants tonight, his Redskins would move to second place in the NFC East. Their schedule is basically the center of the NFC East’s universe, as they play:
Wk 14 Baltimore at home
Wk 15 Cleveland in Cleveland
Wk 16 Philly in Philly.
Wk 17 Dallas at home
The Redskins could conceivably lose to Baltimore, win their last three, and end up on top of the NFC East, assuming they win tonight and the Giants lose out.
A 6-6 team, the Cowboys have a considerably lighter schedule. They play in Cincinnati next week, then they host an ailing Pittsburgh Steeler team (but let’s give it up for Charlie Batch, that aged journeyman who led his team to victory yesterday in place of starter Ben Roethlisberger). After that, they host a shaky New Orleans team and finish the season in Washington.
With two games being played between division rivals on the last week, it could come down to that. The Eagles stand to be spoilers. The New York Giants hold their own destiny. Philly is looking at a tough trip to Tampa Bay, a visit from Cincinnati, another from Washington, and a final trip to Jersey.
Tonight may prove to be a QB showdown. Washington’s defense sucks to the tune of 390.5 ypg. The Giants are almost as bad, letting 366 ypg pass between their lines, first and secondary. Washington is number one in the league against the run, but number 29 in passing.
It’s a toin coss, but I have to say that the Redskins, with homefield advantage, will win a close one tonight. Their defense has been showing up to games, and the game they lost earlier this season to the Giants was closer than most remember by looking at the box score.