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What the Giants tie against the Commanders means for their playoff hopes

Giants rooting guide
New York Giants kicker Graham Gano, center, looks after his field goal during overtime of an NFL football game against the Washington Commanders, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. The kick missed and the game ended in a tie.
AP Photo/John Minchillo

The biggest question after the Giants tied the Washington Commanders was how the result impacted the playoff picture. 

The Giants had entered the day as the sixth seed and the Commanders as the seventh seed.  The end result didn’t change much for New York, which remained in the sixth seed at 7-4-1 in the NFC playoff picture and is still half a game up on Washington for the final playoff spot.

The Giants’ chances of catching the fifth-seed Dallas Cowboys remain slim considering they have dropped both games to Dallas this season. 

While the Giants essentially remained where they are because of the tie, it did impact the Commanders. The Seattle Seahawks did manage to leapfrog them for a playoff spot with the tie combined with a Seattle win on Sunday over the Los Angeles Rams. 

If the season ended today, the Giants would face the San Francisco 49ers at Levi’s Stadium in the First Round. 

There was plenty of confusion after the game on Sunday about what the tie meant for the Giants, who are looking to make their first trip to the playoffs since 2016. The game had an even greater implication with the two sides set to meet again in Week 15 down in Washington. 

“We’ll figure it out. There’s a long way to go,” head coach Brian Daboll responded when asked about the playoff picture. “It’s better than if it was a loss; not as good as if it was a win.”

Many of the players also had a rather unsure view of how this would impact them in their chase for the playoffs.

“I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about that or looked at how that’s going to affect us,” quarterback Daniel Jones said. “We’re taking it one week at a time. We got to clean up this film and look to improve and get ready to play our best ball next week. That’s what we’re focused on.”

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 The Giants have five games left on the schedule, two of which will be against their NFC East rival the Philadelphia Eagles. They also have their rematch with the Commanders in two weeks as well. 

The implications for the remaining games will be massive, especially when looking at how the Giants’ playoff chances could have jumped or fallen if they had won or lost this past weekend. Football Outsiders’ Aaron Schatz had tweeted last week that New York’s playoff hopes would have spiked from 50% to 73% with a win and would have dropped from 50% to 29% if they had lost. 

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