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Giants Play the Waiting Game on Their Playoff Opponent

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Giants are in the playoffs. That is set in stone. What is not set in stone, is their playoff opponent in the Wild Card Round. If playoff scenarios give you headaches, then get your aspirin ready for Sunday.

Sunday is the day when playoff matchups are set, but with, in all honesty, the most complicating scenarios possible. Look at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers playoff clinching scenario without clutching your skull. Okay, back to the Giants. Thanks to Tom Rock, New York Giants beat writer for New York Newsday, who has created a flow chart for the Giants potential playoff opponents (Note: This is if the Giants defeat the Redskins this Sunday).

Here are the following scenarios:

Seattle Seahawks: Seahawks loss to 49ers.
Atlanta Falcons: Seahawks beat 49ers, Falcons loss to Saints, Lions beat Packers.
Green Bay Packers: Seahawks beat 49ers, Falcons beat Saints, Packers beat Lions.
Detroit Lions: Seahawks beat 49ers, Falcons beat Saints, Lions beat Packers.

A lot to digest, but its makes the Giants playoff opponent scenario a little more clear to understand. The Giants, however, are not concerned about potential playoff opponents.

“We had a couple of people upstairs start to explain it to me,” said Giants Head Coach Ben McAdoo. “Looks like it’s pretty complicated, so I tuned them out after the first couple of words…”

It is a complicated situation to follow for the Giants, as they have the potential of four possible opponents. Let’s look at each opponent. After sitting at a 4-5 record, it looked as though the Packers were on the verge of missing the playoffs. At times, the offense wasn’t clicking and the defense could not stop the opponent from scoring. However, this is typical Packers.

The Packers always start off slow, looking as though they had no shot of making the playoffs. However, when it’s the final month and a half of the season left, the Packers, and especially Aaron Rodgers, step it up. The Packers are on a five game winning streak and Aaron Rodgers is putting up ridiculous numbers. During this five game span, Rodgers has completed 115 of 161 passes (71.4%), thrown 11 touchdowns, and has thrown zero interceptions. The statistics for Rodgers are borderline insane, making him a dangerous threat in the playoffs.

The Atlanta Falcons boast one of the best offenses in football, which is a key contribution to why they clinched the NFC South. The Falcons have posted 412.5 yards per game (2nd in NFL), 33.5 points per game (1st in NFL), and 502 total points (1st in NFL). These are very impressive statistics in total offense. Look at Matt Ryan’s stats on the season: 346 completions on 498 attempts (69.5%) for 4,613 yards, 34 touchdowns, seven interceptions, and 115.5 QB rating. Ryan has the benefit of having a full set of offensive options, such as All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones, underrated signing of the offseason receiver Taylor Gabriel, and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Matt Ryan is under consideration for being this season’s NFL MVP, and for good reason.

The Seattle Seahawks have been a constant playoff contender ever since Pete Carroll arrived in 2010. The Seahawks have the vaunted Legion of Boom defense under helm, which could always cause trouble. The defense might have taken a step back this season, with the key injury to safety Earl Thomas, but never doubt the Seahawks. The offense, led by Russell Wilson, is always a dark horse. He does look shaky at points, but man, does he play well in clutch moments. Wilson has completed 334 passes on 514 attempts (65.0%) for 3,961 yards, 20 touchdowns, eleven interceptions, and a 92.4 QB rating this season. The interceptions does look concerning, but Wilson does have that clutch gene, especially in the playoffs.

The Detroit Lions have been a surprise team this season. With the retirement of future hall of fame wide receiver Calvin Johnson, many thought the offense would take a serious dip in production. Matthew Stafford must have listened to the doubters throughout the offseason, as he is playing with extra motivation this season. Stafford has posted 362 completions out of 553 attempts (65.5%), 3,980 yards, 22 touchdowns, nine interceptions, and a 93.1 QB rating. The additions of receivers Marvin Jones and Anquan Boldin has given Stafford options to throw to alongside receiver Golden Tate and tight end Eric Ebron. Don’t overlook the Lions.

The Giants will play any team thrown their way. They have no favorites, they’ll play whoever is lined up across from them in the Wild Card Round. With all that aside, their concentration is on Washington.

“…the only film that I have watched, the only players that I am looking at are the guys that wear a Washington Redskins jersey and that is it,” said Giants Defensive Coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. “Our job is to go out there and stop the team that is trying to score…”

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General Editor and New York Giants Lead Writer.
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