Which NFC East Team Looks Primed to Pull Off an Upset in the Playoffs

Published 12/13/2020, 1:03 PM EST
Dec 6, 2020; Seattle, Washington, USA; New York Giants quarterback Colt McCoy (12) looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the third quarter at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports


The LA Rams lead the fiercely contested NFC West (9-4), the Packers sit pretty on the top spot in the North (9-3), the Saints continue to dominate the South (10-2) and the New York Giants lead the NFC East (5-7).

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Yes, you read that right! The Giants lead their division with a losing record. The last time this mathematical miracle took place was back in 2014, when the Cam Newton-led Carolina Panthers somehow won their division with a 7-8-1 record. It is ugly, but a win’s a win, right?

Right now, mathematically, each of the 4 teams in the NFC’s Eastern Conference still has a shot at making the Playoffs. But with the regular season drawing to an end, it is looking increasingly likely that either the New York Giants, or the Washington Football Team, or both (again, mathematically still possible, but practically, not so much) could make it to the Playoffs.

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So among either team, which one could potentially pose the risk of pulling off a major upset by making a deep playoff run to cap off what has been a crazy year for football?

The case for the New York Giants

The Giants are on a hot run of form. After going 1-7, the Giants have managed to win 4 games on the trot, which puts them in a position to clinch the top spot in their division.

While the Giants’ record on paper does look poor, it fails to factor in the point that most of their losses were down to one play. They weren’t exactly getting hammered by the opposition, they simply failed to execute that game-winning drive, something that they seem to have perfected of late.

Oct 22, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Golden Tate (15) punches the Philadelphia Eagles logo on the goalpost after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Giants’ quarterback Daniel Jones is also enjoying a rich vein of form. The second-year QB struggled through the first 8 games of the season, recording a turnover in each game.

The Giants’ fortunes turning around could have a lot to do with the fact that Jones hasn’t registered a turnover in his last 3 games. So, if the Giants make the Playoffs, they’ll hope that Jones doesn’t regress and lead them away from glory.

Washington Football Team defeating the indomitable Pittsburgh Steelers

The Washington Football Team pulled off the biggest upset of this season last week when they ended up getting the better of an 11-0 Pittsburgh Steelers.

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With that win, the team mounted a charge for the division title, equaling the Giants’ 5-7 record. What’s interesting to note is that they too seem to have turned their season around. With wins against the Steelers, Cowboys, and the Bengals, Washington are no longer looking like pushovers.

Nov 8, 2020; Landover, Maryland, USA; Washington Football Team quarterback Alex Smith (11) attempts a pass against the New York Giants during the fourth quarter at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Beating the Steelers who are currently in the running for the AFC top-seed, proved to the world that this team can pull off an upset.

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The presence of a veteran quarterback in Alex Smith in the pocket too could prove to be beneficial for the team, as when it comes to the playoffs, it’s all about holding one’s nerve.

The NFC EAST has a series of cracking football games in store for the fans. The stage is set and the teams know what to do; only time will tell who will emerge victorious.

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Vinayak

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