Has there ever been more drama this late in an NFL season involving three teams that have collectively lost more than 50 percent of their games?
After a gripping 31-24 win over the Miami Dolphins on the road Monday night, the Giants joined Washington and the Philadelphia Eagles at 6-7 to form a three-way tie in the NFC East with three games remaining in the regular season.
It has been more of a race to the bottom than the top for the division rivals. They are a combined 18-21, and only the Giants has won more than two consecutive games, dating back to weeks three, four and five.
While predicting the eventual division champion requires employing volatile data given the erratic nature of each team, the Giants’ remaining schedule, beginning at home this Sundayagainst the 13-0 Carolina Panthers and their unparalleled quarterback Cam Newton (1 p.m.), followed by a road date on Dec. 27 versus the 8-5 Minnesota Vikings and concluding with the Eagles at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey on Jan. 3, on paper is an arduous path to the playoffs.
But with the Eli Manning and Odell Beckham show continuing to generate huge ratings on the field, the Giants have as reasonable a chance as Washington and the Eagles to emerge with the NFC East crown. The duo was lethal in Miami, connecting on two touchdowns, including an 84-yard hook up with 11 minutes and 13 seconds left in the fourth quarter to put them up to stay.
Manning determined his and Beckham’s big night was a matter of precision. “I just felt like guys were getting open quickly,” he said. “I thought we had a lot of clean looks.”
In total, Beckham had seven receptions for 166 yards. The 34-year-old Manning, now in his 12th season, was masterful. He was 27 for 31 for 337 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Manning’s completion percentage of 87 was the highest of his career.