If I sound delusional when saying this, well it's because I am. The Giants are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. With the way in which the NFC is shaking up, they might be able to sneak in. The odds are certainly stacked against them, with two matchups against the Eagles on the horizon. Rooting for wins is fun and I'll stay on that pedastal. Anyway, the Giants host the Packers to cap off week 14 with a matchup on Monday Night Football. The Packers are favored by five and a half points and kickoff is slated for 8:15pm EST from MetLife Stadium.
The Giants have their eyes on the playoffs
I'll go deeper on the topic I alluded to in my intro above, but the Giants are in a position to potentially sneak into the playoffs. As it currently stands, they are two games behind the Packers for the 7 seed in the NFC playoff picture. Who do they play this week? Yes you guessed it, those stingy Green Bay Packers led by Jordan Love.
Current NFC playoff picture per CBSsports.com
Barring a Cowboys or Eagles collapse or other unforseen shake up these last five weeks, there will really only be two Wildcard playoff spots up for grabs. The Giants sit in 13th, but are very much still on the bubble. A win this week against the Packers will really help their cause and create a stir in the playoff picture. Seattle and L.A. lost this week, so the schedule gods are right there in the Giants corner. To cap it all off, the Giants will meet the Saints in week 15 and the Rams in week 17. Things are getting interesting in the NFC.
Saquon Barkley is a believer and all Giants fans should be too. There is a real chance at sneaking into the playoffs here amidst a weak NFC, and I know most fans believe the team should tank for a higher draft pick, but it's fun playing meaningful games in December every once and awhile. This team has been mediocre for well over 10 years since that last illustrious Super Bowl run, I think we deserve to see some competent football from the Giants.
Tommy DeVito to start
He started his first home game with the Giants in week 12 and picked up a win. Since being named the starter three weeks ago, DeVito has posted solid numbers across the board:
523 yards passing
7:1 TD:INT ratio
103.1 QB rating
Although he's been sacked a gargantuan amount of times since being named starter (20 if you haven't been tracking), he hasn't let that shake him yet. The Giants are 2-1 when DeVito starts and will be looking to add to that when the Packers come to Jersey on Monday night. This will be DeVito's first start in primetime, and all eyes will be on him to pick up where he left off before the bye. The Giants have been one of the worst teams in the NFL during primetime games over the past few years, so it would be nice to see them pull off a win under the lights in front of the home crowd.
That right there. That sentiment from coach Daboll on DeVito's play and earning the start this week means more than we might think. That is a confidence booster for a quarterback that is still learning how to adjust to the pace of the game and who was never expected to actually start games in the NFL. Like coach Daboll said, DeVito has shown poise, strong accuracy, and good decision-making in the games in which he has started. That made the coaching staff's decision to give him the head nod this week a whole lot easier. They see more than us average fans, and putting that trust in a young kid trying to win NFL football games is paramount to building a strong team culture.
How both defenses stack up
I always find a way to weave defense into these write ups and this week is no different.
Here are a few notable stats from both defenses and how they have fared throughout the season so far:
28th against the run
20th against the pass
Almost dead last in sacks at 25 (Kayvon Thibodeaux has a 11.5 of those)
5th on 3rd down (opponents are converting 35% of the time)
26th in points allowed per game (24.3)
30th against the run
10th against the pass
20th in sacks (29 - not far behind the Giants)
24th on 3rd down (opponents are converting 41.4% of the time)
8th in points allowed per game (20.2)
The Packers are on a three game win streak and have held opponents to 61 points, good for an average of 20.3 given up per game during the streak. Carrington Valentine has been a breakout talent at corner, while linebackers De'Vondre Campbell and Quay Walker along with Rashan Gary have been key contributors at the other two levels. Walker will not be playing on Monday night and star corner Jaire Alexander is still out, so the Giants will have some room to work with offensively.
The Giants, of late, have looked like a new team on the defensive side of the ball. They forced nine turnovers in their last two games against the Commanders and Patriots after forcing just 10 in the 10 games before that. As noted above, Kayvon Thibodeaux has 11.5 sacks and will be looking to bump that number up come Monday night. Thibodeaux currently sits fifth in Pro Bowl voting after the first round of fan voting came out the other day. Bobby Okereke is fifth amongst all middle linebackers and for good reason, he has been phenomenal next to Micah McFadden this year. The Giants have found their linebacking duo of the future.
This game is big for both squads. A Giants win gets them closer to the 7 seed and an increased buzz around them to see if they can do it. A Packer win keeps them in prime position to lock down the 7 seed with both the Rams and Seahwaks losing on Sunday.
The Giants should be able to compete in this one, and if the defense wins the turnover battle, a win is not out of the picture.
It would only be fitting if the Giants picked up their first primetime win of the year after four unsuccessful tries earlier in the season. They also have a chance to give Matt LaFleur his first loss in December since joining the Packers in 2019.
Vodka parms for Tommy DeVito pregame. Go Giants.