2012 NY GIANTS: PROJECTING BIG BLUE'S PLAYOFF CHANCES
"The New York
Giants were fortunate to have made the playoffs in 2011. Not fortunate in
the sense that they won games they should have lost, but in that a nine-win
season was good enough to earn them the NFC East crown. In fact, the 2011 Giants were the only
team ever to win the NFC East with only nine wins since the league expanded to
a sixteen-game schedule in 1978. In 2010, the team actually had ten wins and was
left out in the cold during the post season.
Historically, nine wins is sometimes good enough to earn a Wild Card berth;
however, the Giants received a four-seed and a home playoff game in 2011. As
impressive as the team's playoff performance was, they were placed in a much
more favorable position than most other nine win teams normally receive.
Although Big Blue eventually got healthy and went on an improbable run to
their fourth Super
Bowl victory in franchise history, there were several moments throughout the
2011 campaign in which it looked like the Giants were going to be on the outside
looking in come playoff time. For these reasons, some believe that Big Blue will
fail to make it through the NFC and into the playoffs in the upcoming
Throughout the last few weeks, several NFL analysts and so-called "experts" have predicted that the team
will not make the playoffs in 2012. Although many fans disagree with these
prognostications, Big Blue still has several questions to answer after their 9-7 regular season campaign a year ago.
Ironically, the outcome of the 2012 NFL season will be determined largely by the results of
the 2011 season. For many teams, their schedule will be the make-or-break factor
that will either vault them into post-season lore, or will have them sitting on
their couches come January. For the 2012 New York
Giants to make the playoffs, this can not be the case.
The Giants will have the toughest schedule in the NFL in 2012. On
top of playing their annual divisional bouts, Big Blue will face seven other
teams that made the playoffs in 2011. To complicate matters further, the Giants
will play on the road against the San
Francisco 49ers, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, and Baltimore
Ravens. While objectively examining the team's ferocious line-up of opponents,
it seems that a ten win season would be extremely difficult to attain.
That being said, the 2012 Giants have improved over the offseason. With a
full gauntlet of workouts and OTA's, there will be more consistency and
continuity with the team heading into next season. The rookies that the team
relied upon last year in several key positions will be no longer be
inexperienced liabilities; and both the offensive line and linebacker core
should improve as these younger players continue to develop.
Furthermore, it is imperative that the Giants beat the teams they are
"supposed" to beat in 2012. Big Blue can not afford to have a game this season
similar to last year's home matchups with the Seattle Seahawks or Washington
Redskins. With such an unforgiving schedule, the team must win their games
against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns, and Redskins. The Giants have more
talent and experience than all of the aforementioned teams and need those five
victories to give them some wiggle room against their more competitive
All things considered, it is still very early to give an accurate prediction
on whether any team will make the playoffs in 2012. Nobody knows how teams will
mesh during training camp, or if any significant injuries will be suffered
during the preseason by key players.
However, the Giants will certainly have their work cut out for them in the
upcoming season. As we saw last year, they have the ability to beat any team
they play, but can also lose games they most definitely should have won. With
the talent and experience returning to the team this season, the Giants should
make the playoffs, but that is far from a guaranteed statement. Big Blue must be
extremely focused for each and every game to avoid following up their Super
Bowl championship season with a clunker in 2012."