The Giants are still in the hunt in the moribund NFC East. Here’s the remaining schedule for the four teams:
Remaining schedule: at Browns, vs. Seahawks, at Packers, vs. Saints, at Cardinals, at Cowboys, vs. Washington
Remaining opponents’ winning percentage: .571
Injuries: Decimated by injuries early in the season, the Eagles got back offensive starters Lane Johnson, Dallas Goedert, Alshon Jeffery and Miles Sanders against the Giants but still lost. Zach Ertz and DeSean Jackson remain sidelined.
The skinny: Criticized for playing for a tie against the Bengals, that non-loss could be the difference-maker. The Eagles lead by 1 ½ games but have the hardest remaining schedule by virtue of being the only team facing the Packers and Saints. Carson Wentz has thrown a NFL-high 12 interceptions, so responsibility falls on a relatively healthy defense.
New York Giants
Remaining schedule: Bye, at Bengals, at Seahawks, vs. Cardinals, vs. Browns, at Ravens, vs. Cowboys
Remaining opponents’ winning percentage: .528
Injuries: It took a while, but the Giants are learning how to play without Saquon Barkley (season-ending torn ACL in Week 2). Rookie second-round pick Xavier McKinney should make his debut after the bye and return from IR with Oshane Ximines and Tae Crowder to boost an already overachieving defense.
The skinny: Seven of 10 games have been decided in the final two minutes. The Giants have held double-digit leads in six straight games but came away just 3-3. Everything here is on the upswing, from Daniel Jones’ ball security to the run-blocking offensive line to the patchwork secondary.
Remaining schedule: at Vikings, vs. Washington, at Ravens, at Bengals, vs. 49ers, vs. Eagles, at Giants
Remaining opponents’ winning percentage: .375
Injuries: The Cowboys have started four quarterbacks. Dak Prescott isn’t coming back this season, but veteran Andy Dalton is ready to go. Starting tackles Tyron Smith and La’el Collins are out for the year.
The skinny: The return of the three-time Pro Bowler Dalton plus only one game remaining against a winning team (Ravens) gives the Cowboys a puncher’s chance after the failed necessities of starting quarterbacks Ben DiNucci and Garrett Gilbert. Ezekiel Elliott hasn’t had a 100-yard rushing game all season and has scored two touchdowns since September ended.
Washington Football Team
Remaining schedule: vs. Bengals, at Cowboys, at Steelers, at 49ers, vs. Seahawks, vs. Panthers, at Eagles
Remaining opponents’ winning percentage: .462
Injuries: Quarterback Kyle Allen is out indefinitely, but Alex Smith actually represents an upgrade as his 55 pass attempts Sunday showed he is truly back from a devastating leg injury. Defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis and safety Landon Collins are done for the season.
The skinny: Washington will be going for sweeps against the Cowboys and Eagles — their only wins thus far — but was swept by the Giants. The lack of a running game creates a one-dimensional offense. The defense has allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL, sparked by Kendall Fuller’s breakout season.