NFC East, power division. As they say from Brooklyn to the Bronx and in the other boroughs: Fuhgeddaboudit!
Sunday’s matchup between the New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys is for the lead in what used to be the league’s strongest sector. Now, neither the Giants nor Cowboys look like championship material.
New York has dropped four in a row as it hit the meat of its schedule. Collapses during the second half of the season are not uncommon for the Giants under Tom Coughlin. Indeed, the one year they avoided any slump was in 2007, when they stormed to the NFL title.
“The playoffs start now,” guard Chris Snee said. “That’s how you have to look at it. We know what is at stake and everyone is aware what is going on and the circumstance we have put ourselves in by not being able to win some of these games.”
A close loss in the final seconds to unbeaten Green Bay last weekend has the Giants seeing the bright side.
“Heads are up,” Snee said. “We’re not down by any means. We’re still in it and if we take care of our own business, hopefully we will be playing in January.”
If the Cowboys take care of business — something they failed to do at Arizona last Sunday — they could get to the season finale at the Meadowlands not even needing to beat the Giants.
“We didn’t get it done, we have to live with that and I have to live with the decisions that I made for our football team,” coach Jason Garrett said. “And I have to live with what happened as the outcome of the game.
“But, most importantly, we have to put this one to bed and go to the next one.”
The Cowboys are 3 1-2-point favorites. A win gives Dallas a two-game lead with three weeks remaining.
UPSET SPECIAL: GIANTS, 27-24
New England (minus 8) at Washington — Belichick can’t be happy with late-game sloppiness versus Colts. ... BEST BET: PATRIOTS, 30-17
Cleveland (plus 14) at Pittsburgh, Thursday — Steelers need to keep winning to keep pace with Ravens. ... STEELERS, 27-7
Indianapolis (plus 16½) at Baltimore — Unlucky No. 13 (in losses) for Colts. ... RAVENS, 20-7
New Orleans (minus 3 1-2) at Tennessee — Titans can stamp themselves as true AFC contender. Sorry. ... SAINTS, 27-21
Chicago (plus 3 1-2) at Denver — TEBOW. Need we say more? ... BRONCOS, 16-10
Houston (plus 3) at Cincinnati — Can Bengals finally beat a good team? Yep. ... BENGALS, 20-19
Oakland (plus 11) at Green Bay — After the awful performance in Miami, Raiders have to be better, right? Just not good enough. ... PACKERS, 35-28
San Francisco (minus 3 1-2) at Arizona — Cardinals are coming on, but NFC West champ Niners have plenty left to play for. ... 49ERS, 20-13
Atlanta (minus 2 1-2) at Carolina — Time for Falcons to step up, but Panthers are no easy out. ... FALCONS, 27-24
Kansas City (plus 9) at New York Jets — Jets don’t do anything easy, no matter the opponent. ... JETS, 17-16
Philadelphia (plus 3) at Miami — Eagles don’t seem interested anymore. Dolphins definitely are. ... DOLPHINS, 17-16
Buffalo (plus 7) at San Diego — Depleted Bills not much of a threat now. ... CHARGERS, 27-14
Minnesota (OFF) at Detroit — Lions can’t let this one slip away if they plan to make playoff push. ... LIONS, 24-14
St. Louis (OFF) at Seattle, Monday night. — Off, as in turn off the TV for this one. ... SEAHAWKS, 17-9
Tampa Bay (OFF) at Jacksonville — A cloudy Sunshine State matchup. ... JAGUARS, 13-12
Against spread: 7-8 (overall 95-82-4); straight up 9-7 (overall 123-69).
Best Bet: 2-11 against spread, 8-5 straight up.
Upset Special: 8-5 against spread, 6-7 straight up.