Earlier this week, I gave you a long and complex look at the New York Giants' relatively simple playoff situation, which boils down to this: win and they're in, or hope they can avoid a three-way tie with the Lions and the Buccaneers.
The NFL made it even simpler. The Giants can clinch a playoff spot in Week 16 if any of these five things happen:
1.The Giants WIN OR TIE in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
2.The Green Bay Packers LOSE OR TIE to the Minnesota Vikings at home on Saturday.
3.The Tampa Bay Buccaneers LOSE OR TIE at New Orleans on Saturday
4.The Atlanta Falcons LOSE at Carolina on Saturday.
5.The Detroit Lions LOSE OR TIE in Dallas on Monday night.
That's it. The Giants can also wrap up at least the No. 5 seed with a win, and they are still in contention for the NFC East (and the No. 1 overall seed) which they would earn if they win their last two games while the Cowboys lose their last two.
For now, though, it's all about the wild card. And here's a look at that race:
This week: at Philadelphia (5-9) on Thursday at 8:25 p.m.
Remaining schedule: at Washington (7-6-1).
Outlook: It's time to take them seriously after beating the NFC East-leading Cowboys and NFC North-leading Lions in back-to-back weeks. They've played their last game at home, though, so they need to be road warriors from here on out (especially if they are a wild card team).
This week: vs. Vikings (7-7), Saturday, 1 p.m.
Remaining schedule: at Detroit (9-5)
Outlook: If they win their last two games, they win the NFC North and could host the Giants in the first round of the playoffs. Their eyes are set on that now after four straight wins.
This week: at New Orleans (6-8), Saturday, 4:25 p.m.
Remaining schedule: vs. Panthers (6-8)
Outlook: If they held on to beat the Cowboys on Sunday, things would've been a lot easier. They're still in decent position, but they need some help.
This week: at Chicago (3-11), Saturday, 1 p.m.
Remaining schedule: vs. Giants (10-4)
Outlook: They suffered a big loss to the Panthers on Monday. They're now chasing too many teams and probably need too much help to sneak in.
This week: at Packers (8-6), 1 p.m.
Remaining schedule: vs. Bears (3-11)
Outlook: Remember when they were 5-0? They're 2-7 since then and can't pull out of their tailspin. They're a longshot, but one win over the Packers and their whole outlook could change.
This week: vs. Buccaneers (8-6), 4:25 p.m.
Remaining schedule: at Atlanta (9-5)
Outlook: It would take a miracle and a lot of teams to collapse in front of them to save them now.