The Saints victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers ensured that for the first time in five seasons, the New York Giants will be playing in the NFL Postseason.
The spending spree executed by Jerry Reese in the offseason to improve a much-maligned defense has turned a major weakness into a great strength.
And that Giants defense will have to be responsible for carrying an offense that has disappointed throughout most of this regular season.
So as the New York Giants prepare for the postseason, their opponent in two weeks is very much up in the air.
Since I’m a betting man, I figured that it would be right to handicap the odds of every possible opponent, and unlike the AFC postseason which will feature a lot of unknowns at the quarterback position, the NFC will feature a bunch of household names.
Worst-Case Scenario: Seattle Seahawks
The Giants should want absolutely no part of a trip to the Pacific Northwest to take on a Seattle team that is full of championship pedigree.
I’m aware that Seattle’s offensive line and run game is not what it was, but it’s still a team that has top players on the defensive side of the ball and a playmaking explosive quarterback in Russell Wilson who always seems to shine brightest when the games matter the most.
When you factor in the travel, the ridiculous home-field advantage, and their big-game experience...well let’s just say I’d want a pass in the Wild Card round if I’m the Giants.
Not Ideal: Green Bay Packers
Right around Thanksgiving, the Green Bay Packers looked like a dead football team. They were 4-6 with a putrid defense and a quarterback who didn’t seem to be his usual self.
If you remember, a few seasons ago Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers told us to “relax” and he was spot on.
This year, after a defeat to the Washington Redskins, Rodgers told members of the media that he believed his team could run the table.
They were 4-6 when he issued that proclamation. Long story short, they haven’t lost since.
The Packers are one of the hottest teams in the league. They have one of the best quarterbacks in football and one of the best home-field advantages in all of football at Lambeau Field.
The Giants also lost to the Packers earlier in the year.
Not all is lost for Giants fans however if a trip to Lambeau is in the cards. In both Super Bowl runs in 2007 and 2011, the Giants went to the frozen tundra and beat the Packers.
Giants-Packers would be the definition of a 50-50 proposition.
Best-Case Scenario: Detroit Lions
On Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions will play for the NFC North division crown. I think Giants fans should be rooting like crazy for the Lions to beat the Packers, for a variety of different reasons.
The Lions are an inexperienced team when it comes to playing in the postseason. They have not won a playoff game in over 22 years. That's a lot of bad karma.
Second, the Lions are very much a one-dimensional football team. I question their ability to run the football.
Now, the Lions feature a legitimate MVP candidate in quarterback Matthew Stafford. He’s the real deal and a classic gunslinger, however the Giants defense did it’s job in slowing down the Lions offense a few weeks ago at MetLife Stadium.
The Lions are a quality football team, but it’s the best matchup for Big Blue.
Isn’t a thing of beauty to know Week 17 is upon us and your team is playoff bound.
Maybe you Giants fans are used to it, but for a long-suffering Dolphins fan like myself, it is a thing of beauty.
You can listen to me on WFAN Sports Radio 660/1019 FM Friday from 2 to 6 a.m., Saturday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. & Monday from 2 to 6 a.m. and on CBS Sports Radio Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Week 17 NFL Unlocks of the Week (38-29-2)
• Miami +9.5
• Green Bay -3
• Washington -8
• Arizona -6
• Kansas City -4.5