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NFC Playoff Picture: Giants still control their own destiny

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If the New York Giants win their final two playoff games they will make it to the NFC Playoffs.

Kevin C. Cox

The New York Giants still control their own destiny in the NFC Playoff picture. That is about the only solace the Giants -- and their fans -- can take after Sunday's 34-0 blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons.

The Giants have made an absolute mess of their last six games, having gone 2-4 over that stretch. That has taken them from a 6-2 record halfway through the season with a comfortable lead in the NFC East to a situation where they are, technically, in third place in the division.

[Related: SB Nation looks at the playoff picture]

The Giants, Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins have identical 8-6 records, but the Giants lose out in the division tie-breaker, based on division records. The Giants are 2-3 in the division, while the Redskins are 3-1 and the Cowboys 3-2. If either the Cowboys or Redskins finish 10-6 the Giants cannot win the division. The Giants would win the division if they win out and both Dallas and Washington split their remaining games.

The wild-card is a different story. Right now the Giants would be on the outside looking in. If, however, the Giants win their final two games they make the playoffs because they would have a better overall conference record. Even if the Giants, Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings all finish 10-6, the Vikings and Bears each already have five conference loss. The Giants, with only four, would get the final playoff spot.

The Giants' final two games are at the Baltimore Ravens, who are 9-5 and have clinched an AFC playoff spot, and the 4-10 Philadelphia Eagles.

So, there is hope for the Giants. Whether or not, to this point in the season they have earned it.