The Giants came away from last week’s important victory with the same number of wins as the first-place Eagles. If they are going to win the division, though, they’ll have to record at least one more than their rivals to the South.
That’s because the Eagles have a pesky tie that could throw the standings into chaos the longer they remain close. It used to be that a tie was essentially thrown out when determining winning percentages, which is how division champs and wild card seeds are determined, but these days the NFL counts them as half a win and half a loss.
It means that if the Giants and Eagles — or anyone else in the NFC East — finish with the same number of wins, that tie will essentially become the tiebreaker. The Eagles would win.
There’s still a long way to go before that happens, including three games on Sunday that will impact the standings while the Giants (3-7) are on their bye week. Philadelphia (3-5-1) plays at Cleveland, Dallas (2-7) is at Minnesota and Washington (2-7) hosts Cincinnati. There is a chance all four teams could have the same number of true victories heading into Week 12, with the Eagles ahead by half a game.
With six games remaining, the Eagles have a daunting schedule that includes the Packers and the Saints. The Giants have no easy path, either, facing the Cardinals, Seahawks and Ravens in upcoming games.
They open their final six-game stretch next week against the Bengals. It was the Bengals who played the Eagles to that 23-23 tie in Week 3.
Eagles fans and media went bonkers when, facing a fourth down with just 19 seconds left in overtime of that game, Doug Pederson punted rather than try for a long field goal or a fourth-down offensive conversion. They were still a winless team at the time, but Pederson played for the tie.
In the long run, though, it may turn out to be the half win that gets his team into the playoffs.
Remaining games for teams in the NFC East:
Week GIANTS (3-7) EAGLES (3-5-1) WASHINGTON (2-7) COWBOYS (2-7)
Today Bye at Browns Bengals at Vikings
12 at Bengals Seahawks at Cowboys Washington
13 at Seahawks at Packers at Steelers at Ravens
14 Cardinals Saints at 49ers at Bengals
15 Browns at Cardinals Seahawks 49ers
16 at Ravens at Cowboys Panthers Eagles
17 Cowboys Washington at Eagles at Giants