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Yes, the Giants still can make the playoffs at 8-8 . . . but they need a lot of help elsewhere

Giants defensive end B.J. Hill celebrates after the

Giants defensive end B.J. Hill celebrates after the Giants defense scored a touchdown against the Redskins at FedExField on Dec. 9, 2018. Credit: Getty Images/Rob Carr

There’s a new word gaining steam in the Giants’ vocabulary after Sunday’s 40-16 win over the Redskins:


A 5-8 and with six teams to leap ahead, can the Giants make the playoffs?

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They’re not saying it a lot, and it does take some prodding, but with three games left, the Giants have a chance to make the postseason as an NFC wild card.

It’ll take a lot of luck — along with three more wins, because one loss or tie along the way would eliminate them — but the mathematical possibility exists.

“Yeah, we still have a chance,” wide receiver Sterling Shepard said, repeating it as if to convince not only the world but himself. “We do have a chance. Guys are still fighting and we’re going to continue that.”

The Giants (5-8) need a lot of help. They have been eliminated from contention for the NFC East title, which leaves them eyeing the two wild-card possibilities. They currently are sixth on the standby list. That’s a lot of teams to leapfrog, especially with head-to-head losses against three of them and none of them (assuming the Cowboys win the division) as upcoming opponents. But the Seahawks’ 21-7 victory over the Vikings on Monday night left the Giants 1 1⁄2 games out of the final playoff spot with three games to play.

“A lot of people forgot about us,” linebacker Alec Ogletree said. “We just kept working and we are learning to win.”

Coming back from the bye with a 1-7 record, Odell Beckham Jr. declared his aim of finishing 9-7 and making the postseason. Now there is a mathematical chance that 8-8 will be good enough.

None of it will matter, though, without three more victories.

“We can’t worry about the playoffs,” Ogletree said. “I’ve been in a situation where it comes down to the last few games of the season and if you don’t win out, you don’t give yourself a shot. In order for us to have a shot, we have to win out, so our focus is going to be on Tennessee this week.”

Notes & quotes: Asked for an update on the bruised quadriceps that held him out of Sunday’s game, Beckham gave a thumbs up. “Trying to get to two thumbs up,” he said. Pat Shurmur said Beckham is improving. “He felt a lot better than he did on Friday and Saturday,” he said. “He received some treatments over the weekend . . . We’ll see where that takes us. It’s too early to tell.”

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