MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tom Coughlin has spoken about the Giants being “relevant” this season. That perception was on the line in no more direct way Monday night than how the game against the Dolphins would affect their upcoming schedule.

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Because the Giants beat the Dolphins, their Dec. 27 game against the Vikings in Minnesota will be flexed to prime time with an 8:30 p.m. start on NBC. If the Giants had lost, essentially the rest of the country would have had no further use for them and that game would have been played as scheduled at 1 p.m. on Fox.

Of course, the Giants were not worried as much about the schedule as the standings. The win kept them in a three-way tie with Washington and Philadelphia for first place in the NFC East. The Giants already have split with Washington and play Philadelphia in the regular-season finale Jan. 3.