Tom Coughlin

The New York Giants head into Monday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins not having to win, but it’s recommended that they do after both the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins won their games to take the joint lead in the NFC East.

When we say joint lead, we mean they have the same record. The Redskins own the tiebreaker against the Eagles thanks to the better conference record (6-4 against 3-6) while both teams are at 6-7. The Giants don’t have to worry about the Dallas Cowboys who as expected lost in Green Bay to the Packers. But they’re 5-7, playing against an unexpected team who is coming off a win and most importantly, have to look at themselves and not like what they’re seeing: The Giants have lost their last three games and four of their last five, which is what got them in this predicament.

Both the Redskins and the Eagles did what the Giants have been failing to do for most of this season except for rare cases: Deliver in the final minutes and plays. The Redskins won on a field goal and so did the Eagles, both in 3 points win. They probably did it against better teams than the Dolphins the Giants are facing on MNF, but there’s just something about the defense the Giants have been playing this season and their offensive mistakes, from play calling to execution, over the last month, that should make those supporting them feel far less than optimistic heading into this game.

Odell Beckham Jr. is nice to have. He makes incredible catches almost every game, one handed most of the time. But that can’t be all. The Falcons have Julio Jones and look where they are. Usually when Beckham makes catches that end up being on a weekly or season highlight film, the Giants end up losing. They don’t lose because Beckham made the catch. They lose because he’s more or less all they have, and it’s more clear with every week that goes by.

The Giants can still make the playoffs, win or lose against the Dolphins. But without a win against Miami, they’re going to need at least two wins in a very difficult remaining threesome of games: Carolina, Minnesota and Philadelphia. This season, especially with NFC East shooting themselves in the foot time after time, should have been the return of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning to the postseason for the first time since winning the Super Bowl. As it turns out, it might be another one that feeds the legend of an overrated quarterback who couldn’t get it done except for two almost unexplainable postseason runs.

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