KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 29: of the New York Giants of the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half on September 29, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City defeated New York 31-7. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Every Tuesday throughout the regular season, NBC 4 New York will assess where the Giants stand in the NFC.
The Giants’ 31-7 defeat at Kansas City on Sunday dropped them to 0-4. It also dropped them two games out of the final wild card spot in the NFC.
Amazingly, though, the Giants are still only two games out of the NFC East lead. We've mentioned this quite a bit, but only because we're having a hard time getting over it.
It is hard to imagine the Giants in the playoffs right now. But take a moment and daydream of them hosting a playoff game as division winners, the MetLife Stadium crowd cheering. The Giants would probably be loose and ready to deliver a good effort — a team knowing it was playing with house money.
Isn’t that an appealing thought?
We mention this as a public service, for the present isn’t too bright for the Giants, and our Week Five NFC power rankings reflect as much. Before we begin, we’ll say this: we never thought we would put together a list that would end this way, either. Anyway, here are the rankings. Read them — and dream of better times:
1. Seattle Seahawks (4-0) — What an escape at Houston. However, the Seahawks now have to take another road trip, this one to Indianapolis.
2. New Orleans Saints (4-0) — As October begins, they are 2.5 games ahead of Carolina, three games ahead of Atlanta and four games in front of Tampa Bay. Yes, September went pretty well for New Orleans.
3. Detroit Lions (3-1) — A win against at Green Bay on Sunday would end the Lions’ 22-game road losing streak against the Packers. It would also put the Lions 2.5 games ahead of Green Bay in the NFC North. Opportunity knocks.
4. Chicago Bears (3-1) — The Bears’ defense is not playing especially well. Entering week five, the Bears are allowing the fifth-most yards per play. That’s a problem.
5. San Francisco 49ers (2-2) — Sunday night’s Texans-49ers matchup is one of week five’s most fascinating games. The Texans were very close to knocking off the Seahawks, a club that took apart San Francisco in week two. This is no slam-dunk for San Francisco.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-2) — If they prove much better than the Lions on Sunday, look out. Their remaining schedule is not especially imposing. The Lions are one of the best teams left on Green Bay's slate, judging from their early form.
7. Dallas Cowboys (2-2) — Though their defense played poorly in Sunday’s loss at San Diego, the Cowboys are still the best team in the NFC East. The division is theirs to lose. The Cowboys face the unbeaten Broncos in week five. In short, Dallas could be 2-3 entering a week six game vs. Washington. And if the Cowboys lose that one . . . oh, my, the lamenting.
8. Carolina Panthers (1-2) — The Panthers’ next four games: at Arizona (week five), at Minnesota (week six), vs. St. Louis (week seven), at Tampa Bay (week eight). We should have a read on them after this tricky-but-manageable stretch of schedule.
9. Atlanta Falcons (1-3) — The Falcons must start accumulating victories, or the NFC South title will be out of reach, given the Saints’ strong start. All three of the Falcons’ losses are by seven points are less.
10. Minnesota Vikings (1-3) — They get a big bump in the rankings after a gate-to-wire win against the Steelers in London. The Vikings are flawed — their defense gives up too much ground, and their offense makes too many mistakes. But they have been in every game this season.
11. Arizona Cardinals (2-2) — The Cards absolutely needed a win at Tampa Bay on Sunday, and they got it, scoring all of their points in the fourth quarter in a 13-10 triumph. However, their offense must pick up its play.
12. Washington Redskins (1-3) — They weren’t exactly impressive in victory at Oakland on Sunday, but they won, and in the NFC East this calls for printing commemorative t-shirts and hats.
13. Philadelphia Eagles (1-3) — No team is allowing more yards per game, and only the Giants are allowing more points. Also, the Eagles have allowed four return touchdowns — two on defense, two on special teams. They have that wonderful offense, but that’s it.
14. St. Louis Rams (1-3) — Keep an eye on how they fare against the Jaguars on Sunday. It could be argued the Jaguars have yet to face a team this vulnerable. The same holds true for St. Louis, too, of course.
15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-4) — If only they could get a little more out of their offense.
16. New York Giants (0-4) — It wasn’t a hard call placing them 16th. Their last three defeats have been by 18 points or more. The Buccaneers, meanwhile, have only one loss of more than a field goal.