of the Carolina Panthers of the New York Giants during play at Bank of America Stadium on September 22, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers won 38-0.
Every Tuesday throughout the regular season, NBC 4 New York will assess where the Giants stand in the NFC.
The NFC is having a rough September.
How bad have the first three weeks been for the conference?
If the NFC playoffs began today, the final team in the postseason would have a 1-2 record.
Just five NFC teams — Chicago, New Orleans, Seattle, Dallas and Detroit — have winning records entering Week Four. Overall, conference teams are a combined 20-28 (.417).
Seven NFC clubs, including the Eagles, are 1-2 entering Week Four. Then come the conference’s winless teams, the ranks of which include the Giants, as you may well know.
Look at it this way, Giants fans: your team is one game out of the last playoff spot in the conference — one game!
Hey, after the 38-0 loss at Carolina on Sunday, you have to take what you can get when it comes to silver linings with Big Blue.
Of course, even the most optimistic Giants supporters know their club is closer to the bottom of the NFC than the top.
Here is our ranking of the NFC’s teams, one through 16. And yes, we considered putting the Giants last.
But did we really go there? Read on to find out:
1. Seattle Seahawks (3-0) — Who lives up to the hype in these jaded times? Well, the Seahawks are doing their best to meet high expectations. They have outscored opponents 86-27 en route to a two-game lead in the NFC West.
2. New Orleans Saints (3-0) — Like the Seahawks, they are two games ahead in a division expected to be contentious. If the Saints keep playing well on defense, they could run away and hide in the NFC South.
3. Chicago Bears (3-0) — Only the Packers have scored more points among NFC clubs than the Bears. Chicago fans aren’t accustomed to such offense.
4. Dallas Cowboys (2-1) — Through three games, they have clearly been the best team in the NFC East. Now, can they keep this up, or will they allow their division rivals to hang around?
5. Detroit Lions (2-1) — Their biggest test to date comes Sunday against Chicago. We’ll have a better read on Jim Schwartz’s club by September’s end.
6. Green Bay Packers (1-2) — Close losses at San Francisco and Cincinnati have put the Packers two games back in the NFC North. However, four of their next six games after the Week Four bye are at Lambeau Field.
MISSING THE CUT
7. San Francisco 49ers (1-2) — They have surrendered 84 points in three games while scoring just 44 points. Among NFC teams, only the Giants have been outscored by more.
8. Carolina Panthers (1-2) — Their tour de force against the Giants highlighted their potential. No one has played the Seahawks tougher this season.
9. Atlanta Falcons (1-2) — Could not close out the Dolphins on Sunday, surrendering a 13-play, 75-yard drive and the game-winning touchdown in the final minute. That’s a humbling result for one of the NFC’s most consistent teams of recent seasons.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2) — They are sizeable underdogs against Denver in Week Four, and with good reason. The Eagles’ pass defense is a tough spot.
11. St. Louis Rams (1-2) — With few exceptions, their schedule looks rather tough the rest of the way, starting with Thursday’s game vs. the 49ers.
12. Arizona Cardinals (1-2) — They need a victory Sunday at Tampa Bay. Not only would it get them to .500, but it would also even their NFC record at 2-2. Conference wins are important to potential wild-card contenders like Arizona.
13. Washington Redskins (0-3) — They have allowed the second-most points (98) in the NFL through three games.
14. New York Giants (0-3) — The Giants have a tough matchup at Kansas City on Sunday. The Chiefs have an excellent pass rush, and they do not make many mistakes. For the benefit of the Giants fans in the audience, we will not spell out why this is a problem for Big Blue.
15. Minnesota Vikings (0-3) — Unless their defense suddenly improves, they are in deep trouble in the NFC North.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-3) — The Bucs could surprise a few teams as long as their defense keeps playing well, but they are already three games back in the NFC South.