- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- It doesn't matter that Washington won. And it wouldn't have mattered if Dallas had either.
As the Giants prepare to begin their final six games of the season, all the focus in East Rutherford is on the Giants, not what the teams around them are doing. The Giants own a 1 1/2 game lead in the division entering their showdown with the Packers on Sunday.
"If we do what we're supposed to do, all that stuff will be irrelevant. That's why we can say the focus is on us, let's make sure we are doing everything we need to do and we come out with the wins," Giants linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka said. "Stack wins up and ride into the playoffs, that's what the goal is. But in the short-term, it's about this week and getting everything studied so we can come out with a good win."
Washington's win Sunday changed the complexion of the NFC East in some good and some bad ways for the Giants. On the bright side, the Giants will still be in sole possession of first place in the division no matter what happens Sunday night. Had Dallas won, and the Giants lost Sunday, the teams would be tied atop the division.
On the flip side, Washington's win now puts another dog in the fight for the NFC East title, and the Giants need to win one of the next two games to stay in first place. If the Giants lose Sunday it sets up a battle for first place in the division next Monday night in Washington. The Redskins would have the division edge if the Giants go 0-2 the next two weeks.
The Giants have ensured themselves of one thing by building their division lead: they control where they will go. If the Giants win out, they're automatically going to the playoffs, no matter how Washington or Dallas finishes.
"Like Coach Perry (Fewell) said, 'We control our own destiny,' just like last year. It's six games, we should play them all like they’re must-win games," Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said. "We have to play each game one-by-one. We don’t know what’s going to happen, but we can just go out there and give it our best shot."
The Redskins win gives the Giants a chance to put itself in great shape over the next two weeks. If the Giants can beat the Packers and the Redskins, the team would be up at least two games in the division, and three on Washington, with four to go.
"We definitely want to keep an advantage over both teams because Washington is right behind us also and we play them next week," Giants safety Kenny Phillips said. "To win this game and hopefully win the game next week it will put us where we want to be."
NO LINEUP CHANGES: The Giants examined their personnel during the bye and there will be no changes to the starting lineup, according to Coughlin. That means David Diehl remains the right tackle.