Playoff Predictor: Giants' upset chances

January, 10, 2012
1/10/12
1:40
PM ET
The Playoff Predictor starts with the premise that three of the four home teams are likely to win their divisional round games this week and works off of that. I think that's a healthy perspective. Sure, the New York Giants can beat the Packers in Green Bay. But if they did, it would be an upset.

So the Playoff Predictor takes a look at all four games and ranked them in order of most likely upset. It gives the third-seeded Saints the best chance, giving them a 50.23 percent shot at taking out the 49ers, who are actually the Vegas underdog. So I guess they're giving the Niners a 49.77 percent chance of the upset. Anyway, next come the Houston Texans, whose defense and running backs give them a 40.68 percent chance of beating the Ravens. Then we get to the Giants, and a 33.33 percent chance of taking out the defending champs. This is what the Playoff Predictor says about it, for you non-Insiders:
The Giants, on the other hand, have been a tale of two teams, crumbling against weak opponents like the Redskins and Seahawks and stepping up against the Jets and Cowboys to secure a playoff spot. Eli Manning and the Giants' passing offense rank sixth in the league in terms of total efficiency added, and showed why in a 24-2 win over the uninspired Atlanta Falcons. But will the Giants be able to keep up with the high-flying Packers, in Lambeau of all places? As the magic 8-ball would tell you, the outlook doesn't look good. We have the Packers by a touchdown, as they continue their march toward the Super Bowl, but a one-in-three chance isn't terrible for New York.

Not terrible at all. And as the Predictor points out, these Giants aren't the same Giants they've been all year. If the Giants had been playing defense and running the ball all year the way they have the past few weeks, the Predictor would be sitting here this week talking about some other team's chances of upsetting them. So we'll see. Only five more days.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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