Monday Night Football reaction: The 1-7 Giants might just be the best team in their division

Evan Engram of the New York Giants
Photo of Ricky Dimon

Ricky Dimon

NFL

Show Bio

Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The New York Giants are 1-7. They also might be the best team in their division.

You may think those two events are mutually exclusive. And under normal circumstances, they would be. But nothing about 2020 is normal. And nothing is normal about the NFC East. It is quite simply the worst division in the history of the NFL.

As such, yes—the Giants can be both 1-7 and the best team in their division at the exact same time. I’m not saying that they are hands down the cream of the crop in the moribund NFC East, but they are at least in the discussion. An upset win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday Night Football would have been nice, and would have gone a long way towards getting into realistic division title contention. Still, there is no shame in losing to Tom Brady and company by a 25-23 margin.

As that score indicates, it goes without saying that this very easily could have been a New York victory. That has been a familiar storyline, too, throughout this whole season for head coach Joe Judge’s crew. The Giants’ last three losses have come by a combined six points (also to Philadelphia and Dallas, and that was when the Cowboys were pre-Ben DiNucci). They also fell to the Bears (who are now a solid 5-3) by just four points and only two of their setbacks have come by double-digits. One of those was by exactly 10 points at the hands of the still-undefeated Steelers. That means the Giants have played just one especially terrible football game (against San Francisco in Week 3).

For any NFC East representative (especially one that is missing one of the best running backs in the game in Saquon Barkley), only one awful performance in the span of eight weeks has to be considered a smashing success.

Close but no cigar

New York was by no means awful on Monday night. In fact, the home team probably should have won. As a +12.5 underdog, it led 14-3 in the second quarter, 14-6 at halftime, and 17-15 going into the fourth quarter. The G-Men would have led from wire to wire if Daniel Jones had not missed multiple wide-open chances deep down the field that appeared to be sure-thing touchdowns. Despite those mishaps, they still had a golden chance to tie the game in the final minute with a two-point conversion attempt. Running back Dion Lewis was briefly uncovered near the corner of the endzone, but Jones was way late with the pass and by the time it got there Lewis was flanked by Antoine Winfield Jr.—almost too closely, in fact (a pass-interference flag was eventually picked up).

Do you sense a trend here? Yes, the Giants almost won even though Jones was dreadful. He finally came up with some clutch passes on the final drive, but other than that it was mostly a comedy of errors that included two interceptions. But, hey, at least he didn’t have any running plays on which he fell flat on his face with no defender in sight!

As for the rest of the season, New York still plays each of the other three NFC East representatives once more in addition to Cincinnati and Cleveland. If it can somehow finish with a 6-10 record, that could actually be good enough for the division title.

What about the Bucs?

Speaking of division titles, the Bucs are now 6-2 and lead New Orleans by a half-game in the NFC South. Beyond that, there just isn’t much to say about this team following Monday night’s contest. They weren’t great; they weren’t atrocious, they were just good enough to win.

Brady played well, Rob Gronkowski caught another touchdown pass, Mike Evans also found the endzone, Chris Godwin may be back for a Week 9 showdown with the Saints, and Tampa Bay’s run defense is dominant.

The tools are there for NFC Championship contention. They weren’t really on display against the Giants, but maybe Tampa Bay was just saving them for the Saints.

Pickswise is the home of free NFL picks. Check out the latest NFL props and NFL parlays as well as expert underdog predictions and computer picks.

Virginia Bonuses

See All
Unibet

$100

Get a $100 Risk-Free Bet!

Register for a new Unibet account & make a deposit

Place your first bet up to $100 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $100

New players only. Terms & conditions apply. 21+. VA only.

BetRivers

$500

Get a $500 Risk-Free Bet on Colts vs. Broncos!

Sign up for a new BetRivers account using promo code PICKSWISE

Make your first deposit & get up to $500 in free bets

To get $500 in free bets, wager $500

Must be 21+. Play in IA Only. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-BETS OFF

FanDuel Sportsbook

$1,000

Get a $1,000 No Sweat First Bet on Colts vs. Broncos

Sign up for a new FanDuel Sportsbook account and make your first deposit of $10+

Place your first bet up to $1,000!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

Must be 21+. First online real money wager only. $10 first deposit required. Bonus issued as non-withdrawable free bets that expire 14 days after receipt. See full terms at fanduel.com/sportsbook.

DraftKings

$200

Bet $5+ on Colts or Broncos ML, Get $200 If Your Team Wins

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on the pre-game ML in any sport

Win $200 if your team wins

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$800

Get 4x $200 In Free Bets on Colts vs. Broncos

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Bet up to $200 and If you lose, you get a refund

You will receive Free Bet(s) in the amount of the losing wager(s), up to $200 each for four days.

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Caesars Sportsbook

$1,250

Get a $1,250 risk-free bet on Colts vs. Broncos

Sign up for a new Caesars Sportsbook account

Place your first bet of $10 or more

If your first bet loses, you’ll receive a refund up to $1,250 from Caesars in free bets

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

BetMGM

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Risk Free Bet on Colts vs. Broncos

Register for a new BetMGM & deposit

Place your first bet up to $1,000 risk-free!

Get refunded up if you lose up to $1,000

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

DraftKings

$100

Bet $5+ on MLB and get $100 in Free Bets Instantly!

Sign up for a new account with DraftKings Sportsbook and make your first deposit

Bet $5+ on any MLB team to win their next game

Win $100 no matter what!

Offer valid for new players only. Must be 21 years or older to play. Reward paid in site credit. Full terms available at DraftKings Sportsbook.

PointsBet

$500

Get 5x $100 in Free Bets on Colts vs. Broncos

Sign up for a new PointsBet account

Make a bet of up to $100 and receive a refund if you lose

Get this offer once a day for the first 5 days you sign up

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

DraftKings

$1,000

Get a $1,000 Deposit Bonus!

Register for a new DraftKings Sportsbook account & deposit

DraftKings will match 20% of your deposit up to $1,000 total

To get a $100 bonus, deposit $500

21+. Terms & conditions apply.

PointsBet

$2,000

Get $2,000 in Free Bets on Colts vs. Broncos

Register for a new PointsBet account & deposit

Receive a free bet refund up to $500 if your first fixed odds bet loses

& a free bet refund up to $1,500 if your first two PointsBetting Wager loses

Must be 21+. Full terms are available at PointsBet.

Monkey Knife Fight

$100

Claim Instant Deposit Match up to $100 + Free $5 game

Register for a Monkey Knife Fight account & deposit using promo code PICKSWISE100

Monkey Knife Fight will match your first deposit up to $100

Deposit $100 and you'll get $100 bonus + a free $5 game

18+. Terms and conditions apply. You must live in one of the states where real money DFS is legal.

TVG

$200

Get Your First Single-Horse Win Wager Back Up to $200 if you don't win

Register for a new TVG account and make a deposit

Place your first single horse win-type bet up to $200

If your horse doesn't win you'll get a refund up to $300

21+. T&C's apply. Please gamble responsibly.

TwinSpires

$200

Get a $200 Sign-Up Bonus with Twinspires Racebook!

Open your TwinSpires.com account using offer code BET200

$200 bonus cash will be credited in increments of $100 for every $400 wagered

To earn the full $200 bonus players must wager $800 within 30 days

21+. Terms and conditions apply.

Underdog Fantasy

$100

First deposit is 100% matched up to $100 with Underdog Fantasy

Sign up for a new account with Underdog Fantasy

Make your first deposit

Every dollar (up to $100) will be matched! Deposit $25, get $50; deposit $100, get $200, etc

Must be 21+ to play. Terms & conditions apply