EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants gave themselves a chance to seize a division title Sunday afternoon, but the Washington Football Team snatched it from them in prime time.
A 23-19 triumph against the Dallas Cowboys in MetLife Stadium put the Giants in position to claim their first NFC East championship since 2011 and first postseason appearance in four years.
But those hopes evaporated when Washington defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 20-14, in Lincoln Financial Field in the 256th and final regular-season game of the 2020 NFL season. With the Eagles trailing by three points in the second half, Philly coach Doug Pederson removed starting quarterback Jalen Hurts from the game and replaced him with Nate Sudfeld, who had thrown 25 career passes – none since Dec. 18, 2018.
The triumph improved Washington to 7-9, one game ahead the Giants and Cowboys. The Giants won both of their games this season against Washington.
Had Philadelphia won, all three teams would have finished 6-10 and the Giants would have been division champions by virtue of their 4-2 record in head-to-head games.
The Giants finish in second place because they had a better record in NFC East games than Dallas (4-2 to 3-3).
Since 1990, 110 teams have started 1-5. Washington is just the third to advance to the postseason, joining the 2015 Kansas City Chiefs and the 2018 Indianapolis Colts. The Giants would have been the third team had they won the NFC East.
The Giants miss out on an opportunity to host just the second postseason game in MetLife Stadium and the first since a victory against Atlanta in a 2011 NFC Wild Card Game. Washington will now host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. in FedEx Field.