COMMENTARY | Some wondered if the New York Giants would even show up for their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, December 30. Well, they did, and played like the defending Super Bowl champions one last time.
Eli Manning threw a career-high five touchdowns, as the Giants destroyed the Philadelphia Eagles, 42-7, but it didn't make a difference the moment the Chicago Bears defeated the Detroit Lions, 26-24. Big Blue's Super Bowl title defense had officially ended. Don't be upset with the poor Lions or anybody else. The Giants (9-7) have nobody to blame but themselves for missing the playoffs and we all know it.
"We're certainly disappointed that we're not in the playoffs," coach Tom Coughlin said in his post-game press conference on Giants.com. "Our goal was to be there. Our goal was to win the division and we didn't do that either. We do have the nine wins, but it's not good enough."
This season went off the rails in the second half, as New York lost five of its last eight games, including killer back-to-back road losses to the Atlanta Falcons and Baltimore Ravens. Why the Giants played like champs in some games -- see victories against the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers -- and also-rans in others is something team management must figure out in the offseason.
Not ComplainingIt's both frustrating and disappointing to see the Giants miss the playoffs, especially given the team's last two magical postseason runs. But I'm not complaining or making excuses. If anything, this year's failure makes me appreciate and cherish the team's last two championships a little bit more.
In the last few years, the Giants have given us enough memories to last a lifetime. There was the thrilling overtime victory on a frozen Lambeau Field in the 2007 NFC Championship Game, an impossible overtime win in San Francisco against the 49ers in last year's conference title game, and a pair of comeback victories against Tom Brady's New England Patriots in those epic Super Bowls.
It's easy to look back at this season and wonder what could have been. Instead, we should look back at and appreciate what the Giants have accomplished over the last few years. I don't know about you, but I can live with two championships in six seasons.
Adam Martini is a freelance sports writer who grew up in Queens, N.Y. rooting for the Giants despite being surrounded by Jets fans. He proudly wears his Rodney Hampton jersey on Sundays during the football season. Adam follows back Giants fans on Twitter @Pegcitysports.