COMMENTARY | Oh, what could have been.
Suppose the New York Giants did qualify for the National Football League playoffs, which kicked off on Saturday, January 5. Could they have made another run at the Super Bowl? Based on how the Giants played in the second half of the season, losing five of their last eight games, it would be easy to dismiss them. But we're talking about the defending Super Bowl champions here.
You'd have to give the Giants a puncher's chance in the postseason given their two Super Bowl titles in the last five seasons. Furthermore, the G-Men may have been flawed, but they could hang with any team in the NFL when on their "A" game. Remember, the Giants dismantled NFC contenders San Francisco and Green Bay during the regular season by a combined score of 64-13.
No opponent would have been too tough for the battle-tested Giants. Just look back at last year's playofffs. They creamed this year's No. 1 seed, the Atlanta Falcons, in the opening round. They went on the road and beat the heavily-favored Packers and 49ers in the divisional round and NFC Championship, respectively, before taking out the New England Patriots in the big game. I'm not saying the Giants could beat any of those teams again, but it would have been interesting to find out.
"We had a team that was very capable of making the playoffs, making a run, and a chance at winning a championship," quarterback Eli Manning told Giants.com. "You hate to waste those opportunities because you just don't know how many times you are ready to win a championship."
Truthfully, any team can get hot and run the table in the playoffs. That's why missing out on the playoffs hurts. Unfortunately, there's nothing the Giants can do about it now. Added Manning, "We didn't handle our business this year. There's no one to blame, or no one to look at except ourselves."
The truth hurts more.
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.