COMMENTARY | The New York Giants most likely will not make the playoffs this season, but they have something else to play for on Sunday, December 30 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
In order for the Giants (8-7) to sneak into the postseason, they would have to beat the Eagles (4-11) at MetLife Stadium and hope the other NFC Wild Card contenders lose. According to the official site of the National Football League, the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears must lose and the Dallas Cowboys must be defeated or tied by the Washington Redskins as well for the Giants to live for another week.
Realistically, that's not going to happen. However, as long as there is a sliver of hope for the postseason, the Giants must to show up to play on Sunday. They have to go out there and play for their reputations. They have to play for the fans who show up at MetLife. They have to play as defending Super Bowl champions until they're not. Because missing the playoffs will hurt, but going out as losers in every sense of the word would be difficult to swallow for this proud organization.
"We're going to find out a lot about a lot of guys in this locker room based off this game ... their approach, how you go out there and play the game," safety Antrel Rolle told Giants.com. "I think we're going to speak a lot of volume for the kind of caliber guys we have in this locker room."
It's incredible that we're even questioning the character of these battle-tested Giants, as most of the team's core members have two Super Bowl rings. We never doubted their toughness before. But the G-Men have lost five of their last seven games and looked lifeless in the last two of them. It makes you wonder, how could a team that went "all in" last season go out this way?
There will be plenty of time in the offseason to figure out what went wrong this season. Eventually, we'll ask the question: Were this year's Giants simply not good enough or did they just give up?
I can live with them not being good enough.
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.