COMMENTARY | Forget about last season.
If the New York Giants want to make the playoffs, they're going to have to approach their final two regular season games as hungry underdogs, not defending Super Bowl champions. Unfortunately, they played like neither one on Sunday, December 16 at the Georgia Dome, where they were dismantled by the Atlanta Falcons, 34-0. It was New York's fourth loss in its last six games, opening the door for the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys to take the NFC East division title.
With the Cowboys and Redskins both winning on Sunday, the G-Men (8-6) find themselves locked in a three-way tie atop the NFC East and on the short end of the tie-beakers, meaning they could win out and still lose the division. Fortunately, the Giants still could snag the Wild Card by winning their final two contests, since they hold tie-breakers over the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.
Oh, the Giants have been here before. Last season, needing to win their final two games to gain entry into the postseason, they beat the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys to win the NFC East. They crashed the playoffs and went on to win the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons.
"We can draw on the experience," coach Tom Coughlin told Giants.com on Monday, December 17. "We did a year ago, six times in a row. That's kind of what we have to do here. If we're going to have an opportunity to get into the playoffs at all, we've got to win the next two games."
The Giants can draw on experience all they want, but another performance like the one they turned in against Atlanta more than likely is going to keep them at home for the playoffs. So how do the Giants move on from Sunday's humbling loss? Like last year's success, they have to put it behind them.
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.