LANDOVER, Md. -- The new year begins a lot like last year did for the New York Giants as they will miss the playoffs again.
The Giants took care of their business by beating the Washington Redskins, 17-14, at FedEx Field. But the Green Bay Packers defeated the Chicago Bears and clinched a playoff spot and eliminate the Giants.
What it means: The Giants (10-6) have only themselves to blame with their collapse in the final eight minutes against Philadelphia before getting routed in Green Bay with a playoff berth at stake last week.
Now the Giants have an entire offseason to contemplate what went wrong and how they came so close to being a very good team but could never quite get it together against their stiffest competition.
An imperfect 10: The Giants won their 10th game of the season but became the 18th team since 1978 (not including the strike-shortened season in 1982) to win 10 games or more and miss the postseason according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Super Mario: With the Giants struggling to separate themselves from the Redskins, Mario Manningham blew by DeAngelo Hall for a 92-yard touchdown catch that gave the Giants a 17-7 lead early in the third quarter. Playing as the top receiver with Hakeem Nicks sidelined by a broken toe, Manningham was the big playmaker the Giants need in the passing game, finishing with four receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.
Another Giant injury: The Giants lost Rich Seubert early in the game with a dislocated right kneecap. Seubert was in agonizing pain almost immediately after his leg appeared to get caught underneath him. Seubert arguably has been the Giants’ best offensive lineman. While guard Chris Snee is going to the Pro Bowl again, Seubert has played guard and been terrific at center in place of the injured Shaun O’Hara, who was also voted to the Pro Bowl.
Giants defense: The Giants defense tried to go out on a positive note after their previous five quarters against the Eagles and the Packers. Perry Fewell’s unit forced four turnovers, including three fumbles, to hold off the Redskins and quarterback Rex Grossman. Osi Umenyiora did his strip-sack thing and Jonathan Goff forced another fumble with the Redskins inside the Giants’ 20 and driving. Keith Bulluck intercepted Grossman.
Umenyiora had a terrific regular-season finale, recovering one of his own strips. But the Giants, as they have done late in the season, suffered a lapse and gave up a 64-yard touchdown catch to Anthony Armstrong to cut the Giants’ lead to 17-14 with under six minutes remaining. But they were able to hold on at the end.
What's next: For the second straight year, the Giants failed to make the postseason. Now it remains to be seen what kind of changes the organization will make. General manager Jerry Reese said earlier Sunday that Tom Coughlin knows where he stands, a hint that the head coach could return.