On Sunday, the Giants blew out the Eagles, but were still eliminated from the playoffs.

Elsa, Getty Images
Elsa, Getty Images



Where has that been?  Lord knows it could have been useful either of the previous two weeks.

Though it's hard to remember now, in the shadow of Sunday's net disappointment, it wasn't so long ago that the Giants looked poised to cast aside any fears of a second half collapse, and seemed well on their way to a playoff birth.

But as has been the case too often in the Coughlin era, the collapse proved all too real and the Giants fell in straight weeks by a combined score of 66-14 - taking their playoff hopes out of their hands, and into those of three other teams.

A performance like Sunday's, in either of those games, would have spared the Giants such a fate.  Had they taken to the field against the Falcons or Ravens and dominated from the very start - had Manning thrown the ball all over the yard like he did Sunday, had the defensive line forced formidable pressure like they did Sunday, and had the defensive backs covered like they did Sunday - then the Giants would likely be headed to the playoffs on this day, rather than to their respective homes.

I wish I could look beyond that.  I wish I could spend 300 words waxing poetic on the way in which the Giants rebounded and thoroughly dominated a division rival.

But I can't.  Because while the disappointment of this campaign will soon subside, one question is sure to burn with its memory until it does.

What if?

What if the Giants hadn't lost to the Eagles week four, had managed another field goal in Washington?

What if?

The answer is irrelevant, but surely one that will be sought by millions of Giants fans.  Either way, with such a question looming, I find it difficult to focus on Sunday's victory, despite its spectacular fashion.  Yes, the Giants did what they needed to on this day, and they did it emphatically - top grades for all - but in the end, its meaning proved as hollow as the feeling left in its wake.

And with that said, I'll close this article the way the Giants' season wound to a close. Abruptly, prematurely, and unceremoniously.

Check back here for a recap of the Giants' season and some thoughts on what they need to do going forward.  Go Rangers?

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