At least the Giants didn’t blow a 21-point, fourth-quarter lead.
This time, in a win-and-in playofff situation, they succumbed 45-17 to the the Packers’ strong-armed quarterback, Aaron Rodgers and their own season-long turnover demons.
The Giants must beat Washington in next week’s season-finale at the New Meadowlands Stadium, and get help in the form of a Green Bay loss to Chicago to enter the postseason as the sixth seed. If that doesn’t happen and the 9-6 Giants complete their second straight late-season collapse in a playoff miss, the recurring questions about Tom Coughlin’s status for the final year of his contract will become ever more legitimate.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the Giants had to think about the Packers rolling up more than 500 yards of total offense against their defense overnight in Green Bay, as the New York snows kept the airports closed in their second travel disaster in three weeks.
Six turnovers, including Eli Manning’s four interceptions, turned the Giants hopeless. Both Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs lost fumbles. Bradshaw’s miscue, his league-leading sixth of the season, turned into a 31-yard Mason Crosby field goal that put the Packers up 24-14 in the third. Manning’s second interception turned into the final fourth-quarter touchdown, Rodgers’ fourth scoring pass and John Kuhn’s second of three touchdowns. The Giants have committed a league-high 40 turnovers.
About the only bright spot was Manning’s second touchdown pass, an 85-yarder to Mario Manningham, marked 30th touchdown pass of season. Manning became the first Giants quarterback to record as many since Y.A. Tittle’s 36 in 1963. It also marked his career-longest completion.