In the end, the Packers did in the Giants for a second straight week, this time for the season.
Thanks to Green Bay’s 10-3 win over Chicago, the Giants’ 17-14 victory Sunday over the Redskins meant nothing but a 10-6 record. The Giants will miss their second straight playoffs, while the Packers enter the postseason tournament as the NFC’s sixth seed.
The Pack whacked the Giants around last week 45-17 to deny them a clinched playoff spot, following the Giants’ 28-point fourth-quarter meltdown against Philadephia the week before.
The win meant the most to coach Tom Coughlin, who won the backing of Giants co-owner John Mara following the game, according to ESPN. With only one year left on his contract, and the 2011 season in jeopardy because of labor problems, co-owners Mara and Steve Tisch would only reluctantly change coaches after a 10-win season, albeit a second straight one outside the postseason.
A one-year extension, which is what Coughlin received after squeaking into the 2006 playoffs at 8-8, would be appropriate in the coming weeks. That would take him to age 66, with the owners’ offseason hopes that he will reward their beneficence as he did in 2007 — with a Super Bowl win.
This is only the seventh time since 1990 that a 10-win team failed to make the playoffs.
At least the Giants went out with a big defensive showing, as Osi Umenyiora led a four-takeaway effort. Umenyiora had two sacks and two forced fumbles, one of which he recovered himself. Linebacker Keith Bulluck had an interception.
Umenyiora also made a key stop on Ryan Torain on fourth-and-1 at the Giants’ 37 midway through the fourth quarter.
The much-maligned Eli Manning providing some third-quarter fireworks with a career-long 92-yard touchdown throw to Mario Manningham, his 31st on the season. That stretched the lead to 17-7, which the Giants never gave up.
Manning being Manning, however, he threw his 25th interception of the season in the first quarter.
The defense almost gave it up in the fourth quarter again, but it stepped up at the end by pressuring Grossman and forcing two incompletions on third and fourth down.
Manning, who became the first Giants quarterback to throw for more than 4,000 yards in consecutive seasons, finished 17-of-29 for 243 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Manningham had four catches for 101 yards.