Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is sacked by Eagles defensive end...

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones is sacked by Eagles defensive end Josh Sweat during the NFC Dvisional Round playoff game on Saturday in Philadelphia Credit: Newsday/William Perlman


Brian Daboll called it a “crash landing,” a phrase that captures the disappointing end of this Giants season but also the impressive and unexpected heights it reached.

The Giants were outplayed, outcoached, outmuscled, outeverythinged by the Eagles in a 38-7 loss in Saturday night’s NFC Divisional playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field. It was an embarrassingly lopsided result, a loss that served as a crystal-clear reminder of just how far from the upper echelon of the league these Giants remain.

Of course, the Giants knew the gap was great coming into the game. It’s why Daboll tried to conjure some success with risky maneuvers such as a fourth-down conversion on the opening drive, a play that, like so many others on this sad night, went awry. Daniel Jones was sacked and the Eagles stormed down the field for their second touchdown. By the time Jones threw an interception to former teammate James Bradberry on the next possession, the competitive portion of the night was a memory.

Between Dallas Goedert delivering a dismissive upside-the-head stiff-arm to Adoree’ Jackson before beating Xavier McKinney on the opening touchdown — whupping the two defensive starters who were not on the field during the earlier meeting and were supposed to make a difference this time — and Boston Scott, the Giants Killer whom the Giants denied was so, scoring a late second-quarter touchdown, there was never a time in the game when the Giants were what any rational person would call competitive.

By halftime, enjoying a 28-0 lead, even the raucous fans already had tired of booing the Giants. So hoarse were they from singing their own fight song, so dismissive were they of their opponents’ abilities, that they barely lifted a finger in sending them home up the Turnpike.

Final score: Eagles really good, Giants not so much.

But the disappointment of this one game should not overshadow the successes the Giants were able to build this season, the restoration of pride (albeit hard to squeeze from this particular experience) brought back to the franchise.

The foundation of future wins was forged during the past 12 months, from the days last January when Joe Schoen and then Daboll were introduced as the new shepherds of the Giants’ legacy, to the meaningful games in December and early January that brought them to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, through last week’s rousing Wild Card victory over the Vikings, and all the way up to and including this humbling result.

Need to know what getting a young quarterback and first-time coach to the playoffs can yield, even if it winds up a lopsided loss? Last year it was the Eagles who were blown out of their postseason, 31-15, by the Bucs. They banked those lessons and improved their roster in the offseason. Look at them now, one win away from the Super Bowl.

That doesn’t mean the Giants will be hosting the NFC title game or booking trips for the big game in Vegas a year from now.

What this season did, though, is make that possibility much less laughable.

“I’m proud of what we came from, these last two years, just to see the growth we made as a team,” McKinney said after the game. “It’s been great to see and great to be a part of. We’re looking to build more. We’re not there yet.”

There is work to do, clearly. Areas requiring upgrades are all over this team. Huge decisions loom on Jones and Saquon Barkley, both of whom have expiring contracts. While they are the reason the Giants got as far as they did this season, the Giants ultimately may decide they can do better (or slightly worse but much cheaper) at either or both of the key positions. They, along with many of their teammates, may have spent their final hours in a Giants uniform on Saturday.

Some of the coaches may be moving along, too. The top two coordinators, Wink Martindale and Mike Kafka, are scheduled to interview for head coach openings on Sunday. Saturday’s game plans likely won’t top their resumes, but there is a chance another team will try to capture the zeitgeist Daboll brought to the Giants that allowed for the quick turnaround.

Giants playoff history is so peppered with memorable upsets and improbable runs that it sometimes can be hard to remember this truth: Most of the time it’s the better team that wins.

The Giants were not that team on Saturday night.

Overall, though, things are looking up for them.

They spent most of the past decade as a laughingstock in the league.

That’s not who they are any longer . . . even if they had to spend one more night feeling that familiar indignity.

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