Hard mathematics have finally caught up with perception.
The Giants (2-9) were officially eliminated from playoff contention on Sunday, something that had been a foregone conclusion for most of the past two months. Ironically, the result that cast the final arithmetical blow to the team’s dwindling chances came in their home stadium when the Panthers beat the Jets at MetLife on Sunday. The 49ers and Browns were also eliminated on Sunday.
It marks the fifth time in six years the Giants have failed to reach the playoffs. The only other team to have such a disappointing six-year stretch after winning a Super Bowl the way the Giants did after the 2011 season was the Packers, who went to the postseason just once in their six years after winning Super Bowl II. In fact, they went to the postseason just once in the 14 seasons after that last of Vince Lombardi’s titles.
The Giants’ hopes might be over, but the season isn’t. There still are five games left, including three at home against division opponents.
“It’s been a tough year and with five games left, this is about your pride,” Eli Manning said after the loss to Washington on Thursday. “We’ve had some injuries, we’ve had some guys out, but we’ve got to find a way to come together and find ways to excel our play and win some football games.”
Said linebacker Devon Kennard: “If you’re a player in the league, really, you have a lot to prove. You’re fighting to show what you can do as a player and what you bring to the table to prove that you’re a part of the solution, not the problem.”
Janoris Jenkins’ season might be over. The cornerback aggravated what had been a nagging injury to his left ankle in Thursday’s loss to Washington and is meeting with doctors this week to see if surgery is prudent. ESPN first reported the possibility of surgery over the weekend.
Coach Ben McAdoo said on Friday that Jenkins might miss some time with his injury. With just five weeks left and the Giants eliminated from postseason consideration, shutting him down could be the wise choice. “It’s painful,” McAdoo said of Jenkins’ injury. “He’s in some pain right now, so there’s a possibility.”
Jenkins exacerbated the injury in Washington when he had it twisted in the final lunge of his 53-yard interception return for the Giants’ only touchdown of the game. He came back later but was clearly not at full strength when beaten by Josh Doctson on Washington’s go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.