The Giants not only had a chance to clinch a postseason berth on Thursday night, they had an opportunity to win a big game on the road.
That’s something that hasn’t happened for them since the September opener in Dallas, and if they are going to fulfill their dreams of winning a Super Bowl, winning away from MetLife Stadium will have to happen a few times in the coming weeks. The road to the championship is on the road for the Giants, who are resigned to wild-card status at best.
“We spotted them 14, we didn’t put the ball in the end zone,” guard Justin Pugh said of the 24-19 loss to the Eagles on Thursday night. “That’s not a recipe to win games, especially on the road. And since we’re going to be on the road in the playoffs, we have to make sure we get that right.”
They have one last chance: a game at Washington on New Year’s Day that could be mathematically meaningless for the Giants if they can clinch a playoff spot this weekend. Washington still will be playing for something, even if it’s only a shred of hope; it can’t be eliminated in Week 16.
The Giants were 5-3 on the road in 2011 and 7-1 on the road in 2007, their most recent championship seasons, and a combined 5-0 in road playoff games in those two runs (not counting the neutral-site Super Bowls themselves).
They are 3-4 on the road this season, and other than the Dallas win, the victories were at winless Cleveland and the 4-10 Rams in a “home” game that was played in London.
The Giants had meetings scheduled for Saturday morning and the players then will have a few days off. They’ll return to practice on Tuesday. “I think it’s important that they get away from it a little bit, refresh their minds and think about the type of football they want to play moving forward,” Ben McAdoo said.
McAdoo takes the blame
McAdoo, who was fined $50,000 for using a walkie-talkie to communicate with Eli Manning during the Cowboys game, addressed the discipline for the first time on Friday. “I made the decision in the heat of the moment,” he said. “I violated the rule; I own that decision. I take full responsibility for it. There are no excuses. I deserve to be held accountable for my actions. I accept the penalty and move forward.”
Manning’s 63 pass attempts were a franchise record, breaking the previous mark of 62 set by Phil Simms in a 1985 loss to the Bengals. Manning’s previous career high was 54 in 2015 against the 49ers.