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Now Giants hope to enter playoffs through back door this weekend

Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York

Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants hands off the ball to running back Paul Perkins #28 against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter of the game at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 22, 2016 in Philadelphia. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Al Bello

PHILADELPHIA — Landon Collins gave a simple reason why he won’t be paying attention to this weekend’s games.

“I don’t watch football,” he said. “I don’t watch football.”

It didn’t sound as if he will make an exception on Saturday, either, when the Giants can clinch a playoff berth with a loss or tie by either the Packers, Buccaneers or Falcons. If all of them win, the Giants have to root for the Cowboys to beat the Lions on Monday night to get in before the final weekend’s games.

“If the teams that are supposed to lose lose, then we’re in there,” Collins said. “I just don’t watch football.”

Word undoubtedly will get to him, though, if and when the Giants do walk through the back door and into the postseason for the first time since 2011. Entering through the front door, though, would have been a much cleaner way to head into the holiday weekend.

“We weren’t coming in here expecting to lose,” defensive end Olivier Vernon said. “We just have to refocus now and head to Washington . . . I’m not worried about anybody else. I’m worried that we lost a game today, which we shouldn’t have. We have to look forward to next week, and whatever happens happens.”

“Unfortunately, we have to go into next week hoping some things happen with some other teams, I assume,” wide receiver Victor Cruz said. “I don’t really know. I haven’t wrapped my head around it right now. We just have to make sure we’re ready to come next week.”

Collins and Cruz both said getting in the playoffs is the most important thing and that the way they clinch it is just a detail.

“As long as we get in, I don’t care which way, shape or form we get in. We just want to get into the dance and see what happens,” Cruz said.

“It doesn’t matter to me how we get in,” Collins said. “If we get in, we get in. I would have liked to win today. I don’t like losing. The disappointment hurts.”

Unlike Collins, Cruz said he’ll be keeping tabs on Christmas Eve.

“You’ve got to,” he said. “Even if you keep a third eye on it, check the scores, watch all the games. Whatever you do. If you care about playing this game and you care about making it to the next round and making it to the playoffs, you’ll definitely keep an eye on it for sure.”

The bigger picture is that the Giants were unable to win on the road for the second straight game away from MetLife Stadium — and in very similar fashion to their last road loss in Pittsburgh.

“We spotted them 14, we didn’t put the ball in the end zone. That’s not a recipe to win games, especially on the road,” Justin Pugh said. “And since we’re going to be on the road in the playoffs, we have to make sure we get that right.”


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