Knowing that all they needed to do was win their last 2 games to make the playoffs, the Giants laid their second egg in a row in falling to the Ravens 33-14. They weren’t eliminated, however, and can still grab the second wild card spot if the following happens on Sunday:
– Giants beat Eagles at home
– Redskins beat Cowboys in DC
– Lions beat Bears in Detroit
– Packers beat Vikings in Minnesota
None of these outcomes are totally impossible, but the Lions beating the Bears in a game Chicago has to win is the most unlikely. Although, the way the Giants have been playing lately, their game against the Eagles (in what will likely be Andy Reid’s last game as coach) might be a problem as well. It’s really difficult to understand how a team that returned nearly every starter from a Super Bowl champion and that tore apart the 2 best teams on their schedule (San Francisco and Green Bay) is staring down the possibility of missing the playoffs, but here we are.
It’s true that the Giants probably don’t deserve to be in the playoffs if they can’t win the games they know they need to, but it’s still disappointing to see them play their worst so often when their best is still so good. Yes, the Giants have championships in 2 of the last 5 years, and have won in the most dramatic ways of any team in recent memory, but you never know how long these championship windows will remain open. The only teams that win in today’s NFL are ones that have franchise quarterbacks, and the Giants are one of the few teams that do. They were lucky to have the #4 pick in a 2003 draft with 3 great quarterback prospects, and they were lucky that Ernie Accorsi pulled the trigger on a trade that landed them the guy who eventually became the best of the bunch. You just can’t know when the stars will align like that again.
The point is this: I’m not ready to give up on the 2012 Giants. I’m hoping against hope that everything breaks the Giants’ way on Sunday and they sneak into a playoff spot that they couldn’t earn for themselves. It’s not because I’m a desperate fanatic who’s lost grip on reality, but because I’m a desperate fanatic who knows that his team is capable of putting together a Super Bowl run when the football world least expects it. I was shocked when the Giants didn’t pull out a win in Baltimore because they’ve proven that they play their best when it’s most necessary, and that their best is better than anyone else’s in football. I know it’s in them to shock me again by making a run deep into the playoffs – I’m just hoping they somehow get that chance.