New York Giants Notes: Finality Sucks Edition

I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be on Sunday after the Giants beat the Redskins and yet did not reach the postseason because the Bears could not beat Green Bay. Or at least the pain did not linger. That's because the Eagles game was a kick to the groin, and the Packers game was a huge blow, which left us with no control Sunday other than getting in position for a possible playoff berth. And while the finality of it all sucks, the good news is the Giants are done getting our hopes up for at least eight months (and hopefully not any longer than that due to a potential lockout). Tom Coughlin will be the coach next year, so between the season ending Sunday and news that TC will stay, there is a lot being said on Monday morning......

Giants co-owner John Mara refuses to panic, casts his vote for stability by backing Tom Coughlin
If you believe Giants co-owner John Mara, Coughlin's head was never on the chopping block, even though there was a prevailing thought that Coughlin's job security depended on the team's performance against the Redskins Sunday at FedEx Field. Mara, who had maintained silence during two weeks of media speculation over Coughlin's job status, said Sunday there was never a decision to make about Coughlin.

D'Alessandro: Blame for Giants 2010 season extends beyond Tom Coughlin's reach | NJ.com
The only thing that makes less sense than keeping Tom Coughlin around after three straight December nosedives is to hold him personally accountable for the last one. That’s our story, we’re sticking to it, but John Mara is going to claim authorship for it, anyway. Not that we’re complaining about it — though some of you undoubtedly will undergo some primal scream therapy just to fill the soul-crushing interval between the Super Bowl and June minicamp.

I think our own Ed Valentine said all this first, but it was an article worth posting.

Giants, Despite Falling, Stand for Right Things - NYTimes.com
The sins of the past two weeks were still strapped to the Giants’ backs as Washington fans, with not much else to cheer about, chanted "Green Bay won!" Then the Giants organization showed why it is one of the classiest in any sport. After most of the players had showered and dressed, the team president, John Mara, entered the nearly empty locker room and told reporters that Coach Tom Coughlin would be back next season despite the team’s collapse near the end.

I think, though many among us do not agree with retaining Coughlin, that we can agree that Mara and this organization have far more class than several others in the NFL.

Despite earning 10th win, Giants finish on somber note
The mood in the winning locker room was somber, a bizarre feeling after a victory, players said. Defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who had two sacks and two forced fumbles, sat at his locker, one hand on his head, staring at the ground. Other players sat quietly at their stools.

New York Giants miss playoffs, thanks in large part to these six factors - ESPN New York
They spent the entire offseason talking about making up for last year's debacle. The New York Giants' rallying cry for 2010 was to return to the playoffs. They fell just short, winning the regular-season finale but losing out to Green Bay for the NFC's final postseason bid. Here are some of the reasons why the Giants, who lost two of their final three games, missed the playoffs for the second straight year:

There is nothing listed here we don't already know, but it's a good recap of why the Giants are going to be on their couches next weekend.

In setting forced fumble record, Giants defensive lineman Osi Umenyiora completes revitalized season | NJ.com
One year ago, there were questions whether Umenyiora’s time with the Giants had finished and whether he was still among the elite defensive ends in the NFL. After a 10-6 season in which Umenyiora finished with 11½ sacks and an NFL-record 10 forced fumbles, the questions posed to Umenyiora related to his brilliance — not his discontent.

Count me among those who wanted Osi gone, but give Jerry Reese credit for calming him down and letting Osi's play on the field speak.

And now, let's look at some of the highs and lows from other teams that did or did not make the playoffs....

Bob Ford: For Eagles, resting starters isn't the best way to prepare for playoffs | Philadelphia Inquirer | 01/03/2011
Compared to a year ago, when the regular season ended with a loss to Dallas that meant something, he was right. But in terms of preparing the Eagles for the NFL postseason that begins against the Green Bay Packers next week, the manner in which the Eagles approached Sunday's game was a recipe for disaster.

I'm going to say it--the Eagles extremely lucky to be where they are right now. Now let's hope Green Bay knocks them right out so we can hear more whining coming from Philly fans.

Green Bay Packers news | Green Bay Packers make playoffs the hard way | Green Bay Press-Gazette
Only after Nick Collins intercepted Jay Cutler’s pass intended for Devin Hester Sunday at the Green Bay 11-yard line could the Packers and a stadium full of delirious but nervous fans at Lambeau Field breathe a sigh of relief. The Packers’ 10-3 victory over the Chicago Bears was finally secure, as well as the sixth and final invitation to the NFC playoffs. Nothing has come easy for the Packers this season, so why should the regular-season finale be any different?

We should absolutely thank Lovie Smith and the Bears for playing their starters yesterday and trying to win the game. But in the end, Jay Cutler was Jay Cutler, and Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings burned a stellar defense one time for a long gain that may have been the difference in the game.

Bucs lost out on playoffs but found so much more
There will be a time — perhaps as soon as next year — when failing to reach the postseason will be met with a more critical eye, but not just yet. This was still one of the most remarkable runs in franchise history and it seems like more of a beginning than an end.

Raheem Morris is a strong contender for NFL Coach of the Year, and for good reason.

Jerry Brewer | No apology necessary for Seahawks | Seattle Times Newspaper
Unpredictable, unworthy, unbowed, the Seahawks are going to the playoffs. The nation probably covers its eyes or pretends to vomit this morning, but ridicule won't change that fact. Suck it up, America. This is actually a good story. It stars a 59-year-old coach who's bouncing and grinning like a child on a sugar high. Year 1 of Pete Carroll's NFL redemption tour can be considered a success now, which is fascinating because he traveled to the edge of failure before surprising us all Sunday night at Qwest Field. And so the Seahawks' season of divine contention continues. They're in the postseason with a lousy 7-9 record by virtue of the NFC West division's embarrassing futility. They're the champs of the chumps because, at the end of a clumsy journey, they avoided the banana peel resting just before the finish line.

I have two words for Mister Brewer: BITE ME.

Bernie: No excuse for Rams' no-show
My focus, for now, is specifically on the Rams' 10-point loss at Seattle. I'm talking about this game. We can talk about the other stuff later. But the 16th and final game -- and a failure to take advantage of such a clear opportunity -- warrants plenty of discussion in the immediate aftermath.

Too bad for Coach Spags, but this is a young team with a ton of promise.

And now, you have your chance to vote for who should stay and who should go with regard to the 2011 New York Giants. We'd be remiss if we didn't mention this article that touts bringing back someone we all miss very dearly, one Plaxico Burress. Wow. Can you imagine Burress with Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham? I doubt it will happen, but it's interesting fodder in what is about to become a long offseason of fodder.

Happy New Year Giants fans, although it's really not all that happy around here right now.

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