"Everybody keeping an eye on their target," said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. "Really, coming down to the New York Giants game, that's the one thing we just kept reiterating to our players: All of our goals are still in front of us. We didn't need any help. And I think that really helped our guys stay focused, stay on point."
Of course, McCarthy and the Packers are right. And that still has to eat at the New York Giants. That Week 16 game, won by Green Bay, 45-17, at Lambeau Field was a game in which the Giants had destiny in their hands. Win and they were in, meaning the Packers were going home for the offseason.
Of course, we know it didn't happen the way the Giants hoped. They barely showed up, suffering a hangover from the disastrous eight minutes the week before against Philadelphia.
How can their not be a sense of disappointment seeing the Packers in this situation? A victory in Lambeau and this could be the Giants representing the NFC against Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
It is rehashing old, painful news at this point. It is, however, where we are with the New York Giants. I look at the Packers and I do not see a more talented roster than the one the Giants have. I see a team that finished with the same 10-6 regular-season record as the Giants, who did not get a chance to play in the postseason.
I am not whining. The Packers won the "right" 10 games. The Giants did not. Green Bay did what it had to do at the end when the games mattered the most. As McCarthy said, the Packers stayed focused, stayed on point. Against Philadelphia and Green Bay the Giants, a veteran team that should have been able to do that, did not.
That is why Green Bay is still playing and the Giants went home without a playoff berth for the second straight season.