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New York Giants Notes: Finally Home Edition

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So did any of you go to the airport to welcome our New York Giants home from Appleton? Yeah, that's what I thought. They didn't deserve a welcoming home despite still having a shot at the playoffs. Of course, what makes that very disturbing now is the way the Vikings disposed of the Eagles in Philly Tuesday night. It's not disturbing that the Eagles lost--those guys could lose a poker game and we would cheer--it's that the Eagles just looked so beatable. The Vikings obviously saw something the Giants did last week in dominating Michael Vick for 52 minutes, and then went out and did it for 60. But what's also disturbing is that now the Eagles are locked into the three-seed. That means there is a good chance that the Chicago Bears may be locked into the 2-seed Sunday and have nothing to play for against Green Bay. Happy Freaking New Year to us. Then again, it's not like we didn't deserve the fate of missing the playoffs if that's what happens.

Giants Have an 18% Chance of Making NFL Playoffs After Two Straight Losses - Bloomberg
New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin says his team remains driven by the knowledge that there’s still "a chance" to make the postseason.

18%, huh? Well, being that the Giants are favored, this means the Bears are not, and they are currenlty 7.5 point underdogs. Of course, the Bears have been playing lights out so this should be interesting. Let's hope Lovie Smith doesn't take any phone calls from Tony Dungy this week. Oh, and hey, you guys can all vote here in the Chicago Tribune's poll about whether or not the Bears should rest their starters on Sunday.

Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning haven't accomplished enough with Giants, even after Super Bowl XLII win
But with the Giants collapsing once again at the end of the year, disposing another promising season in the garbage can, what Coughlin and Manning have accomplished just doesn't feel like enough anymore. It feels like they have underachieved. They've made it into so many Decembers looking like the best team in the league before just running out of gas.If this coach-quarterback combination is broken up after the season, then Coughlin will be the one to go. Coaches are replaceable. Bill Cowher is a phone call away. The Giants know where to find him. Every Sunday he's on the West Side of Manhattan at the CBS studios. Manning is the face of the franchise.

It's getting really sad that it might come to this, but there it is.

Eli Manning has earned some of the blame for Giants' December swoon with erratic play and turnovers
Eli Manning stood up in a players-only meeting last Monday and put the weight of the Giants on his shoulders. Then six days later he looked like a player incapable of handling such a heavy load. We all know better, of course. Or at least we did. Anyone who saw Manning's outstanding, and sometimes brilliant, run to Super Bowl XLII knows what he's capable of doing in a very big game. But that was nearly three years ago and he hasn't come up really big in a really big game since. On Sunday in Green Bay, when the defense was collapsing, the running game was nonexistent and the Giants' psyche was beginning to crumble, Manning responded to the situation with a disastrous, four-interception performance. He looked like a player who was pressing, forcing his throws, rushing his decisions. He wasn't his usual, methodically calm self. He looked like a quarterback desperate to make a play.

Then of course, I had to read last night about Tom Brady breaking the NFL record for consecutive pass attempts without an interception, and the fact that he hasn't thrown one since Week 6, and also has zero fumbles. Bill Belichick said something about how not turning the ball over helps you win. Well, duh. Then the NBC team talked about how Adrian Peterson had zero fumbles up until Tuesday night, when he put one on the ground early in the game. Few turnovers is possible, so why can't the Giants cut them down?

Giants' playoff hopes grow darker with Eagles' loss to Vikings | NJ.com
The Eagles continue to be a thorn in the Giants' side. And this time, they did it by losing......The only carrot left for the Bears is the No. 1 seed in the NFC. But by the time their game against the Packers kicks off at 4:15 p.m., the Falcons might have already polished off the 2-13 Panthers and thus locked up the top spot in the conference. And even if Atlanta loses, the Bears would also need the Buccaneers to defeat the Saints to have a shot at the No. 1 seed.

Phil Sheridan: Eagles' loss doesn't bode well for the playoffs | Philadelphia Inquirer | 12/29/2010
There will be no Joe Webb on the road to the Super Bowl. There won't be any Stephen McGee, either. To get to the Super Bowl, the Eagles would have to beat real quarterbacks: guys like Drew Brees, Jay Cutler, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan. They would have to beat teams with everything to play for, unlike the Minnesota Vikings, who had nothing to play for. And now, because Webb and the Vikings embarrassed them on national television, to get to the Super Bowl the Eagles would have to beat three such teams. Twenty-four hours ago, it seemed possible. Now? It's truly hard to imagine. A week after their New Meadowlands miracle, the Eagles were merely miserable.

I can't help it, this article just warms my heart.

Hard Hits with LaVar Arrington - Redskins-Giants keys to the game: defense
I believe the Redskins' defense has a fair shot at stopping the Giants offense, but with all the injuries to the secondary I give the edge to the Giants offense.

Well, hey, thanks LaVar. We were all wondering what you were up to these days.

Giants Are Stuck in Green Bay, With Playoff Hopes in Jeopardy - NYTimes.com
The rookie punter Matt Dodge, whose inability to kick the ball out of bounds resulted in the Giants’ unthinkable game-ending loss to the Philadelphia Eagles two Sundays ago, did a little shopping in the city of 70,000 and bought an "I Love Appleton" T-shirt. Other players retreated to their rooms.

This just had to be posted for that paragraph alone, because it begs for this response: "Hey Matty, if you love Appleton so much, you should have STAYED THERE."