Just when New York Giants fans were beginning to think it was safe to believe in their team again the Giants host the Washington Redskins and played an absolute stink-bomb of a game. The Giants officially erased any margin for error, dropping an awful 23-10 game to the Redskins and putting themselves in a situation where every game the rest of the season would be an elimination contest.
With everything to play for and the momentum of a season-saving victory over the Dallas Cowboys the week before to push them, the Giants came out lifeless against the Redskins, who entered the game having lost eight of nine. The Giants fell behind, 17-0, midway through the second quarter and were never really competitive in the game after that.
Writing at SB Nation New York I wasn't able to find much positive to take away from this game. Here is part of what I wrote:
The most amazing thing about the New York Giants' miserable no-show in a disappointing 23-10 loss to the Washington Redskins on Sunday is that the Giants still control their own playoff destiny. If the Giants defeat the New York Jets on Saturday and the Dallas Cowboys on New Year's Day they win the NFC East championship.
If you are a Giants fan, can you really have any confidence that your team can do that, however? On top of which do you really believe this miserably inconsistent, defensively-challenged team that talks tough but often fails to play with urgency is really a playoff-caliber team? It's hard to see how.
The Giants, though, still have their fate -- and Coughlin's -- in their own hands. From what we have seen throughout this inexplicable season, it's hard to believe they won't drop both.
Knowing how things turned out in the end, those words seem foolish. At the time, though, I believe they accurately represented both the situation and the mood of the fan base.
The Giants had placed themselves in a situation where they had to beat both the New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys in the final two regular-season games. After this game there was simply no way to feel good about their chances of pulling that off.