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Eagles 35, Giants 30: Eight things we learned

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What lessons did we learn from the Giants' final game of the 2015 season?

Will Tye steps into the end zone on Sunday for a touchdown
Will Tye steps into the end zone on Sunday for a touchdown
Al Bello/Getty Images

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The season is over for the New York Giants. As we always do, let's look at what we learned from Sunday's game, a 35-30 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. And yes, we're stopping at eight instead of going to our usual 10. Enough is enough, I guess.

We'll have to wait for changes to be made

Tom Coughlin said Sunday that no decision has been made on his future, either by him or by ownership. Indications are that we will have to wait until Tuesday, perhaps longer, for a decision.

What will happen? Sunday morning I looked at some of the possibilities. Coughlin has a year left on his contract. Could he stay? Certainly, if the Giants want to continue the Ben McAdoo-Eli Manning relationship, if they believe the 69-year-old still has the respect of his players, and if they believe he can still win. Will there have to change? Obviously. Even if Coughlin and GM Jerry Reese stay changes to the coaching staff and front office personnel seem certain.

As I wrote Sunday, let's just wait and see how deep the changes go.

Take your committee and ... Rashad it

For much of the season, the Giants employed a running back by committee approach, often splitting reps and carries among four backs. They finally abandoned that approach over the final four games, allowing veteran Rashad Jennings to be the workhorse they had signed him to be before the 2014 season.  The result? Jennings was outstanding over those four games.

Jennings had season highs in yards (170) and carries (27) on Sunday. He had a 35-yard run and a pair of 21-yard runs. The 170 yards was the second-highest total of his career, topped only by the 176 yards he gained in Week 3 last season against the Houston Texans.

Over the final four games, Jennings carried 79 times for 432 yards (5.5 yards per carry) Jennings finished the season with career highs in yards (863) and carries (195). That is an average of 4.4 yards per carry.

Will Tye the future tight end guy

The undrafted free agent from Stony Brook got better and better as the season progressed. He had five catches for 67 yards and a touchdown on Sunday. The 24-year-old basically swallows the ball when it is thrown to him and he is a load to bring down. Tye finished the season with 42 catches in 13 games, 32 of those in the final seven games.

About those inactive players

Rookie wide receiver Geremy Davis was inactive for the sixth straight week. The sixth-round pick hasn't played since Week 10 against the New England Patriots. A surprising inactive Sunday was second-year defensive end Kerry Wynn, who had played in all 15 games with seven starts. It was a bit startling that Wynn was left off the active roster while Stansley Maponga, a midseason signee off the Atlanta Falcons practice squad, got a uniform. Undrafted wide receiver Ben Edwards, who was signed to the active roster before the game against the Minnesota Vikings, was active instead of Davis.

What do these two moves inactive tell us? Rightly or wrongly, especially in the case of Davis, this coaching staff appears to be down on the potential of both players. That won't necessarily matter if there is a new coaching staff, but it is noteworthy.

By the book, right to the bitter end

Three times the Giants had fourth downs in Philly territory Sunday. Three times Coughlin chose to punt. Three times Giants fans booed. Never mind that all three times punter Brad Wing pinned the Eagles inside the 10-yard line, fans wanted to see Coughlin throw out the book, throw the percentages away, throw caution to the win and go for it.

Same deal with the Giants trailing 35-27 and facing fourth-and-7 at the Philly 30-yard line with 4:30 to go. Go for it? Nope Coughlin sent on the field goal unit and Josh Brown made the kick to make the score 35-30

Coughlin played it straight right to the end.

Robert Ayers is going to get paid

I don't know if Ayers is going to get paid by the Giants, but he is going to GET PAID by someone. Ayers, 30, is a free-agent-to-be and he polished off the best season of his career on Sunday with a sack, seven tackles (three for loss), and two quarterback hits. Ayers finished the season with a team and career-high nine sacks. He just finished a two-year, $3.75 million contract. My guess is it's going to take a good bit more than that to get his name on a contract for 2016.

The Giants will be going to London in 2016

The loss to Philly means the Giants finish the season in third place in the NFC East. That means they will play the St. Louis Rams in London next season.

The Giants' defense is terrible

We knew this already, but Sunday was ridiculous. The Giants gave up scoring drives of 80, 85, 80 and 91 yards. They surrendered 502 total yards. The Giants finished last in the league in defense surrendering 420.3 yards per game. The Giants ended up giving up 298.9 yards per game passing, less than a yard off the record of 299.7 per game set by the Green Bay Packers in 2011. Green Bay went 15-1 that year, though, so teams were passing to try and catch up.

The Jason Pierre-Paul fiasco. The Johnathan Hankins injury. All three starting linebackers ending up on IR. Awful safety play. All of these things contributed. Whatever the reason, it was embarrassing. Teams can't win that way.