What is it about the next-to-last game of the season and the New York Giants?
Last year, with flickering playoff hopes, they played host to the Carolina Panthers in their final regular season game at Giants Stadium and got humiliated by a team going nowhere. This year, needing a win to stop the bleeding from last week and to make the playoffs, the Giants looked even worse while being annhilated 45-17 by the Packers.
That would be bad enough under any circumstances, but the fact that Green Bay is their chief competition for that playoff spot makes it all the worse.
Now they need to win and pray that the Packers lose to the Bears, who won't have anything to play for if the Vikings find a way to beat the Eagles on Tuesday night. Just winning seems like a really tall order at this point in time.
No one escapes blame for this fiasco. Eli Manning threw four interceptions and never seemed to be on the same page with his receivers. Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs both lost fumbles because they carried the ball like there were points awarded for holding it as dangerously as possible. The offensive line provided little help and Matt Dodge finally figured out a way to kick the ball out of bounds. Sadly, it came when the Giants needed him to punt it more than 25 yards down the field.
As bad as the offense was, the defense might have been worse. Aaron Rodgers didn't play last week because of a concussion, yet somehow stood up against this fierce Giants pass rush and put up a season-high 404 yards passing. For those who don't have a working detector, there's more than a little sarcasm at work there. The group was eviscerated by Michael Vick last night and Rodgers picked whatever bits of flesh were left on the carcass this week. Hard to believe that this is the same group of players who were strutting around like Mick Jagger a few weeks ago, but that might just be a big part of the problem.
The players deserve most of the blame, but the finger-pointing certainly won't stop there. Calls for Tom Coughlin's head will only intensify after watching the Giants fail to show up for him in their biggest game of the season. That makes three straight years where the Giants decided not to fight in the most crucial games, a situation that makes it harder to argue that Coughlin is still pushing the right buttons.
About the only thing the Giants can hope for right now is that this blizzard somehow lasts for the next month and allows them to fix the myriad problems that have plagued them over the last 68 minutes of football. Unless we are all unwitting participants in a sequel to "Day After Tomorrow," that's an unlikely scenario.
So is a Giants playoff game.