Feely handles rough day like a man

Jay Feely wasn't about to even consider making excuses for his trifecta of misses that basically cost New York what would have been a huge win in Seattle. He entered the post-game media room ready, willing and able to take on all comers and questioners. "All right, bring it on," he said to a throng of bloodthirsty reporters.

Feely handled himself with as much class as possible, not once looking to blame anyone other than himself for his three misses, which he clearly stated was the worst professional game he's ever had. He didn't try to blame the coaching staff for not centering the ball before the first miss. And he certainly didn't point any fingers at his offensive mates for not getting him closer than a 54-yard attempt in overtime. By the time Feely missed his third try to win the game, his mind and leg had to be mush.

In the locker room after the game, Feely apologized to his teammates for letting them down.

"It hurts," he said. "There are going to be times in your life that life kicks you in the gut and you fall down but you have to get up and keep fighting and keep your head up."

The Giants kept fighting to the bitter end, showing that they can play with the newly crowned class of the NFC. But they also didn't want to have to be discussing moral victories because Feely, who's been nothing but superb to this point in the season, couldn't get even one out of three tries to split the uprights.

Feely said there wasn't anything wrong technically with his kicks, nor that he was any less than 100 percent healthy. He just didn't get the job done, and had no problems placing all the blame on his shoulders.

But no one wanted to hear it. "We all try as hard as we can," coach Tom Coughlin said. "No one individual wins them and no one individual loses them."

Feely's mates all said the apology was accepted, but unnecessary.

"He's human, he's going to make mistakes," Antonio Pierce said. "We have nothing but respect and love for Jay."

"It's not his fault," added Luke Petitgout, who had a pretty rough game himself. "It takes a team to win and it takes a team to lose."

Feely said he didn't hesitate when given the chance to say he was sorry to his mates.

"I just thought it was the right thing to do at the time just to say that I apologize for letting you guys down," he explained. "That is what being a man is all about. Being able to accept it when you didn't come through."

Being a man isn't as easy as it's cracked up to be. In this day and age of whiny, crybaby athletes, it's refreshing to say the least to see someone so down on his luck handle the situation with such class and grace…

One fact that was blatantly obvious was that the Giants proved they could play with the best. The Seahawks sit atop the NFC with a 9-2 mark. Yet there were the Giants standing nose-to-nose with Seattle in their own backyard.

After the game, Pierce was reminding his teammates that there's still a long way to go. "First place in the division, don't forget it," Pierce barked before leaving the locker room.

"We're going next week to play Dallas to stay number one in our division," Pierce said. "It took (Shaun Alexander) 31 carries to get (110) yards. That tells you how talented we are. We're 7-4, but at the same time everybody saw how well we played the best team in the conference at their place."

"If this is the best that the NFC has to offer, then that says a lot about us," Tiki Barber said….

The Seahawks recognized that a return engagement with Big Blue in the postseason might be in the cards.

"There is a good chance," DE Grant Wistrom said. "Those are two good football teams; two of the better teams in the NFC and chances are we are going to see each other again."…

The Giants defense definitely held up its end of the bargain. After the contest, Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck admitted he thought the Giants were the best defense his club faced this season.

"This is probably the most talented," he said…

Another game, another huge comeback mounted by Eli Manning, who finished with 344 passing yards. It's hard to believe that Manning is only in his first full season as a starter. Week after week – win, lose or draw – the Giants know they're in the game as long as Manning is at the helm.

"He played well," Coughlin said. "The score and the two-point conversion was outstanding. That's outstanding football."

Manning, who has completed 52.5 percent of his passes and thrown for 20 TDs to only 10 INTs, is clearly more comfortable as the game wears on. And that's a skill that can't be taught. The Giants are extremely fortunate to have Manning, who makes Ernie Accorsi's draft-day deal look better and better with each game he plays…

Kudos to Jeremy Shockey, who caught 10 passes for 127 yards, a TD and the game-tying two-point conversion, all while obviously playing through a host of injuries. Anyone who has or still questions Shockey's toughness clearly doesn't know of which they speak…

The bottom line: Next week is an absolute must-win for the Giants. While there are still five games to play, it's looking more and more like the Giants' only safe way into the postseason is by winning the NFC East. They can take a major step in that direction Sunday by knocking off the Cowboys. New York's final four games include three road trips to Philly, Washington and Oakland and a home game against the Chiefs. As for Dallas, their final four games are trips to Washington and Carolina sandwiched by home contests against Kansas City and St. Louis.

Like we said, Sunday's a must-win – no ifs, ands or buts about it.

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