It sure looked as if the Redskins were the ones that could have clinched a playoff spot; not New York. Now 7-7, the Skins remain mathematically alive as well.
"We had an awful lot of balls that were dropped," Tom Coughlin said. "We just didn't make enough plays."
Now the Giants must go into balmy Buffalo and beat the Bills or risk a collapse of Mets-esque proportions. Seemingly a lock for the playoffs during the last few weeks, New York now needs to hold onto its spot for dear life.
"We had so many missed opportunities and so many mistakes," Eli Manning understated. Manning finished with a terrible 52.1 QB rating, completing only 18-of-52 passes for 184 yards.
Obviously the result of Monday night's Vikings-Bears game was unknown at press time, but if any two of the following three teams – Minnesota, New Orleans and Washington – run the table, Big Blue must beat either Buffalo or New England. That's hardly a great position in which to be when it was all but assured weeks ago that Big Blue was postseason-bound.
While the Vikes, Saints and Skins hardly have a cakewalk the rest of the way, it's not at all far-fetched to think two of them can run the table. After the Bears game, Minny hosts Washington and travels to Denver. The Saints host the Eagles and visit Chicago to close out the season. The Skins finish with games at Minnesota and home to Dallas.
If the Giants do somehow find their way into the playoffs, their first-round opponent is still very much in the air. Tampa Bay and Seattle both boasted identical 9-5 records after the weekend; however Seattle owns the tiebreaker due to a 20-6 Week One victory over Tampa. With the Cowboys and Packers already assured of the conference's top two postseason seeds, the third division winner (third seed) will face off with the lower-ranked wild card (sixth) while the fourth division winner (fourth) will battle the top wild card (fifth).
Both the Bucs and Seahawks have two very ‘winnable' games remaining on their schedule. Tampa Bay finishes out its season with games in San Francisco and against Carolina, while Seattle hosts Baltimore and travels to Atlanta. If they both win out and the Giants remain the higher wild card, Big Blue will travel to Tampa during the first round of the playoffs.
The news continued to get worse for Big Blue. In the third quarter, Jeremy Shockey had to be carted from the field after Amani Toomer accidentally rolled up on his left ankle. A half-hour later the news came down that Shockey had suffered a fractured fibula, and would be lost for the season.
"I was trying to block my man," Toomer explained. "I was on the ground and I tried to roll away from the pile."
"He's one of our leaders," Eli Manning added. "It's going to be tough to overcome that. You just can't replace what he does in practice and on the playing field."
Tyree's big loss
David Tyree missed Sunday night's game due to the death of his mother. Tyree's mother, Thelma, died the night before the game after suffering a heart attack in Florida.
"The thoughts and prayers of his teammates, coaches and the entire Giants organization are with David and his family," Coughlin said. "We were in our meetings at the team hotel last night, and David's wife Leilah came to the hotel to inform him that his mother had passed away from a sudden heart attack in Florida. David, obviously, was very emotional upon hearing the news and left the hotel and went to be with his family in Wayne (NJ). He is traveling to Florida. We have told David to do what he needs to do and to let us know what we can do as he and his family cope with the loss of his mother."
Tyree, a five-year veteran and a Pro Bowler in 2005, has played in 11 games this season after missing the first two contests with a fractured wrist suffered in a preseason game. He is tied for second on the team with eight special teams tackles (seven solo). Tyree also has two receptions, both at Chicago on Dec. 2.
Thelma Tyree had resided in Lake City, Florida for the past two years.
For the first time since the second week of the season, rookie receiver Steve Smith was in uniform. Smith suffered a serious shoulder injury against Green Bay in Week Two then suffered a hamstring injury around midseason that extended his time on the sideline. However, New York's second-round pick was back in action against the Redskins. Smith, who didn't play until midway through the fourth quarter after Sinorice Moss was injured, finished with one eight-yard catch.
Once again, the Giants started with their two rookie safeties in the secondary. Gibril Wilson and James Butler were unable to go and Michael Johnson and Craig Dahl filled in for them. The rest of New York's inactive list included RB Danny Ware, OT Adam Koets, G Kevin Boothe and DT Russell Davis. Jared Lorenzen was the club's third quarterback.
The Giants' practice bubble in Parking Lot 9 at Giants Stadium collapsed Sunday morning, but should be fully functional for the team's use before the end of the week.
"It should be back in full use no later than Thursday – possibly as early as Wednesday," said Jim Minish, Executive Vice President/Facilities for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority. "It depends on how long it takes the company making the repairs to fix the door area. We'll get that started (Monday). Once they do that, we'll begin the inflation, which takes about three hours."
The bubble collapsed at approximately 6 a.m. after bearing the brunt of high winds that were part of this weekend's storm in the metropolitan area.
"The wind blew one of the sets of revolving doors off its foundation," Minish said. "When it did that, it created the gap underneath, which then let all the air out. There was nobody inside and nobody was injured."
Minish said this is the third time in four years the bubble has collapsed due to severe weather.
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