The New York Giants finally won but, at the same time, lost. They beat the Washington Redskins 17-14 at the same time the Green Bay Packers were defeating the Chicago Bears. It was a bittersweet end to the Giants indescribable perplexing season. The final dagger to the Giants lost season came at 7:06 EST when the score board at FedEx Field tauntingly flashed the score: Packers 10, Bears 3.
The Giants (10-6) season ended with a victory, but it was the 68 minutes before Sunday's game that really charted their destiny. The 28 point comeback by the Philadelphia Eagles two weeks ago and last week's blowout at the hands of the Packers really sealed the Giants fate. They will not be in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Giants have no one to blame but themselves and it looks like the Giants owner sees it that way too.
coach Bill Cowher's name was tossed around more loosely than an Eli Manning interception.
After yesterday's loss, Giants owner John Mara immediately made it clear Coughlin will be around to finish the final year of his contract and maybe more. Mara confirmed it by saying "there was never any doubt" Coughlin would be back in 2011. Looks like New York won't be a Cowher town after all.
The Giants who finished with 10 wins had to watch as the Seattle Seahawks--a team they routed earlier in the season--squeak into the playoffs with a losing record later that evening. The Seahawks (7-9) won the NFC West by beating the St. Louis Rams yesterday. The Giants became only the seventh teams with at least 10 wins to not make the playoffs since 1990.
Mara, the Giants co-owner, is sticking with his head coach despite another late season fizzle. "I'm obviously disappointed that we didn't make the playoffs, " he said, "Everybody in this locker room is disappointed. But that doesn't mean you blow the whole thing up. he's still the guy we want as our head coach."
The owner even visited Coughlin after the game and reassured the 61 year old coach. "Don't listen to all the nonsense. You're going to be back next season. We still believe in you and we want you as our coach."
Mara said he knows it's not easy to win ten games. He has stuck with Coughlin before. In 2006 the Giants beat the Redskins to get into the playoffs and save Coughlin's job. The next season the team won the Super Bowl.
The Giants players and Coughlin will have the whole off-season to look back at their mistakes and get the team back into the playoffs next year. Mara can only hope his belief in his coach will pay off.