The Giants fans felt good about themselves after their team pulled out a 23-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the team’s regular-season finale on Sunday. No doubt they thought about their team making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
All they needed was the Washington Football Team to lose to the Philadelphia Eagles, and they can see the Giants go to the playoffs by winning the NFC East. They realized the big games turned out to be too big for the WFT over the years, so they had to like their teams’ chances, especially with the pressure on the WFT to win after the Giants won. Plus, the Eagles wanted to finish their season strong by winning a divisional game and deny their divisional team a playoff berth.
For three-quarters of the WFT and Eagles game, it played out as a divisional game that featured two teams grinding it out. Both teams played good defense, and both teams made plays offensively. Redskins quarterback Alex Smith and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts engineered drives, especially converting third downs.
But Eagles head coach Doug Pederson stunned everyone by putting in third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter, and that played a role in Washington getting a 20-14 victory over the Eagles, clinching the NFC East division.
So instead of celebrating the Giants making a playoff appearance, their fans vented their anger at Pederson on Twitter for denying their team a playoff spot. Giants players went to muse on Twitter about Sudfeld entering the game with Washington clinging on to a 17-14 lead over the Eagles in the fourth quarter.
There’s no question Pederson had an agenda going in starting a quarterback that hasn’t thrown a pass since 2018. Sudfeld clearly was rusty when he was picked on his second attempt and lost a fumble. The Eagles head coach had no interest in helping the Giants by taking Jalen Hurts out of the game.
But getting mad at Pederson is missing the point. Yes, he was wrong for putting a quarterback who had no business playing in a game of this magnitude. But that’s the Giants’ own fault for relying on another team to help them get to the playoffs. They shouldn’t have been in this position in the first place.
The Giants fell apart altogether by losing three in a row after a 17-12 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 6. Their last three weeks put them in a position where they were outside looking in. They couldn’t control their destiny anymore. It’s no one’s fault but the Giants.
Bashing Pederson bails out the Giants, and that’s wrong.
Besides, the Giants did not deserve to make the playoffs this season with a 6-10 record. To win the division and make the playoffs with a losing record would be a joke.
The Giants did not even look good in making their case they are a playoff team on Sunday. They struggled offensively against the Cowboys, and their defense played like a sieve. It was more of the Cowboys’ ineptness that had the Giants win the game. In other words, the Cowboys lost this game more than the Giants won this game. For Pete’s sake, the Arizona Cardinals stunk offensively in their 18-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams, and they put on a better show than the Giants.
The Giants played awful all season. Their offense never came together, and their defense flopped as the game went on. Their game against the Cowboys summed up this season to a T for the Giants. If Wayne Gallman’s butt does not hold on to the ball after he fumbled, the Cowboys could have won the game.
Face it. This is a team that is a work in progress. I don’t even know if I can even say this team is progressing considering they finish the season at 6-10. This month showed the Giants did not improve from September to December. This is troubling.
Questions continue to remain for the Giants. Joe Judge has yet to show he can be a leader of men, and he has yet to show he can win a big game as a head coach. Daniel Jones failed to show he can be an NFL quarterback. This team has no strong foundation or identity to build around. Giants general manager Dave Gettleman has been in hiding forever rather than being accountable by talking to the media for the awful job he did in building a team that is bereft with talent.
Giants fans seem encouraged, but I don’t see it. It’s the same old team that we grew and love for the last few years.
It’s hard to get worked up about the team missing the playoffs when they didn’t deserve it.
Getting mad at Pederson might as well be being in denial about the Giants.
Pederson did the Giants and their fans a favor actually. He gave them a chance to reflect and maybe reach an epiphany that their team has ways to go to be a genuine playoff team.