NFL Playoffs 2012: New York Giants Win Could End Up Hurting Them

Matt DunnCorrespondent IJanuary 2, 2012

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 01:  Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants celebrates as he runs off of the field after defeating the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium on January 1, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

With the New York Giants 31-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys last night, they have clinched the NFC East title for the third time in the past five seasons.

This places them at the number four seed in the playoffs, and they now have a date with the Atlanta Falcons at home next week.

Any Giant fan would consider all of this a good thing. I won't say that I'm not excited that the Giants are in the postseason after missing out the past two years, but one thing about all of this troubles me.

I can't shake the feeling that all of this is going to make the Giants complacent this offseason.

This team is not complete. This coaching staff is not nearly as good as it could be. As I said, I am obviously thrilled that the Giants are going to be playing football in January, but do not make the mistake of thinking that their recent success means that the team doesn't need to make any changes.

Let's start with the coaching staff.

If the Giants had lost last night, then I would undoubtedly say that Tom Coughlin needed to go. However, he gets a pass as long as they are in the playoffs, which may not be the best thing in the world.

I personally feel that this team has been colossally underachieving under Tom Coughlin. This season is hard to use as much of a barometer because of all the injuries the team has sustained.

As well as all of the personnel shifting the coaching staff has had to do, despite this team was 5-2 after going into Foxborough and beating the Patriots.  

That is the kind of ability that this team has. Teams that can beat the number one seed in the AFC have absolutely no business losing twice to the Redskins, Seahawks, and the Eagles B Squad at home.  

Those are games that the Giants had absolutely no excuse losing. Even if you win two of those easily, winnable games, the Giants are 11-5.  

The one thing that also works against Coughlin, is the fact that outside of 2007 he hasn't won a playoff game as the coach of the Giants. Obviously it's hard to dismiss the season they won the Super Bowl, but that can only save him so many times.  

After all is said and done and as long as the Giants don't get absolutely demolished by the Falcons next Sunday, I think Coughlin should be around next season.

As I said, it's not going to be easy to accurately evaluate the entire coaching staff because of all of the injuries the Giants have had to deal with, but that still shouldn't save Kevin Gilbride.

I have been saying it for years, and I think this season it has been more painfully obvious than ever, that Kevin Gilbride is certainly in the running for the worst play-callers in the NFL.

It may just be that I watch the Giants more than any other team, but I know exactly what the Giants are going to be running once they line up. If a draw to DJ Ware is the answer, I want to know the question.  

The fact that Kevin Gilbride is still in charge of calling the offense is absolutely baffling to me. I think that he should have been fired halfway through this season.  

Perry Fewell's situation is a bit more complicated. Before the season even started the Giants lost their best Cornerback Terrell Thomas who was also their leading tackler in 2010, and their starting Middle Linebacker Jonathon Goff for the season.

That's a lot of leadership and experience to miss, especially coming out of the lockout this past season. The rookies on defense didn't get much of a chance to watch and learn from these guys before they were thrown into the fire and asked to produce.  

The issue I have with Fewell is that he doesn't seem to motivate the defense very much. With the amount of talent they have on that side of the ball, yet they seem to come out flat. Only at certain times do they seem to make the difference they are capable of.  

The other factor working against Fewell is the sudden availability of Steve Spagnuolo. If I were in charge I would get rid of Fewell just so that I had a reason to hire Spags again. Not to mention that would also mean he would not be going to the Eagles, who better be out looking for a new defensive coordinator.

Why will all three actually come back? Because of their win last night and the Giants as an organization are not real big on making moves until they are seriously necessary to make. 

I don't see them deciding that a lot of changes need to be made considering this team has been decimated by injury, and they still ended up winning the division.