New York Giants: All Hope Not Lost for Big Blue

Jim MancariCorrespondent IDecember 20, 2010

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 19: Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates a touchdown by Mario Manningham against  the Philadelphia Eagles during their game on December 19, 2010 at The New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

As the dust settles from Sunday's epic disaster, Giants fans must keep their heads held high. If someone only saw the final score of this game and did not sit through the pain, they would say that this was a hard fought battle on both sides. Sadly, after sitting through the misery, I know differently.

When the Eagles recovered that perfectly executed onside kick, I knew we were in trouble. Michael Vick is a different player when the game is on the line as opposed to when his team is down 24-3.

There are still pieces of Vick that need to be pulled off the Giants Stadium turf after the beating he took in the first half. However, he was able to use his legs to exploit the Giants in the second half.

Regardless of the Tom Coughlin/Matt Dodge discussion after the game and whether or not they should have kicked it to DeSean Jackson, the punt coverage on the play was horrendous. There must have been at least three or four missed tackles and guys were running right by him.

By the way, it just shows you what type of scum the Eagles organization employs when Jackson tip-toed along the goal line to further rub it in. There's no doubt that the Giants will seek their revenge for Jackson's classless actions.

So that leads us into the final two weeks of the season. The G-Men hit the road at 9-5 to take on the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins.

The Packers are coming off a strong effort but a loss nonetheless to the Patriots. They sit at 8-6 and will most likely still be without Aaron Rodgers this week. The Giants can only hope because a win over the Packers may have the implications of sealing the Giants fate as the final playoff seed.

Winning on the road at Lambeau Field is never an easy challenge, but the Giants need to rise to the occasion, similar to the first half against the Eagles.

If Big Blue pulls off the win, they would head to Washington in a good position. The Redskins, even with all their problems, always give the Giants trouble late in the season. Still, an 11-5 record is possible over the final two games.

As of now the NFC playoff picture looks like this: Falcons, Eagles, Bears, Rams, Saints, Giants. The Rams and Seahawks will battle each other for the NFC West crown, but the loser cannot fight for the wild card. The Packers and Buccaneers are a game off the pace, which makes the Giants vs. Packers game a must-win for New York.

The equation appears simple: If the Giants win both games, they make the playoffs as either the fifth or sixth seed, and possibly even the second or third seed if the Eagles lose both games.

It's time to remember the miracle playoff run of 2008. The Giants entered the playoffs as one of the wild cards and won three consecutive road games en route to their defeat of the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

One of those wins was the overtime thriller at Lambeau Field, where the Giants play this Sunday.

But another great win on that stretch was the victory in Dallas. The Giants had lost both regular season games that year to the Cowboys but came out strong and hung on for the win late.

Sound familiar? The Giants lost both regular season games this year to the Eagles. If the Giants can survive the final two weeks and do what they need to do to get into the playoffs, we might see the third matchup between these two teams.

Despite what Eagles fans may think, the Giants outplayed the Eagles in both games hands down. Turnovers killed us the first time and a string of unlucky bounces killed us this time.

If there is a third matchup in the playoffs, Eagles beware because the Giants will be ready to hunt.