New York Giants: Manning Wins in Washington, Not Enough as Packers Prevail
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A Packers loss would have put the victorious Giants in the playoffs.
Unfortunately for New York, the Packers pulled out a win to propel themselves into the playoffs and send the Giants home for the offseason.
The Giants played well against Washington, forcing four turnovers and playing tough defense.
Thanks to Osi Umenyiora and his two forced fumbles, Big Blue set an NFL record by recovering 22 forced fumbles on the season.
If it wasn't for their league-high 42 giveaways, the season may have ended differently.
And that was the story of their season. Too many turnovers in big situations made their 10-win season all for naught.
At 10-6, New York will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. In back-to-back years now, the Giants started out hot and failed to make the playoffs thanks to late-season collapses.
In spite of their failure to make the playoffs, the Giants have plenty of positives to take away from this season.
Should Tom Coughlin be fired?
2010 saw the emergence of Hakeem Nicks as one of the most dangerous receivers in the NFC.
Nagged by injuries throughout much of the second half of the season, the 2009 first-round draft pick from North Carolina managed to rack up 79 catches for 1,052 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Those numbers are a strong foundation on which to build a productive career in the Meadowlands. Despite their disappointing season, the Giants and their fans have to be happy about Nicks' development.
The 2010 season also saw Osi Umenyiora display the game-changing ability that seemed lost last season.
After a disappointing 2009 campaign, Osi forced 10 fumbles and netted 11.5 sacks this year as half of the most dominating defensive end tandem in the league.
Justin Tuck, the other half of that duo, had a great season as well. He had 11 sacks and continued to uphold his reputation as one of the most athletic and versatile ends in the NFL.
While those positives take a bit of the sting out of missing the playoffs, they fail to mask the fact that this team was unable to capitalize on their huge potential.
Their late-season nosedive may even cost Tom Coughlin his job, though firing him for a 10-win season would be foolish. He has proven himself as one of the best game-planning head coaches in the NFL and his teams are almost always competitive.
Coughlin wasn't to blame for the 42 turnovers this year, but the team's overall failure may be enough reason to fire him.
In any case, it's time for the Giants and their fans to look forward to one of the most anticipated and talked about offseason events of any sport: the NFL Draft.
Mike Osterberg is a student at Penn State University and Featured Columnist for the New York Giants. Follow him on twitter @Mike_Osterberg.
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