Imagine, for a moment, you are the New York Giants. Just three weeks ago, the Giants had the inside track to the playoffs and were well on their way to clinching a spot in the postseason. In a matter of minutes, the playoff picture in the NFC was turned upside-down, culminating with the defining moment in the Giants season.
The week was 15 and the Giants held a commanding lead over Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles. The Giants were not only on their way to the playoffs, but looked to be nearing a berth as the NFC East champion. Up 31-10 over the Eagles with just eight minutes remaining, we saw one of the biggest collapses in history, ending in the most hilarious finishes in recent memory. An accidental punt to Desean Jackson, a punt return for a touchdown with no time left and the Giants were toast as the Eagles took control of the division.
And yet, the Giants still had a chance to take the NFC Wildcard the next week as they took on the Green Bay Packers. The winner of that game would go on to control its own destiny in the NFC Wildcard race. The Packers not only one, but blew the doors off the Giants, using a huge performance by Aaron Rodgers to drop the Giants, 45-17.
A Green Bay win against the NFC’s No. 2 seed, Chicago, in week 17 completed the NFC Wildcard, leaving the Giants on the outside looking in. The Giants did finish strong, dropping the Washington Redskins to close the season, 17-14. Had the Giants won either of their two previous games, they would be in control in the final week of the season.