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EAST THE O , N. . Justin Tuck called it a funny year. He and his New York Giants teammates weren’t laughing.
There will be no repeat championship for the Giants, not even a playoff berth. A 9-7 season wasn’t good enough this time around.
The Giants saw their playoff hopes end Sunday, minutes after a 427 win over the Philadelphia Eagles when Chicago beat Detroit 26-24.
“It happens that way,” Tuck said after the Giants rebounded from two bad losses and routed the Ea- gles (4-12). “I’ve been 106 and not made the playoffs. You’ve got to win the ones you’re supposed to. That’s why the division games mean so much. If we’d won the division games, we’d still be in the driver’s seat.”
Instead, they are headed home early.
“We are certainly disappointed we are not in the playoffs,” coach Tom Coughlin said after New York missed the postseason for the third time in four years. “Our goal was to win the division. We didn’t do that, either. We won nine games and there is no way anyone can talk us out of that. We do have the nine wins, but it’s not good enough.”
A year ago it was. The Giants won their last two games in 2011 to get into the playoffs, and finished the season with six straight wins in earning their second NFL title in five seasons.
This marks the seventh straight season the Super Bowl champion has failed to win a playoff game the following year.
Eli Manning did his part to keep the Giants in the chase with a careerbest five touchdown passes.
“It hurts,” said Manning, who finished 13 of 21 for 208 yards and no interceptions. “Each year you want to make the playoffs to give yourself an opportunity to win a championship; 9-7 last year was good enough. It wasn’t good enough this year and we knew it wouldn’t be.”