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Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - Adrian eter­son rushed for yards gi ing him for the sea­son as the ik­ings earned a wild card berth. hey’ll face the ack­ers again. ene ie e ross as­so­ci­ated ress a

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.”

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