In this weeks edition of The One that Got Away, we take a look at the 2010 New York Giants. The Late 2000’s Giants were one of the best teams in the NFL. 2007 brought a Super Bowl Title and 2008 brought a number 1 seed in the NFL playoffs. In 2009, after starting 5-0, the Giants had a late season collapse (shocker) and missed the playoffs finishing 8-8. Fans thought that the Giants would surely return to the postseason in 2010. Welllllllll not so fast. The Giants were once again a very solid team, but they fell just short in heartbreaking fashion.
The 2010 Giants started off strong, like many of the Tom Coughlin led Giants team’s did. Heading into Mid-November they were 6-2 and on a 5 game winning streak. They once again looked like a powerhouse in the NFC, but a 4-4 record down the final stretch of the season was not enough to get the Giants into the playoffs. Much of the Giants problems came from turnovers, a category they led the league in in 2010. Many of those turnovers came from the right arm of Eli Manning. Manning led the league in interceptions with 25, which put a giant (no pun intended) asterix on an otherwise good year (4,002 yards passing and 31 touchdowns). Giants Running Back Ahmad Bradshaw was second in the NFL in fumbles by a running back which is a shame since he also had an otherwise good year (1,549 total yards and 8 touchdowns). The Giants would lose back to back games to the Cowboys and Eagles after their 6-2 start, but would rebound with a three game winning streak. Heading into week 15, the Giants were a 9-4 football team, looking to move into first place in the NFC East with a win at MetLife against the Eagles. How did that turn out? Let’s take a look back.
The Giants came out swinging against Philly in this one. Eli Manning would throw for 4 touchdowns, and the combo of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw would combine for 100 yards on the ground. A late fourth quarter touchdown pass to tight end Kevin Boss looked like it was the final nail in the coffin for a Giants win. Then, it all fell apart. The Giants would blow a 31-10 fourth quarter lead. Still, tied at 31, the Giants had a chance to punt the ball out of bounds, and likely send the game to overtime. Instead, Giants rookie punter Matt Dodge would kick the ball to DeSean Jackson, one of the best punt returners in the league. Jackson took it to the house, and the Eagles would earn themselves a comeback win in what would become known as “The Miracle in the New Meadowlands.” Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Giants had a chance to earn a playoff spot with a win against the Packers the next week in Lambeau. Instead, the Giants would be blown out, 45-17. A week 17 victory against Washington wasn’t enough to get the Giants into the playoffs, and for the second year in a row, the Giants would miss the playoffs, finishing with a 10-6 record.
It isn’t often a team fields both a top ten offense and defense yet misses the playoffs, but the Giants have a way of accomplishing very unique feats. Despite the tough finish to the year, it is worth highlighting some of the good that came out of the season. As noted earlier, Eli Manning and Ahmad Bradshaw had very solid years (outside of their turnovers). This was supplemented by a great second punch at Running Back with Brandon Jacobs, who rushed for 823 yards and 9 touchdowns. At Wide Receiver, Hakeem Nicks broke out in his sophomore season, finishing with 1,052 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Mario Manningham also had himself a career year going for 944 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. Defensively, the Giants fielded 2 Pro Bowlers: Safety Antrel Rolle and Defensive End Justin Tuck. Rolle would finish second on the team in tackles with 87 total, along with an interception, 4 passes defensed, and half a sack. Tuck would finish with 11.5 sacks and 76 total tackles. On the other side of the D-Line, Osi Umenyiora would finish with 11.5 sacks as well. It’s also worth mentioning that the Giants had a third Pro Bowler in long snapper Zak DeOssie.
It’s not often that a team is as talented as the Giants were at all 3 phases of the game. Despite all of this talent, the Giants lost just one too many games.
That is why the 2010 Giants will go down as one of the ones that got away.