CHICAGO — When the New York Giants lost the NFC title game on Monday night, there was no way you could have predicted that one of the players who helped win it would go on to win a Super Bowl.
No, the Giants had no idea they were headed for a repeat of the debacle that destroyed their 2012 season.
No one could have foreseen how bad this season would be for the franchise, but this time the franchise would be playing on a Sunday and it would be Sunday Night Football.
It wasn’t just that the Giants lost their own season opener, either.
It was that they lost the Super Bowl and their franchise’s entire history, as well.
The only difference was that this time, the loss was on the same day as the loss of the franchise.
This time, there would be no celebratory moment.
This season was over.
This year, it was the start of the end.
The Giants won’t be able to repeat their 2013 victory, but the season that has been so much about the end of an era will finally come to an end.
They will lose a Super Sunday game, but not for long.
It will be another two months until the Giants return to the gridiron.
The first half of the 2015 season will end with a win.
The second half of this season will be a walk in the park.
It won’t end well for the Giants, but it will start well.
If the Giants are to finish this season with a playoff berth, the only thing holding them back is the perception that they are too far away from being a playoff team.
The expectations are too high.
The reality is that they may be a playoff contender, but they don’t have enough firepower to do so.
The defense, especially at the linebacker position, is not good enough to make up for the lack of talent at that position.
The offensive line, especially the offensive line at the running back position, needs to improve.
The coaching staff needs to address some of the issues that the team has been facing this season.
The front office needs to fix some of its issues, like how it manages its cap space.
The head coach needs to find a way to win with a young team.
And the coaching staff must find a new way to run the offense.
The players need to take ownership in how they play.
And finally, there is a new quarterback.
Eli Manning was a surprise Super Bowl champion last year, but he has played well enough to suggest he is a viable starter.
He also has some big questions to answer as a leader, as Eli Manning has said many times he is “not the guy you want to be in this league.”
He will be tested again Sunday, and there is no denying that this season was a disaster.
There is no question that Eli Manning is a Superbowl contender.
There’s just no way that he will be able do it this year.
The franchise is not in the Superbowl hunt anymore.
Eli will have to start again.
But he won’t win the game.
He won’t finish strong.
He will not make up ground on the Cowboys or the Seahawks.
That’s the way it is.
And that’s what makes this season the end, and the season of Eli Manning.
The Super Bowl will be on Sunday night.
The team that wins it will be the winner.
The one who loses it will become the one who didn’t.
Eli can’t come back this season because the Giants don’t really have a quarterback.
The quarterback position is the key position for a team to win games.
The best quarterback on the field doesn’t need a coach, a general manager or a defensive coordinator.
The better quarterback on defense needs a coordinator and a general manger.
He needs someone who knows what it takes to win.
And he needs someone like Eli Manning to do that.
If Eli Manning can do that, the rest of the Giants defense can too.
The defensive end position is an area that the coaching and front office have had to improve in recent years.
The linebackers, the defensive backs and the special teams all need to step up.
There needs to be more focus on the running game.
But this is the biggest reason why the Giants will likely lose a game.
They need to have a different type of quarterback this season, and Eli Manning won’t do it.
The last time Eli Manning made it to the end zone in a Super Game, he won it with a 4-yard touchdown run.
It has been three years since Eli Manning ran for more than 100 yards in a game, and that was back in 2008.
But there is still plenty of time for the team to make this year a better experience.
There will be plenty of opportunities for Eli Manning and his teammates to make a statement.
There won’t always be time for that to happen.
But Eli Manning, who has won three Super Bowls, will be in the stands Sunday night watching the Giants take