The Giants have clinched a playoff berth and are headed to the postseason for the first time since 2011:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Giants received their best gift of the holiday season on Christmas Eve – a postseason berth.
They clinched one of the six spots in the NFC playoffs when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Saints in New Orleans 31-21. The Giants, 10-5, will be postseason participants for the first time since 2011, when they defeated New England in Super Bowl XLVI. They will be seeded fifth in the conference playoffs. The Giants will play a wild card game on Jan. 7 or 8 at the winner of the NFC North (Green Bay or Detroit), South (Atlanta or Tampa Bay) or West (Seattle).
"There is a process in progressing to your ultimate objective," said coach Ben McAdoo. "This is the next step in the process. But each step requires focus on the task at hand, and our focus right now is on learning from Thursday night's game and moving on and getting better. It's all in front of us, and we are still working toward playing our best, most complete game. And we have a tough game in the division at Washington this week."
Dallas has clinched the NFC East title and home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
The Giants had an opportunity to secure their playoff berth Thursday night in Philadelphia, but lost to the Eagles, 24-19. The defeat left them with four possibilities to make the playoffs in Week 16 - losses by any one of the following: Atlanta, Green Bay, or Tampa Bay today, or Detroit in Dallas on Monday night. In early games today, the Falcons defeated the defending NFC champion Panthers in Charlotte, 33-16, while the Packers topped the Minnesota Vikings in Lambeau Field, 38-25. That forced the Giants to wait for the conclusion of Tampa Bay's later afternoon game in the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
This will be the Giants' 32nd postseason appearance, tying them with Dallas for the most in NFL history. The Packers will also participate in their 32nd postseason should they qualify.
The Giants are 24-24 in their postseason history, including 6-4 in wild card games. They won their last two wild card games, in 2007 at Tampa Bay and 2011 at home vs Atlanta, and went on to win Super Bowls in both of those postseasons.
The Giants' 48 postseason games tie them with New England for the fifth-highest total in NFL history, behind Dallas (60), Pittsburgh (57), Green Bay (53) and San Francisco (50).
Ben McAdoo is the fourth coach in Giants history to lead the team to the playoffs in his first season, joining Allie Sherman (1961), Dan Reeves (1993) and Jim Fassel (1997).
Quarterback Eli Manning is 8-3 in the postseason. He led the Giants to four victories in both 2007 and 2011. The Giants lost wild card games to Carolina in 2005 and at Philadelphia the following season, and an NFC Divisional Playoff Game to the Eagles in 2008.
The Giants have 15 players on their active roster with postseason experience, including seven who have won Super Bowls: Manning, Zak DeOssie, Victor Cruz, Jason Pierre-Paul, Mark Herzlich and Will Beatty with the Giants, plus Jonathan Casillas with New Orleans in 2009 and New England in 2014. Two other players – Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Robbie Gould – have played in Super Bowls.
Herzlich and Beatty were on injured reserve when the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI. Manning and DeOssie are the only Giants remaining from the team's victory in Super Bowl XLII.