Giants take down Super Bowl countdown sign
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)
The New York Giants' playoff hopes are history, and so is the Super Bowl countdown calendar in their locker room.
The Giants (5-8) removed the calendar after being eliminated from playoff contention following a 37-14 loss to the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese put up the countdown calendar to the cold-weather Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in late July to stress the importance of this season after New York missed the playoffs in three of the past four seasons.
Losing the first six games went a long way in making it four of the past five seasons.
''I didn't even notice it was down,'' quarterback Eli Manning said Wednesday. ''I didn't really notice when it was up, either.''
Receiver Victor Cruz recalled looking at the calendar momentarily at times this season and then just as quickly returning to work. Its absence on Wednesday was nothing special.
''From the outside looking in, I guess you could say that it's the final piece saying that our chances are gone,'' Cruz said. ''But it didn't affect us. We knew what our goals were whether he put that up there or not. We knew exactly what we needed to do for us to get our goals and get to where we needed to be.'
Coach Tom Coughlin was testy earlier in the day when asked whether the calendar would still be up.
''I didn't put it up, so I'm not taking it down,'' said the 67-year-old coach who led the Giants to Super Bowl titles after the 2007 and '11 seasons.
Most of the players said they didn't realize the calendar was gone.
''It has no reason to be up right now,'' safety Antrel Rolle said. ''I think as players we understand what we've created here for ourselves, which is not a chance to go into the postseason, but right now I think that's not everything. We still have a lot to play for. We still have everything to play for. This is a game that we're professionals. When you go out there each and every Sunday, you're not going out there each and every Sunday to play for a Super Bowl. You're going out there to play for that particular Sunday. `
The Giants face the Seattle Seahawks (11-2) at MetLife Stadium on Sunday. The Seahawks will have a chance to win the NFC West and earn the No. 1 seed for the playoffs with a win and losses by San Francisco and New Orleans.
If they do, the road to East Rutherford in February will go through Seattle.
''No, we're not looking at it that way,'' Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. ''We're just trying to get there and get focused on this game and take care of business and we've talked about that a long ways down the road. That really shouldn't be in our business at all right now.''
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