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The Playoffs are just an entirely different animal. The year we lost to the Chargers in OT at San Diego was just like all of the worst luck coming at you at once. I don't think we had Bob "Mr. Glass" Sanders in that game. Then something that never happens, happened, a punter was basically MVP of a football game.
Their punter had a career game for them. THEIR PUNTER. Scifers or something like that. Every punt he kicked was downed in our own 5-10 yard line. I remember one drive we had and things were going good then Marvin Harrison who was basically held out the last 8 games of the regular season and finally came back for this game, was catching a pass in the redzone or something and as soon as he got hit, he fumbled.
So yeah, the Chargers were 8-8 and we were probably the better team on paper, but that's just not how it works all the time.
You're blending the two back to back playoff games we lost to them.
In the 2007 season, we lost to them in the final game in the Dome when we had a bye. That was the game in which Harrison returned after sitting out most of the season. He fumbled a ball in the red zone when we were trying to go up 14-0, IIRC. That was the game in which Billy Volek beat us in the second half. The Chargers were 11-5 that season. We also lost to them in the regular season that year at SD when Manning threw six picks and Vinny missed that chip shot at the end.
Then the next year we had to play them on the road. We were a 12-4 wildcard and they won the division with an 8-8 record. That was the OT game in which their punter beat us. God I hate the Chargers. How did we lose to those clowns in back to back seasons?
I agree with you about the Saints Super Bowl. Everything would feel different if we had won that. Instead of feeling that we should have accomplished a bit more, we'd be saying that we won 2 out of 4 Super Bowls. No one could really say anything about Manning's playoff record. But it is what it is. Brady would probably be the GOAT if he had won either of the Giants Super Bowls, especially if they had won the first one and completed the perfect season. But that's just football.
The Saints Super Bowl is especially haunting when you realize that Manning only played here for one more season after that, which was a bizarre season in which he had that slump (injury was probably starting to get to him) and we only went 10-6. Lost to the freaking Jets in that agonizing wild card game.
Here is a Manning stat that is tough to digest: After winning the Super Bowl in the 2006 season, Manning's teams went one and done in 4 of the next 5 seasons. Granted, his team made the Super Bowl in the year where he didn't go one and done, but that stat is still pretty haunting. (Obviously I didn't count 2011 in there since he didn't play)