EAST RUTHERFORD - Justin Tuck called it a funny year. He and his New York Giants teammates weren't laughing.
There will be no repeat championship for the Giants, not even a playoff berth. A 9-7 season wasn't good enough this time around.
The Giants' playoff hopes ended Sunday, minutes after a 42-7 win over the Philadelphia Eagles when Chicago beat Detroit 26-24.
"It happens that way," Tuck said after the Giants rebounded from two bad losses and routed the Eagles. "I've been 10-6 and not made the playoffs. You've got to win the ones you're supposed to.
"That's why the division games mean so much. If we'd won the division games, we'd still be in the driver's seat."
Instead, they are headed home early.
"We are certainly disappointed we are not in the playoffs," coach Tom Coughlin said after New York missed the postseason for the third time in four years. "Our goal was certainly to be there. Our goal was to win the division. We didn't do that either. We won nine games and there is no way anyone can talk us out of that. We do have the nine wins, but it's not good enough."
A year ago it was. The Giants won their last two games in 2011 to get into the playoffs, and finished the season with six straight wins in earning their second NFL title in five seasons.
This marks the seventh straight season the Super Bowl champion has failed to win a playoff game the following year.
Eli Manning did his part to keep the Giants in the chase with a career-best five touchdown passes. Fans who stuck around were chanting "Let's go, Lions!" as the final moments ticked off in the Chicago-Detroit game.
"It hurts," said Manning, who finished 13-of-21 for 208 yards and no interceptions. "Each year you want to make the playoffs to give yourself an opportunity to win a championship; 9-7 last year was good enough. It wasn't good enough this year and we knew it wouldn't be."
After going 6-2, they lost five of eight, including two games by a combined 67-14 to playoff-bound Atlanta and Baltimore.
"The first thing is you don't ever rely on anybody else in this business," Coughlin said. "You've got to take care of your own business. We certainly had our chances. That will be the No. 1 thing I'll talk to the team about."
Manning woke up the offense with touchdown passes of 3 and 38 yards to rookie Rueben Randle, a 15-yarder to David Wilson and a 24-yarder to Victor Cruz just before halftime for a 35-7 lead. Manning became the first Giant to throw five TD passes in a game since Phil Simms in 1980. Manning's fifth TD pass was a 1-yarder to fullback Henry Hynoski in the fourth quarter.
Ahmad Bradshaw, who rushed for 107 yards and passed the 1,000-yard mark for the second time in his career, also scored on a 1-yard run.
The Eagles surprised the Giants on a cold and windy day with an onside kick to open the game. However, turnovers have hurt the Eagles all season, and it happened again when Stevie Brown came up with his eighth interception.
Manning needed four plays, finding Randle over the middle for his second touchdown of his rookie season. His third came on the following series when New York went 74 yards in five plays.
The third touchdown was another pass to a rookie, with Wilson catching a 15-yarder, then doing his usual back flip to celebrate.
Notes: Bradshaw finished with 1,015 yards rushing. ...Manning fell 52 yards shy of his fourth straight 4,000 yard passing season. ...Brown's 48-yard return gave him 307 yards in interception returns this season, extending his Giants' single-season record.