A concerning statistic has emerged that could spell the end of the New York Giants' time at the top of the NFC East, and it could ultimately determine if they will make the playoffs this year.
According to Kimberly Jones of NFL Network on Twitter, the NFC East franchise has had four losses this season in games which they led in final two minutes of the fourth quarter.
This is most in Giants history, and it is also one shy of the single-season record held by the 2000 San Diego Chargers. This statistic has been recorded since 1983.
SIGN UP NOW
Want to become a GMS writer? Sign up now and submit a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay4
Looking back to that 2000 San Diego season, the team finished fifth in the old AFC West format with a 1-15 record, so there is no comparison on that front as the Giants are currently 5-5.
However, you can't deny this lack of clutchness near the end of the game by the Giants could determine the team's playoff hopes this year and the future of some members of the franchise. They could have had at least another four wins under their belts.
The Giants narrowly lost to the New England Patriots last weekend thanks to a field goal in the dying embers of the game. They can't pinpoint the game though on that kick going through the posts or not, as they had three possessions in the fourth quarter which only one ended with a field goal, the rest were punts.
Their lack of clutch play is starting to show as evidence from Jones' tweet and maybe it's time to start pointing fingers. Maybe it was a mistake to give both head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning new contracts before the start of the 2015 season because it's the same old story. The Giants are once again on the verge of missing out on the playoffs.
It's fair to say they have improved upon recent years as they look set to finish .500 or above this year but to achieve that in the NFC East isn't exactly something to brag about right now. 5-5 is an embarrassing record to be leading the division with, and they could be dethroned this week as the Giants are on a bye.
The remaining six games for the Giants include three against teams with above .500 records, and three teams with below .500 records, meaning an 8-8 finish is likely. Their performance in two-minute situations at the end of the game must be improved in this bye week, otherwise they could have a worse finishing record this season of 8-8 and miss out on the playoffs entirely.