EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The New York Giants could be in command of the NFC East and close to their first playoff berth since 2011 had they "finished" five games this season.
The Giants (5-7) lost those games by a combined 12 points, and each time they allowed the opponent to either take the lead or tie the game in the final two minutes of regulation:
Here's a rundown of what went wrong in the fruitless five:
—Sept. 13 at Dallas: Cowboys 27, Giants 26.
Dallas outscores New York 14-3 in the final 5:08. Tony Romo hits Jason Witten with a winning 11-yard TD pass to cap a six-play, 72 yard drive with no timeouts. Giants' incomplete third-down pass before a field goal with 1:34 left gave Romo the time he needed.
—Sept. 20 vs. Atlanta: Falcons 24, Giants 20.
An Eli Manning third-quarter fumble at the Falcons 11 prevents New York from expanding a 20-10 lead. The Falcons score two TDs in the final 12:39, going ahead on Devonta Freeman's 2-yard run with 1:14 left, capping a 70-yard drive.
—Nov. 1 at New Orleans: Saints 52, Giants 49.
New York takes a 49-42 lead on an interception return by Trumaine McBride with 7:11 to go. Drew Brees ties the game with :36 remaining with his seventh TD pass. Kai Forbath wins it with a 50-yard field goal on the final snap after a Marcus Murphy punt return and a facemask penalty against punter Brad Wing set up the Saints.
—Nov. 15 vs. New England: Patriots 27-26.
With no timeouts, Tom Brady leads a 12-play, 44-yard drive in the final 1:47 to set up Stephen Gostkowski's winning 54-yard field goal. Giants rookie safety Landon Collins drops a sure interception on the first play of that drive. New York led 20-10 at the half.
—Dec. 6 vs. Jets: Jets 23, Giants 20, OT.
Jets rally from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit after Giants coach Tom Coughlin goes for TD on fourth-and-2 from Jets 4 and fails. Ryan Fitzpatrick hits Brandon Marshall on 9-yard TD pass to tie it with :27 left. Randy Bullock kicks a 31-yard field goal on Jets' opening OT possession and Josh Brown misses tying attempt from 48 yards, his first miss of the season.