With the exception of the Indianapolis Colts, no team seemed to be more disappointed with its finish to the 2005 season than the New York Giants. Their disastrous playoff loss to Carolina was not only unexpected but it also appeared to create some dissension within the locker room.
Team leader Tiki Barber openly questioned head coach Tom Coughlin's game plan versus Carolina and his apparent inability to make adjustments during the game. The two have since patched things up, but Barber's comments were not that far out of line. Carolina had a masterful game plan -- especially on defense. The Panthers went after quarterback Eli Manning all day with a variety of in-line stunts. The Giants' offensive line used a man-blocking scheme and simply could not deal with Carolina's loops and twists. They never switched to a zone-blocking concept, and that may have incited Barber to make those comments.
Whatever caused their demise against Carolina, the Giants were a frustrated team in the immediate aftermath. However, time has healed a lot of these wounds and the Giants have quietly put together a very productive offseason.