- Kieran Darcy, ESPNNewYork.com
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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Giants need a lot of things to go right on Sunday just to get into the playoffs.
Many people have written off the 2012 team and started looking ahead to 2013.
But not Mathias Kiwanuka.
"We have enough guys that were here last year, and enough guys who have two rings, we know that anything can happen," the Giants linebacker said Thursday. "It's all about getting to the playoffs and then making that run."
That's what the Giants did a year ago, winning their final two regular-season games to sneak into the postseason and then surging to the franchise's fourth Super Bowl victory.
The Giants have the exact same record as they did at this point last year -- 8-7. But one more win won't be enough to punch a ticket to the postseason this year.
In addition to beating the Eagles, the Giants need the Lions, Packers and Redskins to win their games on Sunday. The latter two are favored, but the Bears would have to be upset by 4-11 Detroit in order for the Giants to hit the jackpot.
The chances of that happening: 14.4 percent, according to ESPN's NFL Playoffs Predictor.
Perhaps naturally, the Giants' locker room was in a state of limbo on Thursday. There was already some talk about next season, and possible changes to the roster.
"There's going to be a lot of guys that's gone next year," said running back Ahmad Bradshaw. "You never know who's going to be going. It could be me. It could be anybody."
There were laments about what has gone wrong the past 16 weeks. When told the Giants' defense was ranked 30th in the NFL -- third-to-last -- in total yards allowed, defensive tackle Chris Canty said, "That's a fall from grace. It's tough to realize that's the position that we're in, that's the quality of work that we put together. But the facts are the facts."
There was even talk of self-examination. "We haven't played well for two weeks in a row -- matter of fact, we've played very poorly,” said coach Tom Coughlin. "And the reason for that is, we need some real soul-searching, not only by me, but by the people in that locker room."
But there was also hope -- a little, at least.
A few weeks ago, the Giants hung four huge banners in their indoor practice facility, celebrating their four Super Bowl championship teams. Each one contains the name of every player from that particular squad.
A glance up at last year's banner Thursday revealed 42 players who are still with the Giants in 2012 -- a whole lot of championship experience to draw from.
Kiwanuka is one of those 42. And he hasn't given up on hanging banner No. 5 this year.
When asked Thursday about the Giants' inconsistency in terms of making the playoffs -- they've won it all twice in the past five years, but missed the playoffs twice as well -- he said, "I'd rather have the rings to show for it, to be honest with you. [But] that does not mean that we don't want to make a run in the playoffs. That's the objective right now."
"If I had to choose between being consistent in making runs and having rings, I think those (championship) seasons are special," he added. "And we're in the middle of a situation now where we have the ability, we have the chance, the opportunity at least to create another really special situation."
He's right, however you feel about the Giants' chances. And who would have predicted what happened one year ago?
This much is for sure: The story of this Giants team has at least one more chapter.