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 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -The New York Giants weren't celebrating their first NFC East title since 2005 on Monday.
Enduring a one-sided loss to the Philadelphia Eagles at home on Sunday afternoon and backing into the title about three hours later when Dallas coughed up a late lead to Pittsburgh took most of the fun out of the accomplishment.
``No party hats,'' quarterback Eli Manning said after the Giants (11-2) reviewed video of the somewhat one-sided 20-14 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. ``Obviously we didn't break out the 2008 NFC East champion hats at the time.''
There was little reason to be happy after the Super Bowl champions saw their seven-game winning streak snapped.
While they won the division, the Giants failed to lock up a first-round bye. What was embarrassing was the way the Eagles beat them at their own game, controlling the clock with the run while their defense held them to a season-low 211 yards.
oday the spirits were pretty good,'' Manning said. ``Obviously guys are disappointed, but we are not hanging our heads, we are not moping around here. We know we have some big games ahead of us and right now we are playing to try to get better. Our goal is to get better and get back to playing our style of football.''
The Giants didn't do that on either side of the ball.
The offense never seemed to get a rhythm. It was 3-of-11 on third-down conversions and it failed on all three fourth-down tries.
When the big plays were there, someone dropped the ball. Domenik Hixon, who was replacing suspended receiver Plaxico Burress, dropped a 50-yarder early in the second quarter that had the potential to go all the way.
Manning insisted the offense did not totally break down. He said there were plays to be made, but the Giants didn't make them the way they have most of the season.
On the other side, the Eagles wore down the Giants defense with nearly 35 minutes of possession. They converted 12-of-18 third-down attempts and rushed for 144 yards, which tied the season high by an opponent.
Coincidentally, the Cleveland Browns were the other team. They handed New York its first loss.
we'll come out next week with a little more fire.''
The Giants will need some energy with their schedule. They will be facing three desperate teams down the stretch.
It starts Sunday night at Dallas (8-5), which is fighting to be a wild card. Carolina, which is battling Tampa Bay for the NFC South title, will be at Giants Stadium for the penultimate game. New York wraps up the regular season at Minnesota (8-5), which leads the NFC North by a game with three weeks to go.
``We have some cleaning up to do,'' linebacker Danny Clark said. ``For all intents and purposes, it's good that we got a little chip. We don't feel good about the performance we had yesterday. At the end of the day, we took a shot under our chin. We are going to lick our wounds and bounce back.''
Having Dallas on tap can't hurt.
``There is not going to be any lack of motivation on either side and it is going to be a great game to be a part of,'' center Shaun O'Hara said. ``It is a Sunday night game so everybody is going to be jacked-up and it certainly does have other implications for both teams, but I think that is just icing on the cake.''
Manning said the Giants, who beat Dallas 35-14 earlier this season when Tony Romo was hurt, have just as much at stakes as the Cowboys.
ighting for a playoff berth and we're fighting for home field and a first-round bye.''
Coach Tom Coughlin, who congratulated his team on the division title before going over Sunday's mistakes, said not to make too much out of one loss.
``We do have 11 wins,'' said Coughlin, who reiterated that the distractions surrounding Burress' suspension last week had nothing to do with the bad game. ``So let's not overreact. Everybody has to be honest about yesterday. Go back to two weeks ago. The Washington game was a solid football game, very well played. Yesterday wasn't.''

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