The reigning Super Bowl champion New York Giants lost any chance of a repeat performance when they were eliminated from playoff consideration despite closing the season with a 42-7 win over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles.
The Giants missed out on the post-season when the Chicago Bears defeated the Detroit Lions 26-24.
New York had needed a win and three different teams to lose in order to grab a wildcard berth.
New York, which squandered a 6-2 start to the regular season, had the inside track to a playoff berth before absorbing one-sided losses to playoff-bound Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 67-14 in the previous two weeks.
Responding to coach Tom Coughlin's call to show their pride in the finale, quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the New Yorkers stormed to a 35-7 lead by intermission.
The lopsided loss signalled the end of a long run for Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid, who was challenged by the team owner to post a winning mark this season.