The Giants and Any Given Sunday

From 1978 to 2019, 249 teams started the year 2-4 – the average finish of those teams was 6-10. 22 (8.8%) of them made the playoffs, 0 of them were league champions.

Next week the Giants host the Cardinals in what would be a major disappointment for Giant fans if the Giants do not get a win.

If The Giants win and go to 3-4. From 1978 to 2019, 257 teams started the year 3-4 – the average finish of those teams was 7-9. 46 (17.9%) of them made the playoffs, 1 of them were league champions. Not only does the historical playoff teams double but there was a Super Bowl Champion among them

That was the 2001 Patriots. They were starting what could be considered a rookie quarterback. Brady had only 3 pass attempts his 2000 rookie season. Also the Patriots had a second year coach. Belichick led his 2000 team to only a 5-11 record. The 2001 Patriots were 24th in the league in passing yards defense, 19th in net yards per drive on offense and 24th in net yards per drive on defense. Overall their defense was ranked 24th in the league.

Likewise the 2019 Giants are starting their rookie quarterback and have a second year coach coming off a 5-11 season. So far the 2019 Giants are 30th in passing yards defense, 19th in net yards per drive on offense and 26th in net yards per drive on defense.

Just some interesting similarities.

That 2001 season the Patriots would go on after their 3-4 start to win 8 of their remaining 9 games to finish 11-5.  The great thing about the start of a season is that all team’s are still in it. No one is mathematically eliminated.

The Giants played the 2019 Patriots tough and were still in the game into the fourth quarter. If they can hang in with the Patriots with a depleted Giant team roster, they should be able to compete against anyone. The return of Saquon Barkley will be a huge boost for the team. Golden Tate showed what a valuable player he can be. The defense showed that they can pressure the quarterback.

I think the coach needs to be more aggressive. He made some “safe” calls against the Vikings and the Pats that backfired. The run on the one yard line that resulted in a safety was one. The punt on fourth and two that netted only 30 yards and resulted in a Patriots scoring drive was another.  But he has the team unified and playing hard. Missing is the drama that seems to be rearing itself around the league.

People will take shots at fans that hope for playoff possibilities on losing teams. How dare teams under .500 hope for the playoffs! I don’t know about other teams but this Giant team comes to win every Sunday. They take it one game at a time and give 100% for four quarters. Daniel Jones going for the tackle on Kyle Van Noy’s fumble recovery to try to stop the touchdown shows what this team is made of. So does Marcus Golden’s return of the Brady fumble for 42 yards and stretching, contorting his body to get the touchdown. Don’t mind the naysayers.

It is a fan’s right to hope against the odds. The 2007 Superbowl winning Giants were preseason +3000 to win the Super Bowl. The 2001 New England Patriots were +6000. The 1999 Rams were +15,000 to win the Super Bowl. They had to rely on a former Arena football player named Kurt Warner due to quarterback injury. On any given Sunday anything can happen.

Or in the 1973 words of Yogi Bera when his Mets were in last place – “It ain’t over till it’s over”. The Mets would go on to win the division title.




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