Home » Blog » Winless Giants Looking to Avoid 0-5 Start

Winless Giants Looking to Avoid 0-5 Start

Victor Cruz has had little to smile about as the New York Giants have crashed to 0-4.

Victor Cruz has had little to smile about as the New York Giants have crashed to 0-4.

Ahead of the season the New York Jets once again found themselves in media crosshairs and headlining the back pages. Rex Ryan’s antics coupled with uncertainty at quarterback and an unproven roster had many expecting Gang Green to struggle in 2013. As it stands, the Jets have fought tooth and nail (sort of) to a 2-2 record and will arrive on Monday Night Football this week with a superior record to the hotly-tipped Atlanta Falcons. For the other half of New York, a 2-2 record is something of a pipedream right now.

The New York Giants held tight for nearly three quarters last Sunday before eventually falling 31-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss sank the G-Men to 0-4 for the first time in more than 25 years. Now the team faces a huge challenge to get anything out of this season, beginning with a tough game at MetLife Stadium this weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Schedule_NYG_wk5Seeing the Giants struggle this early on in the season is a bona fide rarity. The team has gone 2-2 or better through four games every year since 1998. When Big Blue did open 1-3 in 1997, it finished with a 10-5-1 record and a playoff berth. That was something worth boasting about, unlike 1-3 starts in 1992, 1995 and 1996.

As for starting 0-4, the blue side of New York is certainly unaccustomed to such a dubious accolade. The last time the Giants opened a season winless through four games was 1987, a season after winning Super Bowl XXI. The Giants actually opened 0-5 that year.

However, the 1987 season was notorious for its player strike, which saw Week 3 erased from the schedule and replacement players take over the reins for weeks 4-6 (see Keanu Reeves stinker The Replacements for a not very good interpretation of this). It’s perhaps only fair then to scrap that start from the record books then, particularly as the team finished 6-6 when playing with genuine New York Giants players.

Looking back further, in 1979 the Giants began the year 0-5 before finishing 6-10. With no extenuating circumstances, that officially has to go down as the Giants’ worst start to a season since the NFL adopted a 16-game schedule that same year.

Big Blue’s worst start in the Super Bowl era came two years earlier in 1976, a year the team opened 0-9 before finishing with a 3-11 record. Prior to that, a 0-4-1 start in 1966 and a 0-7-2 start in 1947 were low water markers for the team.

If you look a little closer at this brief but insightful timeline, you may notice one thing seems constant: when starting the season 0-4, the Giants have never won their fifth game. Not in 1987. Not in 1979. Not in 1976. And not in those pre-Super Bowl days.

That’s bad news heading into Sunday’s divisional game against the Eagles.

Here’s something else bettors may wish to consider. In both 1976 and 1979, the Giants lost to the Eagles both at home and on the road. Granted, the team did beat the Eagles in a pair of matchups in 1987, but both came after the strike had run its course and ‘proper’ football was taking place on a Sunday.

The last thing Tom Coughlin can do is to follow that trend and allow his team lose against the Eagles this weekend.

Life in the blue camp hasn’t exactly been great this week. A laundry list of injuries continues to hamper the team while certain parties have tried to make a big deal out of a supposed verbal altercation between Coughlin and receiver Victor Cruz, who is commonly regarded as the only bright spot in the Giants’ offense. Then Justin Tuck threatened to punch any player who turns on Coughlin, which amused former Giant, Chris Canty.


Despite all of this, slow starts from the Eagles and Washington Redskins, and the Dallas Cowboys’ inability to close out two games against AFC West opposition mean that the NFC East remains up for grabs, and even the winless Giants are still in the hunt, provided they start winning sooner rather than later. A division win over Philadelphia would count double in this current scenario.

The Giants have struggled in recent years against Philadelphia though. Last year’s win at MetLife Stadium on December 30 snapped a five-game losing skid against the Eagles. Furthermore, Philadelphia has won eight of the last 10 and gone 17-9 in the last 26 meetings between the two sides. It appears as if history is continuing to pile it on the Giants.

Philadelphia Eagles vs. New York Giants odds for 10/06/13 are available now.

Despite all of the team’s woes mentioned above, the Giants opened as the favorite. Home field advantage seems to have stretched a long way in this one. Of course, Eli Manning may well have been tapping his brother Peyton for information on how to beat the Eagles, an assignment the Denver Broncos easily achieved in Week 2.

The spread opened at 4 but has slipped as low as 1 with 72 hours still to go until kickoff and could flip in favor of Philadelphia before all is said and done. The Eagles have not covered the spread since their opening game. The Giants haven’t covered the spread period.

The total opened at 55 but has slipped to 53.5. The Eagles have proven they can score against suspect defenses (Washington, San Diego). With just seven points in the last two games, the Giants have not. Philadelphia (3-1-0) has favored the over while the Giants (2-2-0) have split the over/under evenly through the opening four weeks.

The Giants and Eagles will bookend October, playing this coming Sunday (1:00 p.m. ET) before meeting again in Week 8 (Oct. 28). By the time that game rolls around, the Giants will be hoping to be pushing for a 4-4 record. Successfully completing that mission begins this week at the home of Super Bowl XLVIII, a game that the Giants still hope to (miraculously) appear in.

  • 100%