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Top 10 Worst NY Giants Seasons of All-Time


New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on Nov. 23, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Via ibtimes.com

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning against the Washington Redskins at FedExField on Nov. 23, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images. Via ibtimes.com

The 2017 New York Giants finished with the most losses in one season in team history. But was 2017 the worst Giants season of all-time?

I’ve been on this blue and green marble for 37 years. When the Giants won their first Super Bowl in January 1987, I’d been six years old for less than three months. My memory is a mish-mash of mashed potatoes — some things I remember, others I can’t forget, lots of dark spots. The only reason I remember the Bears shutting out the Giants in the 1985 playoffs is because it was on the Giants Among Men VHS. So, since the ’86 championship year, I’ve successfully consumed and retained 32 seasons of Giants football.

In those 32 seasons, I’ve seen three more Lombardis. But, I’ve also seen 12 losing seasons and four campaigns in which they broke even. The ’90s were rough: Ray Handley, Dan Reeves, and letting Bill Parcells slip away to settle for Jim Fassel. Yet, I’ve never witnessed four losing seasons in five years. Until 2017.

As bad as it’s been — and it’s been HISTORIC LEVEL ALL-TIME BAD — every sunset has a sunrise, every dusk has its dawn. Before we completely put 2017 in our rearview mirror, let’s put it in perspective. Once you’re done reading, you might get a lil’ pep in your 3-step drop.

First off…

Dishonorable Mentions:

2009 – A year removed from home-field advantage through the NFC playoffs. Jet Blue (Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham) was born. Steve Smith goes to the Pro Bowl. 5-0 start, 3-8 finish = 8-8 record, no playoffs, third place finish. Top 10 in points on offense but lots of fumbles. Third most points per game allowed on defense and bottom 10 in turnovers.

1998 – A year after the ’97 Giants blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead to the Vikings at home in the Wild Card round. Danny Kannell stinks. Kent Graham replaces Kannell and led the G-Men to an upset win over the undefeated Broncos. A four-game winning streak to finish the season nearly propelled New York into the playoffs for the final playoff spot.

1991 – A year after the ’90 Giants win the Super Bowl. Bill Parcells leaves. Ray Handley’s in. QB controversy. Handley names Jeff Hostetler the starter. Phil comes back in and earns a higher QB rating but a worse record than Hoss. Lawrence Taylor has a down year – 7 sacks in 14 games. Giants defense is a shell of itself.

2013 – At the time, the 0-6 start seemed like an anomaly; something we’d never ever see again. The offense finished fifth-worst in points per game. Eli Manning had his worst season since his rookie year, leading the league in interceptions. The run game was non-existent as the running back position was a turnstile. The team had to bring in Peyton Hillis and bring back Brandon Jacobs. Woof. The D was NYG’s lone bright spot.

2001 – A year after Jim Fassel pushed all his chips into the middle of the table and sent the 2000 Giants to the Super Bowl. 9/11. 3-1 start followed by two back-to-back, gut-wrenching one-point losses (to the Super Bowl-bound Rams and division champion Eagles). The offense throws A LOT. Lots of passing yards, not so many points. The Giants pass defense falls apart behind a pair of rookie corners – Will Allen and Will Peterson. It still really hurts the Giants traded up to select Allen while the Colts, the team NY traded with, picked Reggie Wayne. It also still hurts the Giants traded down to get Will Peterson and the Lions selected Shaun Rogers. Michael Strahan’s bullshit sack record.

1987 – A year after the team’s first Super Bowl appearance and win. Strike year. 0-5 start, three of those losses are with replacement players, 6-9 record. No playoffs. Mark Bavaro and Carl Banks are All-Pro Pro Bowlers.

1928 – 4-2-1 start followed by a tie then five straight losses. 12 total touchdowns in 13 games. Yikes.

1995 – A year after the ’94 Giants nearly make the playoffs on a six-game winning streak to cap the season. The ’95 Giants offense is Rodney Hampton and nothing else. Dave Brown blows. Tommy Maddox is even worse, throwing an interception on 13% of attempts. Big Blue’s defense was incredible against the pass but trash against the run.

1971 – This was the Fran Tarkenton era. Offense led the league in pass attempts, third in passing yards. Couldn’t run the ball. Tarkenton threw almost twice as many INTs than TDs. Defense was second worst in scoring.

You thought that sucked? Buckle up…

Top 10 worst NY Giants seasons of all-time:

10. 2003 NY Giants

Record: 4-12-0, 4th NFC East Division
Coach: Jim Fassel (4-12-0)
Points For: 243 (15.2/g) 30th of 32
Points Against: 387 (24.2/g) 29th of 32
Defensive Coordinator: Johnny Lynn
Notable Assistant: Running Backs coach Eric Studesville (interviewed for Giants head coach vacancy in ’18)

A year after the ’02 Giants went 10-6, made the playoffs as a dangerous Wild Card then blew a monster lead to the 49ers. The team released Matt Bryant after that circus-like last play / blown call in the Wild Card game. Bryant went on to become an all-time great kicker for the Falcons.

A 4-4 start that saw two overtime wins (Redskins and Jets) and a completely avoidable overtime loss to the Cowboys. Followed by eight straight losses to round out the season. Kerry Collins struggled (throwing more interceptions than touchdowns) then got hurt then got shown the door. Jesse Palmer showed why he belongs on television with a microphone in a suit seducing Bachelorettes. Strahan was an All-Pro Pro Bowler but the rest of the defense stunk out loud.

On the bright side, the poor finish allowed the Giants to trade first-round draft pick Philip Rivers to the San Diego Chargers for their first overall pick Eli Manning. I’d say the trade paid off, though some would argue Rivers on the Giants might’ve won more games.

9. 1980 NY Giants

Record: 4-12-0, 5th NFC East Division
Coach: Ray Perkins (4-12-0)
Points For: 249 (15.6/g) 26th of 28
Points Against: 425 (26.6/g) 27th of 28
Defensive Coordinator: Ralph Hawkins
Notable Assistant: Special Teams Coach Bill Belichick

Phil Simms‘ second year. 1-8 start. Handful of blowout losses. Lots of passes, not a lot of yards. Put it this way, punter Dave Jennings was an All-Pro Pro Bowler. Linebacker Brad Van Pelt made the Pro Bowl. The defense was horrendous against the run but middle of the road against the pass. The silver lining to this season was it resulted in the Giants drafting Lawrence Taylor.

8. 1953 NY Giants

Record: 3-9-0, 5th East Division
Coach: Steve Owen (3-9-0)
Points For: 179 (14.9/g) 12th of 12
Points Against: 277 (23.1/g) 9th of 12

Quarterback Charlie Conerly nearly threw twice as many interceptions as he did touchdowns. Bill Mackrides threw three INTS to 1 touchdown and Arnie Galiffa tossed FIVE INTERCEPTIONS in 13 ATTEMPTS!!! The only one who didn’t throw a pick was Frank Gifford. Gifford was a Pro Bowler along with Kyle Rote and Emlen Tunnell.

7. 1976 NY Giants

Record: 3-11-0, 5th NFC East Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Bill Arnsparger (0-7-0) and John McVay (3-4-0)
Points For: 170 (12.1/g) 25th of 28
Points Against: 250 (17.9/g) 14th of 28
Notable Assistant: Linebackers Coach Marty Schottenheimer

The first season in Giants Stadium in the swamp of the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, NJ. Switched the helmet logo from the stylized “NY” to the all caps GIANTS. 0-9 start. SHEESH!

Craig Morton and Norm Snead combined to form one of the league’s worst quarterback tandems. The top two receivers were tight end Bob Tucker and running back Doug Kotar. LB Brad Van Pelt was the lone Pro Bowler.

6. 2017 NY Giants

Record: 3-13-0, 4th NFC East Division
Coach: Steve Spagnuolo (1-3-0) and Ben McAdoo (2-10-0)
Points For: 246 (15.4/g) 31st of 32
Points Against: 388 (24.3/g) 27th of 32
Offensive Coordinator: Mike Sullivan
Defensive Coordinator: Steve Spagnuolo
Notable Assistant: QB Coach Frank Cignetti

If this post were about the most disappointing seasons in Giants franchise history, 2017 would probably be numero uno. Coming off their first playoff appearance in five years — an embarrassing Wild Card loss to the Packers in Green Bay — the 2017 Giants looked like a Super Bowl contender before preseason.

The offense got Brandon Marshall to help alleviate the offense’s red zone woes. Cut ties with expensive starters Victor Cruz and Rashad Jennings. Let Marshall Newhouse walk. Stuck with Ereck Flowers, John Jerry, and Bobby Hart. Paul Perkins was poised to become a breakout star. Shane Vereen was healthy.

The defense had Darian Thompson fully healthy. B.J. Goodson emerged as the starter in the middle. Eli Apple was expected to take another step in the right direction.

Cut to Week 5 against the Chargers. 0-4 start. All the wide receivers die. Commence tailspin. Eli benched. Streak broken. Ben McAdoo fired. Jerry Reese fired. Record number of players on IR.

Enter new GM Dave Gettleman. See ya, Bobby Hart. Ereck Flowers benched. Goodbye, Marc Ross. Hello, #2 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

  • After the horrendous 1980 season, the Giants picked the franchise’s greatest linebacker LT in the ’81 Draft.
  • After the brutal 1983 season, the Giants selected Carl Banks in the ’84 Draft.
  • After the trainwreck 2003 season, the Giants swapped picks to get the franchise’s greatest quarterback Eli in the ’04 Draft.

Could we see another franchise player drafted in 2018? I sure af hope so.

5. 1983 NY Giants

Record: 3-12-1, 5th NFC East Division
Coach: Bill Parcells (3-12-1)
Points For: 267 (16.7/g) 25th of 28
Points Against: 347 (21.7/g) 16th of 28
Offensive Coordinator: Ron Erhardt
Notable Assistants: LB Coach Bill Belichick and Special Teams Coach Romeo Crennel

In Bill Parcells‘ first year as a head coach was his worst year as a head coach. Tuna infamously sat Simms. Phil requested a trade. Scott Brunner was a turnover machine (22 INTs vs 9 TDs), so Parcells inserts Simms and, of course, he suffers a season-ending injury. The ground game was bottom of the barrel with Rob Carpenter and Butch Woolfolk splitting carries and Joe Morris third on the depth chart. Top receiver Earnest Gray garnered the only 1,000-yard season of his career.

The Giants defense was top 5 against the run, but susceptible to allowing scores through the air. Lawrence Taylor shared the team lead in sacks with George Martin and was an All-Pro Pro Bowler. Mark Haynes and Harry Carson also made the Pro Bowl.

As mentioned, the poor record in ’83 led to a high draft pick in ’84, which led to Carl Banks.

4. 1973 NY Giants

Record: 2-11-1, 5th NFC East Division
Coach: Alex Webster (2-11-1)
Points For: 226 (16.1/g) 20th of 26
Points Against: 362 (25.9/g) 22nd of 26
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Walton
Defensive Coordinator: Jim Garrett
Stadium: Yankee Stadium & Yale Bowl

Alex Webster‘s last season was his worst. The former Coach of the Year in 1970 saw quarterback Norm Snead throw 22 interceptions to 7 touchdowns despite the passing offense putting up the second most yards in the league. Webster’s kicker Pete Gogolak went 4 of 11 on field goals over 40 yards.

Tight end Bob Tucker led the team in receptions and receiving yards. Pete Athas led the team in interceptions. No All-Pros. No Pro Bowlers. I’m sure not having a permanent home stadium didn’t help.

Goddamn, the ’70s sucked for the Giants. The decade only saw two winning seasons.

3. 1974 NY Giants

Record: 2-12-0, 5th NFC East Division
Coach: Bill Arnsparger (2-12-0)
Points For: 195 (13.9/g) 22nd of 26
Points Against: 299 (21.4/g) 23rd of 26
Stadium: Yale Bowl

The Giants fired Alex Webster and hired Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator Bill Arnsparger. In his four-year tenure in Miami, the Dolphins defenses were a top-5 unit. In his 2.5 seasons with the Giants, Arnsparger’s offenses and defenses were bottom-5 groups.

Craig Morton came over from Dallas. Norm Snead would eventually go to San Fran. And it doesn’t get much more ’70 Giants than reuniting these two in ’76 for another dreadful effort. Wowza.

Big Blue had six losses by a touchdown or less.

2. 1964 NY Giants

Record: 2-10-2, 7th East Division
Coach: Allie Sherman (2-10-2)
Points For: 241 (17.2/g) 13th of 14
Points Against: 399 (28.5/g) 14th of 14
Defensive Coordinator: Andy Robustelli
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

This was Big Blue’s first losing season since 1953. It would be Y.A. Tittle‘s last season of football and it was one of his worst. The 38-year-old tossed 22 picks to 10 touchdowns and fumbled 11 times. Tight end Aaron Thomas led the team in receptions, yards, and touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl. Fellow Pro Bowl Cornerback Erich Barnes returned an interception and fumble for touchdowns.

1. 1966 NY Giants

Record: 1-12-1, 8th East Division (Schedule and Results)
Coach: Allie Sherman (1-12-1)
Points For: 263 (18.8/g) 12th of 15
Points Against: 501 (35.8/g) 15th of 15
Defensive Coordinator: Pop Ivy
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

WHEW! Glad I wasn’t alive to witness this debacle. The worst Giants defense of all-time. That unit allowed 72 points to Washington, 52 to Dallas, 55 to the Rams, 49 to Cleveland, and 47 to Pittsburgh.

***

Time to put the fret to bed, Giants fans. With Get ‘Em Gettleman as GM and a new head coach that doesn’t look like an evil version of PC Principal from South Park, the 2018 Giants will bring the organization back to its winning ways. Or, at the very least, they won’t end up on this list.

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