Sunday, December 19, 2010
There have been worse than this
By Mark Simon
Cheer up,Giants fans. Sunday's game against the Eagles was a stunning, disgusting, horrifying loss. But on the scale of epically horrendous Giants defeats, this has some pretty significant company. Be glad it wasn't ...
Nov. 19, 1978
Eagles 19, Giants 17
For regular-season defeats, it doesn’t get more epic than this one. You'll see the flashback on SportsCenter probably more times than you can count in the next 24 hours. Quarterback Joe Pisarcik, rather than take a knee, fumbles on his own 26-yard line in the final seconds and Herm Edwards scoops the ball up and runs it in for the winning score.
The Giants, 5-6 and in the playoff hunt entering the game, won one of their last four games after that humiliating loss and finished 6-10
This one didn't feature an epic collapse (the Rams hit a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter to tie) but featured an ending that left mouths agape at the Meadowlands. Jim Everett hit Flipper Anderson on a 30-yard touchdown throw just 1:06 into overtime. Anderson never broke stride after making the catch, disappearing down the end zone tunnel for the a victory celebration.
Leading 22-13 late with a little more than four minutes left at the snowy Meadowland and the Vikings having basically conceded by punting, the Giants gave away their season in a stunning turn of events. After getting the ball back at midfield (thanks to a bad punt by Brad Maynard, who now has some company in Matt Dodge), the Vikings cut the Giants lead to 22-20 when Randall Cunningham threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Jake Reed.
The Vikings then successfully recovered an onside kick that bounced off the hands of Giants receiver Chris Calloway, and drove for the win. A pass interference penalty and a 16-yard run by Robert Smith set up Eddie Murray's chip-shot 23-yard field goal for the lead. Ten seconds later, the Giants' season was over.
After winning their final four regular season games, the 2002 Giants had momentum and a big lead in San Francisco, and appeared to be on the way to an easy win.
But the Giants collapsed, blowing a 38-14 advantage with 19 minutes remaining. Quarterback Jeff Garcia and wide receiver Terrell Owens were the key figures in the comeback, combining on a touchdownand two-point conversion.
The Giants botched a chance to win when long snapper Trey Junkin's bad snap forced holder Matt Allen into a desperation pass that fell incomplete as time expired.
It would be a long time before Giants fans could feel good about their team again. The Giants went 4-12 and 6-10 over the next two seasons. The 2010 Giants hope a similar hangover doesn't await them.