Giant Meltdown as Bad as It Gets

Giants fans can’t cope with their team’s miserable play down the stretch.

Move over, choke artists. Teams like the 1964 Phillies, 1978 Red Sox and 2004 Yankees, or the 1978 Redskins and 1993 Dolphins. Golfers like Greg Norman at the 1996 Masters and Jean Van de Velde at the 1999 British Open. You’ve got company.

The monumental collapse of the New York Giants rivals all those and more. Unless the Giants beat the Redskins, get help and somehow make the playoffs, it will go down as the greatest late-season meltdown in NFL history.

How historic was the Giants collapse? New York’s defense gave up 73 points in a little over a full game, between the 28-point, fourth quarter Meadowlands meltdown, including DeSean Jackson’s game-ending punt return, pictured below, against the Eagles and the last score in the 45-17 disaster at Green Bay.

The NFL record for most points in a game occurred in the 1940 championship game, when the Chicago Bears crushed the Washington Redskins, 73-0. Do the math — the Giants gave up 73 points in their collapse — all in just a little more than four quarters. 64 minutes and eight seconds to be exact. That’s incredible.

How monumental was the Giants fall? The Giants were on the verge of wrapping up a  two seed and first round bye before it all fell down. It’s tough to find a more horrible collapse in NFL history.

Other NFL Collapses
The 1978 Redskins began the season with six straight wins, and ended with five consecutive losses to finish 8-8. That same year, the first Miracle at the Meadowlands occurred, a portent of things to come in Giants- Eagles games..

The 1993 Dolphins had a big fall. On Thanksgiving Day that year, Miami defeated the Dallas Cowboys on the Leon Lett play to improve to 9-2. But they lost their last five games and missed the playoffs.

The 2003 Vikings had a potent offense led by Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss. They started the season 6-0, but then when into a tailspin and lost seven of their 10 games. With a chance to salvage their season in the final game, they gave up a late touchdown and lost to the Arizona Cardinals, 18-17.

Back in the days before the Super Bowl, when there were no playoffs, just a championship game between division champions, there were some memorable collapses.

In 1957,  the 49ers, playing the Detroit Lions for the Western Conference title,  blew a 27-7 third quarter lead at Kezar Stadium (now known as Bob St. Clair Field in San Francisco and lost to the Detroit Lions, 31-27. The Lions went on to beat the Cleveland Browns, 59-14, the following week for the NFL Championship. They haven’t won one since.

In 1958, the Cleveland Browns, needing only a win or a tie, lost to the Giants,13-10, on Pat Summerall’s late field goal in the swirling Yankee Stadium snow. That forced an Eastern Division playoff the following week, which the Giants won 10-0. The Giants went on to lose the NFL Championship to the Baltimore Colts 23-17 in overtime in what is called “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”

Unless the Giants somehow rebound to get into the playoffs, their collapse will be the one that sets the standard for all others.

Misery loves company.