It Doesn’t Get Any Worse Than This

A punt return by Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson on the final play of the game put the capper on an thinkable collapse by the New York Giants.

It’s hard to imagine a more crushing loss than the one the Giants suffered on Sunday to the Philadelphia Eagles when they blow a three-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter. New York lost on a 65-yard punt return on the final play of the game — the first time in NFL history a game has ended on a punt return for a touchdown.

This qualifies as the worst loss in the 85-year history of the franchise. Not only did they blow a huge lead to a division rival at home, they lost a chance to put a stranglehold on the NFC East and an almost certain playoff spot.

It was an epic collapse by a team that was once considered a Super Bowl contender. Now the Giants, coming off a stunning loss, will have to fight just to make the playoffs.

Already the vultures are circling. There are reports that Bill Cowher is ready to return to coaching, with his sights set on the Giants and Tom Coughlin.

“I’ve never been around anything like this in my life,” said Coughlin after the Meadowlands meltdown. “It’s about as empty as you get to feel in this business.”

The Giants have had some bad losses over the years, but the “Miracle at the New Meadowlands” is the worst. It beats out monumental playoff collapses against the 49ers and Vikings, and the original “Miracle at the Meadowlands”, also against the Eagles, when the Giants failed to take a knee and end the game.

Those playoff losses were brutal, and of course there’s no tomorrow after a playoff loss. And that loss to the Eagles in the original “Miracle” game was devastating yes, but remember the Giants were a terrible team then, mired in an 18-year playoff drought.

But yesterday was a total, unthinkable team collapse and the worst loss in New York Football Giants history.

Giant Bummers: 10 Worst Losses in Big Blue History

Eagles 38, Giants 31, Dec. 19, 2010 — Eagles rally from a 31-10 deficit in the fourth quarter and win the game on a punt return by DeSean Jackson.

49ers 39, Giants 38, Jan. 5, 2003 — Giants blow 38-14 lead, lose to 49ers in controversial, wild card playoff finish.

Eagles 19, Giants 17, Nov. 19, 1978 — In the original “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” Herm Edwards returns fumble for TD win as Giants fail to run out clock, below right.

Vikings 23, Giants 22, Dec. 27, 1997 — Vikings overcome 19-3 halftime lead, score 10 points in last 1:30 to win wild card playoff.

Rams 19, Giants 13, OT, Jan. 7, 1990 — Jim Everett throws touchdown to Flipper Anderson in overtime as Ram win divisional playoff.

Bears 14, Giants 10, Dec, 29, 1963 — Bears capitalize on five Y.A. Tittle interceptions to beat Giants for NFL title at Wrigley Field.

Redskins 72, Giants 41, Nov. 27, 1966 — Giants allow NFL record 72 points to Redskins, who add insult to injury with late field goal.

Jets 37, Giants 14, Aug. 17, 1969 — It was only a pre-season game, but with the win the Super Bowl champion Jets legitimized themselves in New York.

Ravens 34, Giants 7, Jan. 28,  2001 — Ravens defense overwhelms Giants at Super Bowl XXXV in Tampa.

Colts 23, Giants 17, OT, Dec. 28, 1958 — In “The Greatest Game Ever Played,” Giants lose to Colts in only overtime championship game in NFL history.

For extra measure, a few more crushing defeats:

Bears 23, Giants 21, Dec. 17, 1933 — Bears tally a late touchdown on trick play to win first NFL championship game.

Cowboys 16, Giants 13, OT, Jan. 2, 1993 — Emmitt Smith runs for 168 yards as Cowboys beat Giants to clinch NFC East.

Jets 27, Giants 21, Dec. 18, 1988 — With a playoff berth on the line, crosstown rival Jets rally to beat Giants in final minutes.

Browns 8, Giants 3, Dec. 17, 1950 — After beating Cleveland twice in regular season, Giants lose to Browns in playoff for conference title.