New York Giants: The History of Big Blue Following the Bye Week

Doug RushSenior Analyst INovember 17, 2012

New York Giants: The History of Big Blue Following the Bye Week

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    Heading into their bye week, the New York Giants look like a team that needs a breather.

    After 10 weeks of non-stop games, the Giants will finally be able to get some rest and get their players and coaches a mental breather from preparing for another opponent.

    They won't see action again until November 25 at home against the Green Bay Packers.

    The Packers game is the first of their final six games they will play in the 2012 season and starts a very grueling end to their schedule.

    This bye week coming up in Week 11 for the Giants is one of the later ones that the team has had in recent time.

    How do the Giants play after their bye weeks in recent history?

    Let's look back and take a look under the Tom Coughlin era.

2004

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    At the time of their bye week, the Giants were shocking some people in 2004.

    After getting blown out in Week 1, they went on to win four straight and head into their Week 6 bye with a record of 4-1.

    The following week against the Detroit Lions, they were trailing 14-10 at halftime and got smoked in the second half as the Lions won, 28-13.

    After that game, the Giants won the following week against the Minnesota Vikings, but then proceeded to lose the next eight games in a row, which dropped them from 5-2 to 5-10.

    I always look at 2004 as a transition year. It was the first season under the Tom Coughlin era, plus the Giants went from Kurt Warner to a rookie Eli Manning in Week 11.

    Record after bye: 2-9

2005

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    The 2005 season was the first full year with Eli Manning as the Giants starting quarterback.

    They looked like a playoff contender early on and got off to a 3-1 start before their Week 5 bye week.

    In Week 6, they returned to action facing their hated NFC East rivals, the Dallas Cowboys, at Texas Stadium.

    It was a typical hard-fought game between two NFC East rivals, which ended up having to go to overtime.

    Cowboys kicker Jose Cortez kicked the game-winning, 45-yard field goal to give Dallas the 16-13 victory and dropped the Giants to 3-2 on the year.

    After the loss, the Giants rebounded to win the next four out of five and won eight out of their final 11 games to win the NFC East at 11-5.

    Record after bye: 8-3

2006

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    The 2006 season was the one year that Tom Coughlin was closest to being fired as head coach.

    The Giants were 1-2 before their even earlier bye week in Week 4.

    In Week 5, the Giants returned home to play the Washington Redskins, and they dominated them in every part of the field.

    The Giants defense held Washington to just three points, Jay Feely had four field goals and Eli Manning threw one touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. The Giants won easily, 19-3.

    That win was the first of five straight wins for the Giants, who got off to a 6-2 start.

    After that, the Giants fell to 1-6 and went into their final game of the regular season 7-8 and on the bubble of the postseason.

    There were rumblings that if the Giants missed the playoffs, Coughlin would get fired, but the Giants won the finale against the Redskins, 34-28, and they got in as the final NFC Wild Card team.

    Record after bye: 7-6

2007

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    Coughlin was able to keep his job in the winter of 2006, but the first two weeks of the 2007 season were less than memorable as the Giants got off to an 0-2 start.

    Then the Giants won six straight, and after beating the Dolphins in the NFL's first-ever game at London, they went into the bye Week at 6-2.

    In Week 10, the Giants played at home against the Dallas Cowboys in a game that would likely decide who would gain control of the NFC East.

    Tony Romo threw two second-half touchdowns to Terrell Owens and the Dallas defense held the Giants to three points in the second half as the Cowboys won, 31-20.

    The loss dropped the Giants to 6-3 at the time, but they were able to win four out of their last seven games to get to the playoffs at 10-6 as the No. 5 seed.

    We all know how the rest of the season went once the Giants made the postseason.

    Record after bye: 4-4

2008

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    The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants came into the 2008 season like a house of fire and were off to a solid 3-0 start to their title defense season.

    They had another early bye week in Week 4 and returned to action in Week 5 to play the Seattle Seahawks.

    The Giants were without Plaxico Burress, as he was suspended for one week due to skipping practice without notice, but the Giants didn't need him to take care of Seattle.

    Domenik Hixon had 102 receiving yards and a touchdown playing in Burress' spot and Eli Manning had two TD passes, while the Giants defense held Seattle to two field goals as they steam-rolled the Seahawks 44-6 to improve to 4-0.

    The Giants would lose the following week to the Browns but then would win their next seven straight to improve to 11-1 before Burress' nightclub incident in November in which he shot himself in the leg.

    The Giants lost the last three of four games, but still won the division at 12-4 and had the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

    Record after bye: 9-4

2009

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    After their disappointing end to the 2008 season in which the Giants lost in the divisional round at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, the Giants again got off to a great start in 2009.

    The Giants won their first five games to get off to a 5-0 start but ran into trouble before the bye week, losing their next four to head into their Week 10 bye at 5-4.

    In Week 11, the Giants needed a victory to get back on track and were facing off against the high-powered Atlanta Falcons, who pushed the Giants to the limit when Matt Ryan threw two fourth-quarter touchdowns to tie the game at 31-31 and send it into overtime.

    The Giants were able to recuperate in overtime as Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning, 36-yard field goal and gave the Giants a 34-31 win.

    That put the Giants at 6-4, but they really struggled down the stretch, losing the last four out of six games which put the Giants at 8-8, and for the first time since 2004, the Giants missed the postseason.

    Record after bye: 3-4

2010

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    The Giants got off to a slow start to the 2010 season at 1-2, then won their next four games to head into their Week 8 bye at 5-2.

    In Week 9, the Giants traveled across the country to play the Seattle Seahawks, and the Giants decimated them in their own building.

    The Giants scored 21 points in the first quarter behind two Ahmad Bradshaw touchdowns and were up at halftime, 35-0.

    The Giants won the game 41-7 and improved to 6-2 on the season.

    Despite losing their next two games, the Giants then won three straight to improve to 9-4 and looked like they had control of the NFC East.

    Then the Meltdown at the Meadowlands happened on December 19 followed by a 45-17 beatdown by the Packers, which all but knocked the Giants out of playoff contention.

    The Giants ended the season at 10-6, but the two losses to the Eagles and Packers wrecked their chance at making the playoffs.

    Record after bye: 5-4

2011

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    The Giants got off to a decent start in 2011 and were 4-2, although if not for a rough end to the Seattle game, the Giants really would have been 5-1.

    The Giants had their bye week in Week 7 and returned to play in Week 8 against the 0-6 Miami Dolphins.

    The Dolphins really gave the Giants a fight in the game and had a 17-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

    Eli Manning threw a 25-yard, game-winning touchdown pass to Victor Cruz that gave them a 20-17 win, which made the Giants 5-2 at the time.

    The following week, the Giants traveled to Foxborough to play the New England Patriots for the first time since Super Bowl XLII, and the Giants ended up winning 24-20 in a thriller that put them at 6-2.

    The Giants lost the next four straight, but rebounded to win their final three of four games, including the final two against the Jets and Cowboys to win the NFC East at 9-7.

    We all know how the rest of last year's playoff run went as well.

    Record after bye: 5-5

2012

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    And now, the 2012 season.

    The Giants head into their bye week at 6-4 after losing two straight games to the Steelers and Bengals.

    Some people have wondered if Eli Manning has a tired arm, which could explain why he's looked awful in the last three weeks.

    After the Giants have their bye week in Week 11, they will return after Thanksgiving to play a team they ended the season off just 10 months ago, the Green Bay Packers.

    The last time the Giants saw the Packers, the Giants were in Lambeau Field as the heavy underdogs but upset the defending Super Bowl champions, 37-20, and advanced to the NFC Championship Game.

    Now, the 6-4 Giants need to get back on the winning track and try to beat Green Bay again.

    Many Giants fans are hoping the rest helps the team and they have a strong finish to the rest of their season.