The missed tackle became a much-too-common sight for Giant fans this year.
Back in 1966, the New York Giants suffered through perhaps the worst season in their long and mostly illustrious history. That year the Giants surrendered an NFL record 501 points in 14 games, and gave up more than 40 points five times.
Well it took them 16 games, but this year’s Giants equaled that dubious mark set 43 years ago — five games of giving up 40 or more points.
Those 1966 Giants were on the downside, and it would take 15 years until they returned to the NFL playoffs in 1981. They were rebuilding following a stretch that led to five NFL championship games (all losses) in six years between 1958 and 1963.
In 1966, the Giants lost 52-7 to Dallas in the second game of the year and 55-14 to Los Angeles. Then came a stretch in which the Giants gave up 40 plus three straight Sundays — 72-41 to Washington, 49-40 to Cleveland and 47-28 to Pittsburgh.
Some notes of distinction. The 72 points the Giants gave up to the Redskins and quarterback Sonny Jurgensen, below, is still the most allowed in a single regular season game in NFL history. (The Bears beat the Redskins 73-0 in the 1940 NFL Championship Game.)
And only one other team in history — the 1981 Baltimore Colts with 533 — allowed more points than the ‘66 Giants. And it took the Colts two extra games to do it.
This year’s Giants figured to be a playoff lock and Super Bowl contender coming into the season. But after a 5-0 start they stopped tackling and managed to lose eight of their final 11, earning an early exit to their season.
Trouble began with a 48-27 loss in New Orleans in week six. The G-men lost twice to NFC East rival Philadelphia, 40-17 and 45-38. And they finished the season in embarrassing fashion, losing 41-9 to Carolina in their final game at Giants Stadium, and then 44-7 to Minnesota.
The Giants gave up 427 points this season. Only Detroit and St. Louis were worse.
Allie Sherman kept his job following the Giants 1966 season, and Tom Coughlin will keep his as well. But heads are sure to roll following this pathetic finish by the Giants, who mailed it in the last two weeks.
Even in the worst of times, this team almost always gave an honest effort. But not this year, when pride didn’t matter for the New York Giants.
Good night, Big Blue.