The New York Giants have not had many heartbreaking moments in recent years. It has been more like a constant chest pain that refuses to go away. The Giants have made just one playoff appearance since their last Super Bowl in 2011.
For many years, the Giants were one of the premiere franchises in the league. This has changed as they have now become one of the biggest dumpster fires. Ben McAdoo, Pat Shurmur and now Dave Gettleman have been huge reasons for that. The Giants are hoping that the new duo of Daniel Jones and Joe Judge can turn the franchise around.
While the Giants await better times ahead, let’s look back at some of the most heartbreaking moments in the franchise’s history.
5. The Snowball Game
While this might not necessarily be a heartbreaking moment, it is definitely one of the worst and most embarrassing in franchise history. It is not technically heartbreaking because the team was 5-10 heading into the final week of the 1995 season. But it was certainly ugly, because of the actions of the crowd.
The Giants welcomed the San Diego Chargers to town for a Week 17 matchup. The stadium was hit with a massive snowstorm and had over a foot of the white stuff covering the ground during the week. While most of it was removed from the field, there was still snow covering the stands. The Chargers were on their way to a win and the Giants fans became restless. They began firing snowballs from the seats onto the field.
Chargers equipment manager Sid Brooks was struck in the head and fell to the ground unconscious. Ownership would take out an advertisement in the San Diego Union-Tribune the next week to apologize.
4. Miracle at the Meadowlands Part II
The Giants were in the midst of an NFC East title run in Week 15 of the 2010 season. They welcomed the Philadelphia Eagles to town, who were tied with New York at 9-4 apiece. The Giants dominated the game and took a 31-10 lead with eight minutes to go. Just like that, a switch flipped.
Eagles quarterback Michael Vick would connect with Brent Celek for a 65-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 14. The Giants’ offense could not get going in response and the Eagles took over. Vick would score a touchdown using his legs then find Jeremy Maclin for the game-tying score with 1:14 left. The Giants could not do anything with their next possession, and with 14 seconds left, were content with going to overtime. The only problem was that DeSean Jackson was returning kicks for Philly.
Giants’ punter Matt Dodge did not kick the ball out of bounds and after a quick bobble, Jackson would streak down the middle of the field for a touchdown. In his typical way, Jackson taunted the Giants by running across the goal line with the ball in the air and fired it into the stands.
The Giants would not be able to recover from that game and missed the playoffs.
3. Wild Card Game in 1997
The Giants jumped out to a 19-3 lead over the Minnesota Vikings in the 1997 Wild Card round. Minnesota is a franchise some of the most heartbreaking moments in league history, but they were on the other side of this one.
Down 22-13, Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham hit Jake Reed for a touchdown to pull within two points. The game should have been over, as there was just 1:30 left on the clock. The Vikings lined up for an onside kick and apparently found the right guy. The Giants’ Chris Calloway was not able to catch the ball and Minnesota recovered. Cunningham connected with Cris Carter for 22 yards then the Vikings got help from the officials with a phantom pass interference call.
Nonetheless, the Vikings were in field goal range. Eddie Murray knocked down the attempt and the Giants were left stunned on their home field.
2. The Bad Snap
You know it is a bad moment in sports when it can be define by one detail. In this case, the words “bad snap” should be enough for Giants’ fans to know what comes next. The setting was San Francisco, where the 49ers hosted a red-hot Giants’ team in 2002.
The Giants were looking for a Wild Card win and seemed to have it in hand when they took a 38-14 lead. Once again, a switch flipped. The 49ers clawed all the way back and scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead. The Giants still had a shot and drove to the 49ers’ 23-yard line. With six seconds left, the Giants lined up for a game-winning field goal and this is where things became interesting.
Trey Junkin delivered a low snap and this forced holder Matt Allen to roll to his right and attempt to make a play. Allen spotted guard Rich Seubert down the field and threw a pass his way. Seubert was interfered with but the officials flagged him as an ineligible man downfield.
The 49ers won the game and advanced to the Divisional round. The Giants had to deal with the horror of a terrible call. The next day, the NFL admitted that they had blown the call. As every fan knows, this does not mean a thing once the game is over.
1. Miracle at the Meadowlands
The Miracle at the Meadowlands is one of the most infamous moments in Giants’ history, and unfortunately they were on the wrong side of it. On Nov. 19, 1978, the Giants welcomed the Eagles to town.
The game should have been over. The Giants had the ball with 31 seconds left and a 17-12 lead. All they had to do was take a knee and escape with a win. Giants offensive coordinator Bob Gibson had other ideas. Gibson called for Larry Csonka to run up the middle. Csonka had trouble with the handoff from Joe Pisarcik and the ball ended up on the ground. Herm Edwards would scoop it up and run 26 yards for a game-winning score for the Birds.
After the game, head coach John McVay claimed that he did not hear the call because of an issue with his headset. Gibson was promptly fired the next day and did not land another job in football. This game still lives in infamy 42 years later.