What are the worst moments for each NFL franchise? Yahoo Sports provides our opinion, which you are free to disagree with (and we’re sure you will).
5. The Snowball Game
For an organization that prides itself on doing things the right way, Dec. 23, 1995, was an ugly day. Earlier in the week, 12 inches of snow dumped on and around New York City. Crews at the Meadowlands removed much of the snowfall, but a good amount remained under the seats when the gates opened for the Giants’ final game of the regular season. With the Giants en route to losing to the San Diego Chargers, dropping their record to 5-11, fans began throwing snowballs onto the field. During the fiasco, Chargers equipment manager Sid Brooks was hit in the head by a snowball and knocked unconscious. Desperate pleas from the public address announcer for fans to stop the nonsense fell on deaf ears. Encapsulating what a bad look this was, Giants management and ownership took out an ad in the San Diego Union-Tribune apologizing for their fans.
4. Trey Junkin’s bad snap (or the officials blown call)
Stop us if this sounds familiar … Giants head into the playoffs hot, winners of four in a row and thinking Super Bowl, jump out to a commanding second-half lead only to blow it. In this case, it came via the 2002 Giants in the NFC wild card game. Late in the third quarter, the Giants get a field goal to extend their lead to 38-14 over the San Francisco 49ers. But the 49ers, led by Jeff Garcia, climbed all the way back and then some, scoring 17 fourth-quarter points to take a 1-point lead. And still the Giants had a chance to win the game, driving to the 49ers’ 23-yard line with six seconds to play, setting them up for a potential game-winning field goal. But long snapper Trey Junkin’s snap was low, forcing holder Matt Allen to roll right and toss a desperation ball downfield toward guard Rich Seubert, who was clearly interfered with on the play. But instead of calling pass interference, Seubert was flagged as an ineligible receiver downfield. Game over. The next day, the NFL acknowledged officials blew the call.
3. The Miracle at the New Meadowlands
History has a funny way of repeating itself. In a 2010 Week 15 tilt, the Giants and Philadelphia Eagles were tied atop the NFC East standings with matching 9-4 records. The Giants held a commanding 31-10 lead with under eight minutes to go, but out of nowhere the Michael Vick-led Eagles started to rally. It started with a 65-yard touchdown strike to Brent Celek, then a Vick touchdown run and pass to Jeremy Maclin to tie the game with just 1:16 to go. On the ensuing drive, the Giants were unable to muster anything, which should have been no big deal considering there were only 14 seconds remaining. Punt the ball out of bounds and get to overtime. Except Matt Dodge didn’t punt it out of bounds, but rather right down the middle of the field to the speedy DeSean Jackson. Jackson initially dropped the punt, which disrupted the Giants’ lane integrity, but picked it up, avoided a few would-be tacklers, then found a lane right up the middle and was gone. Sixty-five yards. Adding insult to injury, Jackson taunted the Giants by running along the goal line and holding the ball above his head before scampering into the end zone for the game-winning score. The Giants would miss the playoffs.
2. The 1997 Wild Card Game
All the Giants had to do to win their 1997 wild card game against the Minnesota Vikings was secure an onside kick. The Giants had led 19-3 at halftime, and 22-13 midway through the fourth quarter. A touchdown strike from Randall Cunningham to Jake Reed pulled the Vikings within two, but with only 1:30 left on the clock, the Vikings’ season hinged on recovering an onside kick. Eddie Murray kicked it right to Giants’ wideout Chris Calloway, who failed to secure the football and the Vikings recovered the ball. A short drive consisting of a 21-yard Cunningham-Chris Carter connection and a questionable pass interference call quickly got the Vikings in field goal range. Murray buried the game-winning attempt and Giants fans were left shocked with what had just taken place at the Meadowlands.
1. The Miracle at the Meadowlands
Nov. 19, 1978 is a date that still haunts Giants fans to the core. Big Blue was in complete control against the Eagles, leading 17-12 with the ball in their hands and a measly 31 ticks left in the contest. Instead of taking a knee and securing victory in this regular-season affair, Giants offensive coordinator Bob Gibson inexplicably called for quarterback Joe Pisarcik to hand the ball off to fullback Larry Csonka for a run up the middle. (Head coach John McVay would claim post-game that he didn’t hear the call due to an issue with his headset.) At the line of scrimmage, the Giants’ offensive line was baffled by the play call, leading to a rushed snap and a bungled handoff between Pisarcik and Csonka. The ball fell to the turf and was promptly picked up by Eagles defensive back Herman Edwards, who ran the ball all the way back for a 26-yard, game-winning touchdown. The next day Gibson was fired and never worked in football again.