East Rutherford- The New York Giants had anothor tough year in 2015. For the second straight season finishing with a record of 6-10. The team suffered their third straight losing season, fourth straight year without postseason football and as a result will be searching for a new head coach as the coach that led Big Blue to two super bowl championships Tom Coughlin decided to part ways with the Giants after the season.
Despite the rough record and blown 4th quarter leads the Giants did have some standout performances and great wins during the season as we go week by week to look back at the Giants season.
The theme of the Giants season was established in week one when the Giants traveled to Dallas to face the Cowboys. The Giants led the game in the fourth quarter by a score of 23-13 with 8 minutes left in the game. The Giants defense had played well all game forcing three turnovers including one that was brought back for a touchdown. However the Giants defense fell apart in the fourth quarter as Dallas cut the lead to 23-20. New York however would drive down the field and have the ball inside the Cowboys 10 with less than two minutes left in the game and the Cowboys could not stop the clock due to using all of their timeouts. That’s when the Giants mismanaged the clock rather than running the ball into the endzone for a touchdown they attempted to pass and the passes went incomplete. The Giants settled for a field goal taking a 26-20 lead with a minute and 34 seconds to leaving Tony Romo and the Cowboys plenty of time to comeback and win the game 27-26.
The next week at home VS the Falcons was more of the same. The Giants led Atlanta 20-10 entering the Fourth Quarter. The defense had played well all day and the Giants offense seemed to be clicking as Eli Manning hit Odell Beckham JR for a 67 yard touchdown in the second quarter which was by far the best play of the day. However Atlanta would come out victories driving down the field on a Giants defense that could not close out a game beating the Giants 24-20 as New York began the season 0-2.
The next three weeks however the Giants seemed to figure things out. They got their first win of the season at home against the Washington Redskins where Eli Manning threw for two touchdowns, and 279 yards as the Giants defense held of the Redskins winning the game 32-21.
In week four the Giants came in as underdogs against the Rex Ryan led Buffalo Bills in Buffalo. Yet the Giants would silence anyone who picked against them shutting down the BIlls offense, and a big play on offense would end any Bills hopes at a comeback as Rashad Jennings took a short pass from Eli Manning 51 yards breaking tackle after tackle all the way to the endzone to seal a 24-10 Giants win.
The Giants entered week five with a chance to take over sole possession of first place in the NFC East when the San Francisco 49ers strolled into town. The game was a thriller as the teams matched each other score for score. Yet it seemed like the Giants fourth quarter troubles had returned when San Francisco took the lead with a minute and 45 seconds left in the ball game. Yet Quarterback Eli Manning came to the rescue driving the Giants down the field and hitting Larry Donnell in the endzone for a 12 yard game winning touchdown catch with 21 seconds remaining. The Giants won the game 30-27, moved into first place in the NFC East, and moved above .500 at a record of 3-2.
Week six would not be so kind to the Giants. After the offense started off red hot as Eli Manning started the game completing his first nine passes including a touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. The rest of the game belonged to the home team the Philadelphia Eagles who dominated the Giants offense the rest of the game blowing them out by a score of 27-7 pushing the Giants back to a .500 record of 3-3.
The following week the Giants returned home for a rematch with the Dallas Cowboys. Tony Romo, and Dez Bryant both did not play for the Cowboys but that still did not stop the game from being tight. The Giants defense was stingy all game picking off Matt Cassel three times including a Dominique Rodgers Cromartie Pick 6. The Giants however would allow Dallas to comeback and tie the game at 20-20 with 7 minutes and fourteen seconds remaining. That’s when a former Cowboy turned Giant made one the Giants best plays of the season. Kick Returner Dwayne Harris took a Dan Bailey Kick off 100 yards to the endzone putting the Giants up 27-20 with 7 minutes remaining. The Giants offense would chew some clock but still were forced to punt the ball back to Dallas giving Matt Cassel a chance to possibly tie the game. However Cowboy punt returner Cole Beasley muffed the punt and Giants Miles White recovered it to seal a 27-20 win over Dallas.
The following week would be a shoot out down south in New Orleans Eli Manning and Drew Brees matched each other blow for blow Eli Manning throwing six touchdowns on the day three of them to Beckham Jr. and Drew Brees throwing seven. However it seemed like the Giants had the game under control after Rodgers-Cromartie delivered a major hit to a Saints receiver allowing Trumaine McBride to pick the pass off and take it back for a pick 6. The Giants led the game 49-42 with 7 minutes and 12 seconds remaining. However Drew Brees would lead the Saints down the field to tie the game, and then Kai Forbath sunk a 50 yard field goal as time expired to seal Saints victory and anothor heartbreaking fourth quarter loss for the Giants.
New York would move onto Tampa Bay where the defense came through holding the Bucs to just one touchdown the whole game and causing three turnovers including one that was returned for a touchdown as the Giants defeated the Bucs in Tampa by a score of 32-18, and improved their record to 5-4 still in First Place in the NFC East.
The next three games would be rough for the Giants.
They blew a fourth quarter lead with less than two minutes to go against an undefeated New England Patriots team falling 27-26, lost first place in the NFC East after Washington scored 20 unanswered points to begin the game putting the Giants in a hole to big to crawl out of, and then blowing yet anothor fourth quarter lead after leading by 10 over the Jets with 8 minutes remaining in the game.
The Giants sat at a record at 5-7 when they travelled to Miami still in a three way tie for first in the terrible NFC East Division. The Giants got a must win when Eli Manning and Odell Beckham put on a show as the Giants picked up a must win game in South Beach.
This however would be the last Giants win of the season.
The last three weeks of the year were terrible for the Giants an undefeated Carolina Panthers team came into the Meadowlands Week 15. The Redskins both won their week 15 match making it a must win for Big Blue. The Giants trailed the Panthers by a score of 35-7 in the third quarter. Yet Eli Manning led the Giants all the way back as he hit Odell Beckham JR in the end zone with less than two minutes in the game to tie the game scoring 28 unanswered points. Yet the Panthers would pull out the win as again the Giants defense could not hold onto a lead.
The Giants were officially eliminated from playoff contention after the Redskins beat the Eagles week 16 to clinch the NFC East. The Giants would be blown out by the Vikings week 16 by a final score of 49-17.
The season ended with a week 17 loss to the Eagles at home a game which the Giants defense again could not hold down a fourth quarter lead.
The Giants finishing at 6-10 parted ways with legendary head coach Tom COughlin who coached the team to two super bowl victories in 2007, and 2011.
In 2016 the Giants will have a new head coach, and will be looking to turn the tide on four straight seasons without playoff football.