Tom Coughlin’s New York Giants: The Streakiest Team In Football


Tom Coughlin is one of the most respected coaches in the National Football League for a reason. He has won a lot of football games, including two Super Bowls as the head coach of the New York Giants. The biggest knock against Coughlin is that his team is often streaky. This has really become apparent in the Giants three season slump without a playoff appearance.

In 2012 the Giants started their season 6-2. After losing their opening game against the Dallas Cowboys, The Giants, won 6 of their next seven games. Then they lost back to back games against the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. After their week 11 bye week the downward spiral continued.

Dec 14, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin during a time out during the third quarter of a game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Including the consecutive losses before the bye week, the Giants lost five of their next seven games. The Giants finished a once promising season with a 9-7 record that didn’t qualify them for the playoffs.

In 2013 the Giants started their season as if they were in quicksand and each week they would get closer to drowning in it. The Giants lost their first six games of the season. The Giants then went on a tear and won seven of their last ten games. Their slow start was something that they couldn’t possibly recover from however. They ended the season with a 7-9 record but the second half of the season’s surge gave hope to 2014.

The problem was that the Giants would again prove to be prone to slumps in the 2014 season. The 2014 Giants began their season 0-2 after losses to bad losses to the Detroit Lions and the Carson Palmer-less Arizona Cardinals. The Giants rebounded though winning their next three games.

Just like the strong second half of their previous season, the winning streak was fools gold. The Giants would go on to miserably lose their next seven games. The Giants finished the season 6-10, being the streakiest team in football. They had two three game win streaks and a seven game slump. How does that even happen.

This problem didn’t start before the Super Bowl glory of 2011. The Giants started the 2011 campaign with a 6-2 start. They lost their season opener to the Washington Redskins and then went on a three game winning streak. They lost and then went on another three game winning streak.

Jan 29, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; General view of Super Bowl XLVI championship ring to commemorate the New York Giants 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots on February 5, 2012 on display at the NFL Experience at the Phoenix Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sport

The 2011 Giants then went on a four game slump before winning three of their last four games. The Giants snuck their way into the playoffs by beating the Cowboys for the de facto NFC East Championship game. The Giants went 9-7 to win an easy division. Thankfully, Tom Coughlin found that magic fix he tends to find (this time at the perfect moment) and the Giants won the Super Bowl.

The trend however goes back even further. In 2010 the Giants started off 6-2 thanks largely to a five game winning streak. The Giants finished the season with a delightful 10-6 record. Their six losses, came in three separate two game losing streaks. So far we’ve gone back five straight seasons that uncannily saw this trend.

What if I told you that Coughlin’s streakiness dated back even further? In 2009 the Giants got off to a 5-0 start. They then lost four games straight. A season that started 5-0 finished 8-8.

If I was a psychologist I’d have no choice but to diagnose the Giants with manic-depression disorder. They are either world beaters or they are class A losers and you never know what Giants team to expect.

Yes, I can keep going back to prove that the Giants have been the league’s streakiest franchise for seven straight seasons. The 2008 Giants started the season 4-0. They lost and then went on a seven game winning streak. The Giants then lost three of their last four regular season games and finished 12-4. They continued their slump in the playoffs, losing 23-11 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

I could keep going back into Giants history, but I think you get the point. I don’t know why the Giants can look amazing one week and putrid the next. I wish I could tell you what they did differently in their winning streaks than in their downward spirals. I’m not even sure that coach Coughlin has an answer for this remarkably frustrating pattern.

The Giants need to focus on one thing as they prepare for the 2015 season. The team must find a way to win consistently. The Giants aren’t going to go undefeated but it would be nice if they could end the tradition of losing streaks.

Tom Coughlin must find a way to figure out what leads to the great winning streaks and harness it to avoid the losing streaks his Giants are now famous for. If he can do that, the sky is literally the limit for this talented Giants team.

Next: New York Giants: GMENHQ Staff Predicts 2015 Record

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