After Sunday night’s loss to Philadelphia, Giants quarterback Eli Manning was asked if he was concerned about a second half slide like the past couple of years, according to the Giant’s website. Manning responded with a firm “No” before continuing on with his usual rhetoric about playing better.
Maybe the question should have been about the second half slides of the past eight years, though.
Manning, who became the starter nine games into Tom Coughlin’s tenure in New York and has never relinquished his role, has never been part of a team that fared better in their final eight games than in their first eight. After losing Sunday night the trend is guaranteed to continue. The Giants were 6–2 in their first eight games and are already 0–2 since then.
The most plausible explanation for the consistent swoon would seem to be Coughlin showing all his cards early in the season while not introducing any new wrinkles later on. This of course would not explain how they won the Super Bowl following the 2007 season—a year where they split their final eight games after a 6–2 start.
Perhaps most telling of the mysteriousness of the annual collapse was Manning’s response when asked again on Monday. The now–veteran signal caller again gave his normal rhetoric without addressing it. Perhaps there is no answer.
Giants seasons under Coughlin:
2011: 6–2 start; 0–2 since
2010: 6–2 start; 4–4 finish
2009: 5–3 start; 3–5 finish
2008: 7–1 start; 5–3 finish
2007: 6–2 start; 4–4 finish
2006: 6–2 start; 2–6 finish
2005: 6–2 start; 5–3 finish
2004: 5–3 start; 1–7 finish
Totals: 47–17 start; 24–34 finish