Was the New York Giants' 25-24 loss to the previously 1-10 Jacksonville Jaguars really 'rock bottom' for the 3-9 Giants, losers of seven straight games? If that's the case then what words could be used to describe the situation if the Giants lose on Sunday to the 2-10 Tennessee Titans, themselves losers of six straight games.
Whatever words you might choose as worse than rock bottom is a question only you can answer. [A request: Please don't use those words in the comments as a pre-emptive strike.]
Anyway, believe it or not the Giants are actually 1-point favorites in the opening line this week. Stunning that a 3-9 road team with seven straight losses can open as a favorite. Betting tip of the week: I don't care which team our man Jesse Bartolis picks this week, if I was a gambling man (and I'm not) I wouldn't use any of my hard-earned money to wager on this game. Seriously, is there any reason to have faith in either side at this point?
Here are a few facts about this game.
-- This is the first Giants game in which each team has lost at least six consecutive games since Nov. 21, 1994, and the teams and streaks were the same 20 years ago as they are now. On that Monday night, the Giants, losers of seven straight, defeated the Houston Oilers, who had lost six in a row. The Oilers, of course, moved to Tennessee in 1997 and are now the Titans. The Giants won, 13-10, to start a six-game season-ending winning streak.
-- The last NFL game played by teams with losing streaks of six games or more was on Dec. 14, 2008, when Seattle, which had lost six in a row, defeated St. Louis, which had dropped seven straight on the way to losing its last 10 games of the season.
-- The Giants have been outscored in the third quarter, 109-34, a 75-point differential that is the league's worst in the quarter, and 189-112 in the second half, a 77-point differential that is second-worst in the NFL (future opponent St. Louis has been outscored by 80 points in the third and fourth quarters). [NOTE: This is clearly the "it helps if your players aren't in the bathroom while halftime adjustments are being made" fact of the week.]
How weird is it that the Giants have lost their last three games, all of which they have been winning at halftime? Well, it's this weird.
-- The Giants have lost their last three games by a total of 10 points (San Francisco, 16-10; Dallas, 31-28; and the one-point loss in Jacksonville). It's the first time they've lost three consecutive games by a total margin of 10 or fewer points since Nov. 17-Dec. 1, 1974, when they fell, in order, by one, two and three points at Detroit (20-19), to the St. Louis Cardinals (23-21) and at Chicago (16-13).
-- The Giants led by 11 points in each of their last two games. It's the first time they had leads of 11+ points in consecutive games and lost both since Nov. 7-14, 2004. In the first game, they led Chicago, 14-0, but lost, 28-21. The following week, they jumped ahead of Arizona, 14-3, before losing, 17-14. That defeat prompted Tom Coughlin to bench quarterback Kurt Warner and insert Eli Manning as the starter.
-- The last two games marked the first time in their history the Giants lost consecutive games after leading by 11 or more points at halftime in each.
-- The Giants have lost the last three games in which they owned a halftime lead (at Seattle, vs. Dallas, at Jacksonville). They last did that in a single season from Oct. 23-Nov. 13, 1994, when halftime advantages against Pittsburgh, Detroit and Arizona dissolved into defeats.
-- The Giants led in the fourth quarter before ultimately losing each of their last two games. That last happened on Dec. 18-26, 2004, when they fell to Pittsburgh in Giants Stadium and at Cincinnati.
-- The Giants' time of possession the last two weeks was 35:07 vs. Dallas and 34:39 at Jacksonville. They last lost consecutive games with such high possession times on Nov. 1 and 8, 2009, at Philadelphia (35:33) and San Diego (37:47).
All of that weirdness and Las Vegas has still made the Giants the favorite to win on Sunday. I still say just keep your money in your pocket.