This week, the Miami Dolphins travel to London, England, to battle the New York Giants in the NFL's first-ever regular season game to take place outside North America. There's no way any Dolphins fans can possibly be looking forward to this or any other game remaining on the team's 2007 schedule. It's all over and we know it. Every keystroke expended in writing about this current Dolphins team is painful so for this week allow me to turn my attention to their opponents: the Giants. The two teams have little history together, but the Giants certainly do have a lot of history. The New York franchise entered the NFL in 1925, over 40 years before there was a Miami Dolphins team. And in that lengthy timespan, the Giants have managed to lose an astonishing 12 Championship games, plus 11 other playoff games and 502 regular season losses. Now which of these losses were the worst? And by worst I don't mean lopsided. I mean losses that were heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, or downright embarrassing. Losses people will still be talking about as long as there are New York Giants games to talk about. After reviewing 82 years of New York Giant football, I've narrowed down what I believe are the five toughest losses. (You could make a list of five heartbreakers all played before I was born but I tried to mix it up). Here's #5 to start off with:
5) 1997 NFC Wildcard Game
Minnesota 23—New York 22
Thanks to three turnovers by Vikings QB Randall Cunningham, the Giants comfortably led Minnesota at the half of their wildcard playoff game: 19-3. Minnesota chipped away, closing the gap to 19-13 by the 4th quarter, but the Giants responded with a field goal midway through the quarter to give them a seemingly secure 9-point lead. The Vikings needed only needed 90 seconds to shatter that security. Cunningham caught fire late in the game and with 1:30 left he hit Jake Reed with a 30-yard TD pass. With time running out, the Vikings tried an onside kick. New York's usually sure-handed Chris Calloway muffed the kick and the Vikings recovered. Cunningham moved his team deep into Giants territory against the tiring New York defense and with 10 seconds left Eddie Murray kicked a game winning 24-yard field goal. Shortly after the game ended, I called up my friend Wayne and the very first thing my shell-shocked buddy said to me was: "How did that just happen?"