EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - Although Sunday's Giants Stadium disastrous and disappointing finale is still fresh for the Giants and their fans, the fact is the team had a successful 34-year run in the old building.
Their regular season record in the stadium was 155-117, a winning percentage of .570. That's particularly impressive considering their home record in the first eight years of the stadium's existence (1976-83) was 24-35, a percentage of only .407. In their last 26 years in the building, they had only six losing records there. Oddly, one of those seasons was 2007, which ended with a victory in Super Bowl XLII.
The Giants were perfect just once in Giants Stadium, going 8-0 in the regular season and 2-0 in the postseason in 1986, when they won their first Super Bowl. They were 4-4 this year, including the forgettable 41-9 loss to Carolina on Sunday.
The Giants qualified for the playoffs 14 times in the stadium's lifetime and were 7-4 in Giants Stadium postseason games, including shutout victories in the NFC Championship Game in 1986 (17-0 over Washington) and 2000 (41-0 over Minnesota).
The Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles were the only teams the Giants played every year the stadium was their home. They went 21-13 against Washington (their highest victory total against any team in the stadium) and 16-18 vs. Philadelphia. The Giants were 19-14 vs. Dallas, which visited every year but 1982 when the season was reduced to nine games by a players strike.
Arizona, an NFC East member through 2001, was the division opponent the Giants most preferred to host. They were 20-7 (.741) against the Cards, including 1-1 since Arizona left the division.
The Giants were undefeated against four teams in Giants Stadium: Kansas City (6-0), Cincinnati (3-0), Tom Coughlin's Jacksonville Jaguars (2-0) and Houston (1-0). They were winless against two opponents, Buffalo (0-3) and Chicago (0-4). What's more surprising, that the Giants never defeated Chicago in a regular season game in Giants Stadium or that the Bears visited only four times in 34 years? The Giants did, however, crush the Bears, 31-3, in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game in 1990.
The Giants' reached their highest point total in the stadium on Dec. 20, 1986, when they crushed Green Bay, 55-24. Washington scored the most points by an opponent in a 50-21 victory on Sept. 19, 1999.
The stadium opened with a 24-14 loss to Dallas on Oct. 10, 1976. The next two times the Giants played there – on Oct. 24 and 31 – they were shutout by Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. In their remaining 280 games there, they were shutout just twice: 35-0 by Dallas on Sept. 4, 1995 and 23-0 to the Panthers in a 2005 NFC Wild Card Game.
The Giants played for eight head coaches in the Giants Stadium era. The first, Bill Arnsparger, coached only two games in the stadium and was fired after the 27-0 loss to the Steelers. He was replaced by John McVay, who was 11-9 in the stadium.
Ray Perkins was hired by George Young in 1979 and in his four years was 12-17. Bill Parcells took over in 1983, was 1-7 at home in his first season, 8-0 in his fourth and finished with a Giants Stadium record of 45-19, a .703 winning percentage that was the best by a Giants coach in the history of the stadium.
Ray Handley was 9-7 at home in his two years as the Giants coach. Dan Reeves stepped into the coach's chair in 1993 and was 16-16 in four seasons. Jim Fassel's seven-year run as head coach included a 31-25 home record (1-7 in his final season, 2003). Coughlin, the coach since 2004, closed the stadium with a 27-21 mark.
*The Giants lost to Carolina on Sunday by 32 points, one week after winning in Washington, 45-12. This is the first time in their history they lost a game by more than 30 points one week after winning a game by more than 30 points. They were the second NFL team to do that this season. The San Francisco 49ers defeated St. Louis, 35-0, on Oct. 4, and lost to Atlanta, 45-10, a week later.
*The Giants led at halftime in Washington, 24-0, and trailed at the half to Carolina by the same score. They were the first team to hold a halftime lead of at least 24 points one week and face a halftime deficit of at least 24 points the following week since the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 23 (a 35-0 lead over Cleveland) and Dec. 30, 1990 (a 24-0 halftime deficit in Houston).
*With one game remaining in the season, the Giants have 29 turnovers. In 2008, the Giants and Miami Dolphins set an NFL record with just 13 giveaways in a 16-game season.
*Eli Manning's 29 completions in the loss Sunday to Carolina were his highest total in Giants Stadium. His previous best was 28 completions vs. the Eagles on Dec. 17, 2006. Manning reached his career high of 31 completions in Philadelphia on Sept. 17, 2006.
*Manning now has 1,576 career completions. He is second on the Giants' career list and exactly 1,000 completions behind Phil Simms, who finished his career with 2,576.
*The Giants have not had an individual 100-yard rusher since Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 110 yards vs. Oakland on Oct. 11. The 10-game stretch without a 100-yard rusher is the Giants' longest since an 11-game streak from Dec. 15, 2001 to Oct. 28, 2002.
*Carolina's 46 rushing attempts on Sunday were the most by a Giants opponent since New Orleans ran the ball 53 times on Dec. 24, 2006.
*With one week remaining in the season, Steve Smith leads the NFC and is third in the NFL with a franchise-record 97 receptions. He has a three-catch lead in the NFC over Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald and could become the first Giant to lead the conference outright since 1971, when tight end Bob Tucker had 59 catches. Wide receiver Earnest Gray finished in a three-way tie for the conference lead with 78 receptions in 1983.
*Smith is second in the NFC and eighth in the NFL with 1,163 receiving yards. He is 67 yards behind Dallas' Miles Austin. No Giant has ever led the NFL in receiving yards, nor has a Giant led the NFC since the 1970 merger.
*Smith leads the NFL with 37 third-down receptions, five more than Miami's Davone Bess.
*This season, the Giants are 7-1 when they score first and 1-6 when their opponents put the first points on the board.
*Coughlin is 55-40 in regular season games as the Giants head coach: 42-20 when the Giants rush for at least 100 yards, 13-20 when they rush for less than 100 yards. Coughlin's career record is 123-100: 93-50 when his teams rush for 100 or more yards, 30-50 when they don't.