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Inside the Numbers: Defeat produces rare stats

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. –** The 2014 Giants season has been both disappointing and statistically unusual.

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A 3-9 record needs no further explanation. But every week seems to bring a circumstance that hasn't occurred in a Giants game in years – or even decades. For example, in the 25-24 loss Sunday in Jacksonville, the Jaguars returned two Giants fumbles for touchdowns, the first opponent to turn that trick since the Cleveland Browns on Oct. 25, 1964.

Not all of the statistical and anecdotal oddities have been dormant for five decades. But the sheer volume of them is indicative that this season has been like few others.

Consider…

  • 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 scored 21 points in the first half against both the Cowboys and Jaguars in their last two games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in their history the Giants scored at least that many points in the first half of back-to-back games and lost both of them.
  • 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.

20 photos that tell the story of Sunday's Giants vs. Jaguars game

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.
  • In the last two weeks, the Cowboys and Jaguars scored the game-winning points with 1:01 and 28 seconds remaining, respectively. The Giants had not lost back-to-back games on opposition scores that late in the game since Nov. 23-Dec. 3, 2006, when Rob Bironas of the Titans kicked a 49-yard field goal with six seconds remaining and Dallas' Martin Gramatica booted a 46-yard three-pointer with one second left. On Sunday, the Giants will play in Tennessee for the first time since Bironas' kick.
  • 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).
  • That game against the Chargers was the last before Sunday in which the Giants lost while allowing fewer than 258 yards (their total in Jacksonville). San Diego gained 226 in that game.
  • The Giants lost three fumbles Sunday for the first time since Sept. 8, 2013 at Dallas.

The Giants clearly need to play better in the second half. This season, they have been shutout twice in the final two quarters (at Philadelphia and Seattle) and were limited to single field goals vs. San Francisco and at Jacksonville. The Giants allowed a season-high 24 second-half points vs. Indianapolis and at Seattle, 22 at Jacksonville and 21 at Detroit and vs. Dallas.

  • 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).
  • In the Giants' five November games, Odell Beckham Jr. had receiving yardage totals of 156, 108, 93, 146 and 90 yards. He is the first rookie receiver in NFL history with five games of at least 90 yards in a calendar month.
  • Manning's second-quarter touchdown pass to Preston Parker in Jacksonville was the 251st of his career, tying him with Drew Bledsoe for 15th on the NFL's career list. Hall of Famer Dan Fouts is 14th with 254.
  • Kevin Ogletree caught two passes for 25 yards against the Jaguars to become the 60th different receiver to catch a Manning pass in the regular season.
  • The loss to Jacksonville left Manning's record as a starter vs. AFC teams at 21-21. The Giants will play their final game this season against an AFC opponent Sunday in Tennessee. They are 1-2 this year in interconference games.
  • Manning was sacked four times by the Jaguars. The Giants are 66-66 in games in which Manning has been sacked. They are 22-9 when he is not sacked.
  • Manning played in his 165th career regular-season game Sunday (163 starts), tying him with former defensive end Jim Katcavage for 11th on the franchise's career list.
  • How's this for irony? On Sunday, the Giants, who have lost seven consecutive games, will visit the Titans, who have lost six in a row. 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.

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