The Tom Coughlin era will eventually go down as one of football’s most fascinating coaching tenures.
As the head coach of the New York Giants, Coughlin has won two Super Bowls in nine full seasons, an extremely impressive feat by itself. However, interestingly enough, Coughlin has made it past the divisional round of the playoffs just one other time. The inconsistencies that he’s been a part of can be traced back to the regular season.
A staple of Coughlin’s time in the Big Apple has been fast starts and second half collapses. Coughlin’s first season with the Giants came back in 2004. The team started off 5-2 and finished 6-10. The next notable decline came two years later in 2006, when the Giants started the season 6-2 and ended with a record of just 8-8. In 2009, the Giants began the season with five straight wins, only to lose their next four and eventually finish the year 8-8. In both 2011 and 2012, New York jumped out to 6-2 starts, but ended the season with a 9-7 record.
The second-half plummets have been a source of mystery and intrigue to people across the board. Coaches, players, analysts and fans have all attempted to offer explanations for the sudden losing streaks, but the truth is, nobody can really pin-point a logical answer.
However, the script has been flipped here in 2013. The Giants sputtered in the season’s first half, going into their bye week with a record of just 2-6. The slow start has put New York in an unfamiliar position. Instead of using the second half of the season to defend first place in the NFC East, the Giants will need to use the second half of 2013 to claw their way back into the playoff picture.
Luckily for the Giants, the NFC has been notoriously weak this season. The Dallas Cowboys lead the division with a record of 4-4. The Philadelphia Eagles are a game back at 3-5 and the Washington Redskins sit in third place at 2-5.
The Giants have looked better recently, but still haven’t shown any indication of a full turnaround. Then again, New York never showed any indication of an impending collapse in the past, so anything is possible.