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Big Blue's giant fourth-quarter collapses

EAGLES 19, GIANTS 17 Biggest lead: 14 points

EAGLES 19, GIANTS 17
Biggest lead: 14 points (second quarter)
Nov. 19, 1978

Herm Edwards debuted in New York folklore with a game-winning fumble return for a touchdown in the “Miracle at the Meadowlands.” The Eagles, trailing 17-12 late, had no timeouts left. To protect quarterback Joe Pisarcik from injury, the Giants opted to hand the ball off to run off the clock instead of kneeling on it. On third down, Pisarcik botched a handoff to Larry Csonka, Edwards picked it up, and scampered to the win.
Photo Credit: AP

From "the fumble," to "the snap," to "the punt return," the Giants have had their share of memorable breakdowns. Here are six of the franchise's worst since 1978.
Compiled by Bobby Bonett

EAGLES 19, GIANTS 17 Biggest lead: 14 points
Photo Credit: AP

EAGLES 19, GIANTS 17
Biggest lead: 14 points (second quarter)
Nov. 19, 1978

Herm Edwards debuted in New York folklore with a game-winning fumble return for a touchdown in the “Miracle at the Meadowlands.” The Eagles, trailing 17-12 late, had no timeouts left. To protect quarterback Joe Pisarcik from injury, the Giants opted to hand the ball off to run off the clock instead of kneeling on it. On third down, Pisarcik botched a handoff to Larry Csonka, Edwards picked it up, and scampered to the win.

VIKINGS 23, GIANTS 22 Biggest lead: 16 points
Photo Credit: AP

VIKINGS 23, GIANTS 22
Biggest lead: 16 points (third quarter)
Dec. 27, 1997

With under two minutes to go, the Giants held a nine-point lead against the Vikings in the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs. Randall Cunningham hit Jake Reed on a 30-yard pass with 90 seconds left, cutting the lead to 22-20. Minnesota lined up for an onside kick; Giants wide receiver Chris Calloway couldn’t handle it, and the Vikings took over possession. Aided by a penalty, Eddie Murray was set up for a 24-yard chip shot to finish off the comeback.

49ERS 39, GIANTS 38 Biggest lead: 24 points
Photo Credit: AP

49ERS 39, GIANTS 38
Biggest lead: 24 points (third quarter)
Jan. 5, 2003

Down 24 late in the third quarter, Jeff Garcia and Terrell Owens went to work for San Francisco. Garcia had a pair of touchdown passes and one touchdown run; Owens had a touchdown reception and two two-point conversions. On their final score, the 49ers failed on a two-point conversion, giving the Giants a chance to win on a field goal. Kerry Collins drove New York to the 49ers’ 23-yard line with six seconds left, setting up Matt Bryant for a shot at the win. Journeyman Trey Junkin then botched the snap, and San Francisco won.

EAGLES 14, GIANTS 10 Biggest lead: 3 points
Photo Credit: KRT photo

EAGLES 14, GIANTS 10
Biggest lead: 3 points (fourth quarter)
Oct. 19, 2003

Before DeSean Jackson, there was Brian Westbrook. Philadelphia burned its final timeout with 1:34 left, the Giants leading 14-10 and at the Eagles’ 46. On fourth-and-12, instead of angling a punt out of bounds, Jeff Feagles sent the ball to Westbrook. He fielded the ball at the 16, and brought it back 84 yards, giving Philly the lead. The Giants fell short on their final possession, turning the ball over on downs.

TITANS 24, GIANTS 21 Biggest lead: 21 points
Photo Credit: AP

TITANS 24, GIANTS 21
Biggest lead: 21 points (fourth quarter)
Nov. 26, 2006

The Giants dominated through three quarters, leading 21-0 with possession early in the fourth. Eli Manning then began to unravel, throwing his first of two fourth-quarter interceptions to Adam Jones. The Titans capitalized with back-to-back touchdowns. With the score then 21-14, Vince Young evaded a sure sack by Mathias Kiwanuka, keeping another scoring drive for Tennessee alive. Jones then picked off Manning again, this time with under a minute left, setting up a game-winning 49-yard field goal by Rob Bironas.

EAGLES 38, GIANTS 31 Biggest lead: 21 points
Photo Credit: MCT Photo

EAGLES 38, GIANTS 31
Biggest lead: 21 points (fourth quarter)
Dec. 19, 2010

With 7:28 to go in the fourth quarter, the Giants led 31-10. By the end of regulation, DeSean Jackson was trotting through the end zone on a high-step-off punt return for a touchdown. The Giants’ offense was anemic late, gaining just 23 yards after scoring with 8:17 left. Their defense was just as ineffective, with Michael Vick engineering a trio of touchdown drives. Then, on the final play of the game, Matt Dodge punted the ball to Jackson, instead of out of bounds. After muffing the ball, Jackson recovered and sprinted 65 yards for the score.

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