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Giants excel at MetLife Stadium this year, but play 4 of last 6 on the road

Eli Manning of the New York Giants

Eli Manning of the New York Giants waves to the fans as he runs off the field after defeating the Chicago Bears at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

The last time the Giants had played three straight games at home and won them all was in 1962, when they played at Yankee Stadium. Not only were they able to match that feat this year with victories over the Eagles, Bengals and Bears in the past three weeks, but they now have a chance to do something that hasn’t happened since they moved into MetLife Stadium in 2010.

With two home games remaining against the Cowboys and Lions, they have a chance to eclipse their best-ever MetLife regular-season mark of 6-2 set in 2012.

The Giants are 5-1 at home this year, which gives them more wins in the building than they had in any of the previous three seasons. They were 4-4 at home in 2013 and 3-5 in 2014 and 2015. They’ve already matched the franchise’s second-highest win total at MetLife: 5-3 in 2010.

This was the ninth time since 1962 that the Giants played three straight home games. “It was nice to get three wins,” Ben McAdoo said. “It was nice to play in front of the home fans. They were great, they were fired up [Sunday], inspired the defense there in the second half.”

Since 1990, there have been 127 NFL teams that have played at least three consecutive home games in the regular season. The Giants are the 29th team in that group to go 3-0.

“We knew we had to take advantage of that opportunity,” Eli Manning said. “Having three home games is rare and obviously, if you can win all three of them, that’s big. We did what we had to do and took care of it.”

The Giants’ first Super Bowl year of 1986 remains the gold standard for home-field advantage. The Giants went 8-0 at Giants Stadium in the regular season and then won two playoff games there.

The only other seasons in which the Giants did not lose a home game were 1933 (7-0) and 1939 (6-0) at the Polo Grounds. In both of those years, they lost in the NFL Championship Game on the road. Thanks to a loss to Washington at home this season, the 2016 Giants will not be joining that exclusive group.

It’s not as though winning at home is a prerequisite to overall winning. The 9-7 team in 2012 went 3-5 on the road and did not make the playoffs. The last time the Giants were 7-1 at home was in 2005, when they won the NFC East title and then lost a home playoff game to the Panthers.

Conversely, the last two championship teams did not fare exceedingly well at home.

In 2011, the Giants were 4-4 in the regular season at MetLife Stadium (they also won a wild-card game over the Falcons there, the only home postseason game other than Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and Broncos to be played in the stadium).

In 2007, when the Giants still played at Giants Stadium, they were 3-5 at home. They were 7-1 in away games, then won four straight playoff games on the road, which is why their Super Bowl rings have the words “Road Warriors” engraved on them.

If the Giants are going to get back to the Super Bowl, or even back to the playoffs, they’ll now need some of that road warrior mentality. Four of their last six games will be on the road, a stretch that begins Sunday in Cleveland. It’ll be more than a month at that point since the Giants’ last road game — Oct. 23 against the Rams in London. They close out their schedule with back-to-back road games in the division.

“We look forward to this week, getting ready to go back on the road,” McAdoo said. “A road trip will be good for us.”

New York Sports