The Giants face the New England Patriots on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

In years past, this was a marquee NFL Matchup. In 2023, many are dubbing this game the Toilet Bowl.  Despite the fact that many fans won’t watch this game at all, and many fans will even be rooting against the Giants for draft position purposes, the game will still be played.  To get ready for it, let’s take a look back on the Giants and Patriots meeting back in 1987.

Going into the 1987 season, the Giants were defending Super Bowl Champions.  Despite being the NFL’s best in 1986, they started off as one of the NFL’s worst in ’87, coming into this game with a 1-7 record.  Much of the Giants struggles had to do with them having to play with replacement players for games due to the NFL’s strike.  That wasn’t the only reason they struggled though.  Coming into this game, they were without starting QB, Phil Simms.  This left backup Jeff Rutledge starting for the G-Men.  While Rutledge did finish with 2 interceptions, he was also able to fire TD passes to Tight End Mark Bavaro and Running Back George Adams.  Those 2 touchdown passes, along with a Raul Allegre field goal, were enough points for the Giants to get the win in this one.  The real hero’s in this win were the Giants defense.

In 1987, Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor was in his prime.  He was coming off an MVP win in 1986, and in this game, looked like he should get another one.  Taylor finished this game with 2 sacks and an interception.  The Giants defense would force 2 more interceptions on Patriots backup QB Steve Grogan.  One went to Taylor’s linebacking mate Carl Banks, and the other went to Safety Herb Welch.  The Giants defense would allow just 232 total yards, and held the Patriots to 10 points.  This was enough to give the Giants the 17-10 victory.

While Sunday doesn’t have the gusto that past Giants vs Patriots games have had, it’s still one of just 17 games the Giants play this year.  Those who do choose to watch, will probably be rooting for the Giants to lose.  While I understand wanting the highest draft pick, there is much more that goes into “Tanking” then people realize.  One thing is for sure, Brian Daboll and Bill Belichick will certainly not be losing on purpose.

Let’s see if the Giants can knock off the Patriots like the did back in ’87.

Highlights to this Classic:

Photo: (bostonglobe.com)

 

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