Entering the 2023 season, the NFL was understandably bullish on the New York Giants.
Coming off a 2022 campaign in which they not only made the playoffs, but advanced to the divisional round, the G-Men figured to take another step forward under the direction of reigning Coach of the Year, Brian Daboll. Factor in that they play in the country’s biggest media market and it wasn’t a surprise that the Giants were selected for five primetime games in 2023.
But through the first four weeks of the season — three of which have featured New York in primetime — the Giants haven’t just been bad, they’ve been historically bad. As noted by ESPN Stats & Info, Big Blue has been outscored by an astonishing 94-15 margin in its three primetime games, the worst point differential by any team in a span of three primetime games dating back to the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
The Giants are the only team to play 3 prime-time games so far this season; they're 0-3 and have been outscored 94-15 (-79) in those 3 games.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 3, 2023
Following the Giants’ most recent primetime defeat, a 24-3 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night, many are understandably questioning how New York wound up with so many spotlight games. That included ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who took aim at Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and his less than stellar primetime record.
“This brother is 1-12, 1-12 as a starter in primetime games, 0-7 on Monday Night Football,” Smith said. “I’m not blaming the Giants, I’m blaming the National Football League. Why the hell are they on national television? Why? Why? We need to talk to the league office and schedule makers. Excuse me, why are they on national television?”
“OK, settle down with that,” co-host Molly Qerim, a noted Giants fan, injected. “Think of the New York Knicks, it’s the same deal.”
“Hold on, my team was in the playoffs,” Smith replied with a smile.
"I'm not blaming the New York Giants, I'm blaming the National Football League. Why the hell are they on national television?!?!" pic.twitter.com/XfD4d5gTHB
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) October 3, 2023
To make matters worse, the Giants are the only New York team featured heavily in primetime this season; the now-Aaron Rodger-less Jets have already played two of their five scheduled primetime games, although the possibility exists that two of those games could be flexed.
As for the Giants, both of their two remaining primetime games — Week 6 against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football and Week 14 against the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football — fall within in the NFL’s flex window. It remains to be seen whether the networks will rid themselves of their primetime problem with the Giants or take advantage of the opportunity to continue to broadcast history.