Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 11/3/12
The defending Super Bowl champs are looking pretty good right now having won their fourth straight game. Sitting atop the NFC East with a record of 6-2 might lead fans of Big Blue to think they’ll cruise into the playoffs with a first-round bye, right? WRONG! If history tells us anything, it’s that the New York Giants are about to go into hibernation, and if you don’t believe it, just look at how they’ve performed in the second half of the season for the past eight years. Since Coach Tom Coughlin took over the team in 2004, their average winning percentage during the first half of a season is a whopping 74 percent, but that drops to a lowly average of 42 percent for the latter half of the season.  SeasonFirst 8 gamesLast 8 gamesFinal Regular Season Record2011             6             2                3                5                9                72010             6             2                4                4              10                62009             5             3                3                5                8                82008             7             1                5                3              12                42007             6             2                4                4              10                62006             6             2                2                6                8                82005             6             2                5                3              11                52004             5             3                1                7                6              10Total           53          19              27              37              74              54Winning %74%42%58%                                 Source: www.pro-football-reference.com  So who is to blame for this slump? If you look at Eli Manning’s career passer rating by month, you’ll notice a significant drop-off from the start of a season to the end of a season. MonthPasser RatingWinsLossesSeptember91.81611October86.4275November77.71317December74.61619                           Source: www.pro-football-reference.comI looked at the stats for other key players that have been on the Giants for several years (e.g. Justin Tuck, Ahmad Bradshaw, etc.) but their stats are fairly consistent throughout the season, so Eli really does deserve the blame for the Giants’ latter season woes. With that said, Eli also deserves credit for turning his slip-sliding numbers around come playoff time where he is 8-3 as a starter with a lifetime passer rating of 89. So maybe there really isn’t much to worry about as long as the Giants make the playoffs where they usually go on a tear and annihilate opponents en route to a Lombardi Trophy. They’ve done it twice with Eli so far (2007 and 2011), and there’s no reason to believe they can’t win another Super Bowl this year.       
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