The Giants Jinx

It's very doubtful that Joe Gibbs will get a warm and fuzzy feeling when he takes his team into the Meadowlands to face the New York Giants. During much of the coach's first tenure in Washington, Giants Stadium was a house of horrors for Gibbs and the Redskins.

Here's a recap of the skid that came to be known as "The Giants Jinx".

1984—The Redskins had won six straight over New York, but the Giants scored the games' first 23 points and won easily 37-13. Running back Joe Morris put on the first of many performances that stuck daggers into the hearts of the Redskins and their fans by scoring three rushing touchdowns.

1985—"Good defense, good running game," Lawrence Taylor said after this one. "That's how they used to beat us." The emphasis is added to show that the Giants had turned the tables as they ground up and wore down the Redskins in a 17-3 win that was more dominant that the final score indicated. Washington had its chances in the first half, moving into Giants territory five times but coming up empty on each such foray.

1986—Jay Schroeder passed for 420 yards and Gary Clark caught 11 of Schroeder's passes for 241 yards, but the Redskins came up short. A furious second-half rally by Washington turned a 20-3 New York third-quarter lead into a tie at 20 in the fourth quarter. However, Joe Morris zipped 13 yards for the winning touchdown with 1:38 to play.

1986 NFC Championship Game—Yes, the wind helped the Giants, but last time I checked each team had it at its back for 30 minutes according to the rules. There was no answer for Taylor, Harry Carson and the rest of the New York defense. They could have played until the winds calmed down in the spring and the Redskins still would not have scored.

1987—While the Redskins carefully assembled their strike-replacement team, it appeared that the Giants snagged a bunch of truck drivers of the Jersey Turnpike to play this one. The Redskins beat the worst Giants team Gibbs ever faced 38-12.

1988—Washington held a 13-0 lead late in the first half, but the Giants tied it up by the end of a third quarter. It seemed as though a classic finish was in store but it turned out to be a clunker for the Redskins. New York first scored on a return of a blocked punt and then nose tackle Jim Burt picked up a Doug Williams fumble and rumbled 39 yards for a touchdown as the Giants won 27-20.

1989—It was the same old story. Redskins up 10-6 in the fourth. Giants drive for a score. Redskins lose a fumble. Giants make a fourth down conversion by mere inches and then have a fumble of their own roll right past a bevy of Redskins and into the hands of one of their own linemen. The score the clinching TD a few plays later and win 20-17.

1990—Same stuff, different day. Redskins rally from 14-0 down to make it 14-10 and then drive to the New York three. Stan Humphries pass from there goes right through Ernest Byner's hands and into those of safety Terry Jackson. Giants win 21-10.


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