The NFL regular season is nearing, and everyone is getting hyped up for some great regional match ups, one of those being a pre-season face-of on Thursday night, September 1, 2016 at the MetLife Stadium. 82,500 fans will get a taste of what the season might bring for the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
The New England patriots are 3-0 in their pre-season and the New York Giants are 1-2. The Pats will finish out the 2016 preseason against the Giants for the 12th consecutive season that has now become a tradition, it’s a fun rivalry that will set off sparks when they square off on Thursday evening. The teams know each other well and have been frequent preseason opponents in the recent past. Fans have been spoiled since their squads have been squaring off in the preseason. They’ve opened three straight years from 2001-03 and then resumed the series in 2005 when they started to meet in the preseason finale.
The Patriots know their opponents well as they try to go for a perfect pre-season record. They’ve actually faced off against the Giants more than any other team in the preseason with a total 25 matchups. Philadelphia is their second most visited rival with 22 preseason games.
The Patriots with their 3-0 preseason start has created a great feeling in Boston and for the fans who are looking for another great season. They want to make history with a perfect preseason record for the fourth time in team history: They finished the preseason with a 4-0 record in 2003, 1981 and 1978, years they all went quite far in the regular season.
Furthermore, the teams played each other three times during the 2007 and 2011 seasons with meetings in the preseason, the regular season and in the Super Bowl. Those memories don’t fade fast so the Giants will definitely want to ruin the Patriots’ record. They might want to look back at 2015 when the Giants faced the Pats twice with a preseason meeting in Foxborugh and a regular season meeting at the Giants.
The Pats lost the preseason finale, 12-9, and then won the regular season game, 27-26. In that regular season game on November 15th, kicker, Stephen Gostkowski drilled 54-yard field goal with one second to play to lift the Patriots to a 27-26 come-from-behind victory. The Giants had a 26-24 lead with 1:47 to play before QB Tom Brady drove the Patriots 44 yards and converted a fourth-and-10 on the series to set up the game-winning field goal. So these types of memories of close games might be just what New York needs to be inspired to teach the Pats a lesson on the gridiron.
Overall, the Giants hold a 16-9 advantage in the preseason series. The Patriots claim a 6-4 edge in the regular-season play. We all know which record matters the most.
There is a lot of history too behind the teams. In the decades leading up to the founding of the American Football League in 1960, a lot of football fans in New England dodn’t have their own team and so followed the Giants, a historied franchise that was founded in 1925. New England-based NFL teams such as the Providence Steam Roller (1925-31), the Boston Redskins (1932-36) and the Boston Yanks (1944-48) either moved away or folded, leaving the Giants as the closest NFL team to New England, of course until the Patriots franchise began play in the 1960 season and gave fans their own tribe to live for.
Look for New England to close out the preseason against their most frequent preseason opponent for the 26th time with a win. The New York Giants might get close, but the Pats know to deal with their top three most frequent preseason opponents since they are all NFC East teams.