The New York Giants host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football to open their 2020 regular season schedule this week. If you are a fan of the Giants and history, you will not like their odds.
Las Vegas oddsmakers have made the Giants a home underdog by six points in this game and rightfully so. They really haven’t shown a whole lot in Monday games in the 51-year history of the venture. Some context courtesy of the Giants PR dept…
- The Giants are 25-41-1 on Monday Night Football, including 9-11 at home. They lost both of their Monday night games last season, vs. Dallas and at Philadelphia.
- Pittsburgh has an enviable Monday night record: 48-24, a .667 winning percentage that is second in the NFL to Seattle’s .722. But the Seahawks (26-10) have played exactly half as many games as the Steelers. Under 14-year coach Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh is 15-2 on Monday nights and 41-22 in all night games.
- This will be the second Monday night meeting between the Giants and Steelers and the first in 29 years. On Oct. 14, 1991, Matt Bahr’s 44-yard field goal with four seconds remaining gave the defending Super Bowl champion Giants a 23-20 victory in Three Rivers Stadium.
- The Giants will host Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday night, Nov. 2. This season marks the first time the Giants will host two Monday night games in the same season in the 51-year history of Monday Night Football.
The Giants really shouldn’t have any nationally televised games give the fact they are 12-36 over the last three seasons. But….the NFL is anticipating sagging ratings and needs the New York Metro Area market to maintain some stability.
Again, football fans love matchups of ancient NFL rivals. A bit of history as I wrote in USA Today this week:
- The Giants lead the series, 44-30-3.
- The Giants and Steelers were common foes from 1933 through 1969,, playing time yearly for many seasons before the Steelers shifted over to the new American Football Conference along with the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger.
- Before the merger, the teams met 67 times, with the Giants leading in the series 40-24-3. Since the merger, they’ve only met 10 times in the last 50 seasons with the Steelers winning six.
Let’s not forget the common bond the Giants and Steelers have. Chris Mara, younger brother of CEO John Mara and Giants SVP of Player Personnel is married to the granddaughter of Art Rooney, the founding owner of the Steelers. They have four children, most notable actresses Kate and Rooney Mara, who have an interest on both teams.
History and tradition ar a good way to lure NFL fans back in these trying times and this matchup could be the perfect one to get the ball rolling.