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The Giants Won't Be Traveling Again This Month

Tom Coughlin wants crowd to be 12th man, but things don't seem to work like that anymore

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Cheers haven't been adding up to wins for the Giants.

    The Giants couldn't ask for a better travel schedule through the end of the month.

    They'll be sleeping in their own beds every night, they won't have to set foot on a plane and they'll be dressing in their own locker room before each and every kickoff. Sure, they'll technically be the visitors on Christmas Eve when they play against the Jets but it's still home.

    Now we just have to figure out how much playing at home actually matters to the Giants. Tom Coughlin seems to think that it is a big deal as he followed in the footsteps of Rex Ryan and asked the fans to make themselves a major part of the proceedings on Sunday.

    "Our fans getting into this game, this time of the year, the excitement of this time of the year, being in position, having all these games be very meaningful, very critical, I think it’s very important that we’re home and I think it’s very important that the 12th man really, really be excited about this time of the year."

    Obviously it makes for nice audio and video if the fans are fired up and making a ton of noise for the game on Sunday, but it is hard to see where the Giants benefit as much as FOX. The team is just 3-3 at home this season and 8-6 overall at the new Meadowlands stadium in its two years of existence.

    The easy reaction is to point to the way PSLs punished long-time fans for not being uber-wealthy, forcing them out of the stadium or into the upper deck while corporate fans crowded the clubs down low and robbed the stadium of its most vibrant fans. A look back in history doesn't really back up the notion that the Giants got any noticeable lift from playing in front of their home crowd.

    Coughlin's teams have gone 7-1 at home twice and went 5-3 last year, but those are the only times when the Giants have had a winning record in New Jersey. Most seasons, the Giants have been exactly the same team regardless of where they are playing their games.

    From 2003 (just before the Coughlin era)-2010, the Giants have actually won a higher percentage of their games on the road than they've won at home. So fans can stomp and shout as much as they want, but the idea that it has any great bearing on how the game is going to turn out seems to be nothing but wishful thinking.

    Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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