Open main menu

1970 New York Giants season

The 1970 New York Giants season was the franchise's 46th season in the National Football League. This was the first season for the Giants after the AFL–NFL merger, in which ten American Football League teams joined the National Football League. The team was led by second-year head coach Alex Webster. The Giants finished the season 9–5, missing the playoffs by losing their season finale against the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 31–3. The Giants finished second in the NFC East, a game behind the Dallas Cowboys. They were also only one game out of a wild-card playoff spot, won by the Detroit Lions.

1970 New York Giants season
Head coachAlex Webster
Home fieldYankee Stadium
Division place2nd NFC East
Playoff finishdid not qualify

Probably more damaging to the Giants' playoff hopes than the loss to the Rams were two devastating losses to two of the NFL's worst teams. The first was a 14–10 loss at New Orleans in week three; the second was a 23–20 setback at Philadelphia on Monday Night Football in week 10, the Giants' only setback in a 10-week stretch following the loss to the Saints. The game at Franklin Field was more memorable for the antics in the broadcast booth, where Howard Cosell vomited on Don Meredith's cowboy boots. Cosell took a taxi back to the hotel at halftime, leaving Meredith to finish the game with Keith Jackson. The Saints finished with the NFL's second-worst record at 2–11–1 (the Giants beat the NFL's worst team of 1970, the 2–12 Boston Patriots); the Eagles were barely better at 3–10–1. The Giants also lost at home to the 6-8 Chicago Bears.

This was the closest the Giants came to qualifying for the playoffs in the 1970s. The franchise enjoyed only one other winning season in the decade, going 8–6 in 1972. Big Blue did not return to the playoffs until 1981, ending a drought which dated back to the 1963 NFL Championship.


The 1970 Giants offense was led by Pro Bowl performers, quarterback Fran Tarkenton, and running back Ron Johnson. The team was in the top ten in several offensive categories including points, yards, and first downs. The team had over one hundred rushing yards in eleven of its fourteen games, including 202 yards in a week eight win against the Dallas Cowboys. The offense struggled when the team failed to run the ball well, as in the week fourteen loss to the Los Angeles Rams in which the Giants rushed for only 50 yards. When the team was able to run the ball and play defense they were able to win. In all their wins, they had at least 100 yards rushing. The leading passer was Fran Tarkenton, the leading rusher was Ron Johnson, and the leading receiver was Clifton McNeil.[1]


The best defensive game by far for the Giants was the shutout of the Boston Patriots (2–12) in a week 5 victory. In that game, the Giants allowed only 155 total offensive yards against one of the weakest teams in the league. The team leader in interceptions for the Giants was Willie Williams, who had 6 interceptions for 114 total interception yards.

The backbone of New York's defense was a stout front four featuring ends Fred Dryer and Jim Kanicki and tackle Bob Lurtsema. Williams was part of a solid secondary which also included Tom Longo, Scott Eaton and Spider Lockhart. First round draft pick Jim Files moved in at the starting middle linebacker spot for the departed Henry Davis, who moved on to Pittsburgh.

Special teamsEdit

The kicker for the Giants that season was Pete Gogolak. Gogolak was a perfect 32 of 32 in extra points but hit only 25 of 41 field goals attempted on the year, with his longest being a kick of 54 yards in week eight vs. the Cowboys, a kick which came on the same day Tom Dempsey set an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal for the Saints vs. the Lions, and 43-year-old George Blanda hit a 53-yard field goal at the gun to lift Oakland over Cleveland 23–20.

Bill Johnson and Ernie Koy shared punting duties for the Giants, and each was average for the position. Bobby Duhon and Les Shy were the main kick and punt returners, though neither returned a kick for a touchdown.

1970 NFL DraftEdit

This is a list of draft picks, taken by the Giants in the 1970 NFL Draft. This list includes the round taken, school, and position of the player selected.[2]

Round Pick Player Position College
1 13 Jim Files Linebacker Oklahoma
4 97 Wes Grant Defensive end UCLA
5 117 Claude Brumfield Guard Tennessee State
6 142 Duane Miller Wide receiver Drake
9 221 Pat Hughes Center Boston University
10 246 Matt Fortier Defensive end Fairmont State
11 273 Alan Pitcaithley Running back Oregon
12 298 Larry Nels Linebacker Wyoming
13 325 Gary Inskeep Tackle Wisconsin–Stout
14 350 Rodney Brand Center Arkansas
15 377 Warren Muir Running back South Carolina
16 402 Vic Nolting Defensive back Xavier
17 429 Walter Breaux Defensive tackle Grambling


1970 New York Giants roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics


Week Date Opponent Result Game site Attendance
1 1970-09-19 Chicago Bears L 24–16 Yankee Stadium
2 1970-09-27 at Dallas Cowboys L 28–10 Cotton Bowl
3 1970-10-04 at New Orleans Saints L 14–10 Tulane Stadium
4 1970-10-11 Philadelphia Eagles W 30–23 Yankee Stadium
5 1970-10-18 at Boston Patriots W 16–0 Harvard Stadium
6 1970-10-25 St. Louis Cardinals W 35–17 Yankee Stadium
7 1970-11-01 at New York Jets W 22–10 Shea Stadium
8 1970-11-08 Dallas Cowboys W 23–20 Yankee Stadium
9 1970-11-15 Washington Redskins W 35–33 Yankee Stadium
10 1970-11-23 at Philadelphia Eagles L 23–20 Franklin Field
11 1970-11-29 at Washington Redskins W 27–24 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium
12 1970-12-06 Buffalo Bills W 20–6 Yankee Stadium
13 1970-12-13 at St. Louis Cardinals W 34–17 Busch Memorial Stadium
14 1970-12-20 Los Angeles Rams L 31–3 Yankee Stadium


NFC East
Dallas Cowboys 10 4 0 .714 5–3 7–4 299 221 W5
New York Giants 9 5 0 .643 6–2 6–5 301 270 L1
St. Louis Cardinals 8 5 1 .615 5–3 6–5 325 228 L3
Washington Redskins 6 8 0 .429 3–5 4–7 297 314 W2
Philadelphia Eagles 3 10 1 .231 1–7 1–9–1 241 332 W1

Note: Tie games were not officially counted in the standings until 1972.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "1970 New York Giants". Pro Football Reference. Retrieved 2008-03-12.
  2. ^ "1970 New York Giants". Database Football. Archived from the original on 2008-04-11. Retrieved 2008-03-12.