The New York Giants are tied for the top spot in the NFC East for the first time since 2016. What was going on in the world during that time period?
The spot was earned on Sunday, then confirmed on Monday.
With a win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, the New York Giants officially moved into a tie with the Washington Football Team for first place in the NFC East. The Philadelphia Eagles’ subsequent loss to the Seattle Seahawks a day later secured the seeding for the Giants, until at least next week.
So when was the last time the Giants were in this position?
You’d have to go all the way back to the 2016 season, when the Giants and Eagles both sat atop the division at 2-0. Sept. 25, 2016 was the day that ranking fell out of New York’s grasp though, due to a loss to Washington and an Eagles’ win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 3.
So yeah, it’s been a while — over four whole years. The world, simply speaking, was very different back during that September 2016 timeframe.
How different, exactly?
To be more precise, let’s initially discuss what was going on with the organization itself.
At the time, wideout Sterling Shepard was a rookie and a recent second-round selection out of Oklahoma. And now, with the retirement of both Eli Manning and long snapper Zak DeOssie, Shepard is the only Giant left from that 2016 team — a group that made it to the Wild Card round of the NFL Playoffs.
Daniel Jones was in his redshirt freshman year at Duke, and my guess is that not many Giants fans knew who the young quarterback from Charlotte, North Carolina was. There were certainly no Giants fans screaming out “Danny Dimes” at MetLife Stadium, that’s for sure.
Saquon Barkley was just 19, undergoing his sophomore season at Penn State.
Eli’s eventual retirement wasn’t as much of a thought at that point, considering he’d just come off a 2015 Pro Bowl campaign in which he threw for 35 touchdowns — one off the league lead.
Odell Beckham Jr. was still catching touchdown passes for the Giants. Well, during that specific season, he actually didn’t reel one in until Week 5, which was surprising.
And the Giants head coach at the time? Well, we don’t need to name him.
What about the NFL as a whole?
Cam Newton had just come off a 2015 MVP season. Yes, Cam Newton — that’s no typo. The 2016 campaign wasn’t exactly kind to him though, considering the Panthers went from 15-1 Super Bowl runner-ups to 6-10, and have never been true contenders since.
Tom Brady was serving his four-game Deflategate suspension, as both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett notched starts for the Patriots at the beginning of the year.
Remember when Tom Brady was on the Patriots?
Patrick Mahomes was still in college, playing out his junior season at Texas Tech.
And finally, Tony Romo wasn’t yet in the booth with Jim Nantz, but instead, watching his eventual successor Dak Prescott play quarterback for the Cowboys while he nursed a back injury in his final season.
What about in the sports world in general?
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were coming off an NBA title run in which they came back from a 3-1 deficit in the Finals to defeat the Golden State Warriors.
Kevin Durant had yet to play a game for the Warriors and had just left the Oklahoma City Thunder.
And the Chicago Cubs were a little over a month away from breaking the curse and winning their first World Series title in 108 years.
Outside of sports?
Barack Obama was still the President of the United States, and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were campaigning for the 2016 election.
TikTok had yet to be released for iOS and Android in the United States while Vine still existed.
And when your buddy said “Corona,” you knew they meant a beer, not a lingering virus that would affect our lives.
So there you have it. I’m sure there are more facts and events I could mention, but you get the point.
It’s been a long, long time since the Giants were last in this position.
Big Blue fans: cherish this moment.