The Giants managed to put together a quite respectable team that year. Ed Danowski was lured out of retirement, Tuffy Leemans' back healed, and Mel Hein was talked out of a potential retirement. The New Yorkers virtually sailed through their first 5 games, with only the Washington Redskins coming within a touchdown of them as they outscored their opponents, 122–27. But the Brooklyn Dodgers, coached by Jock Sutherland and guided on the field by All-Pro Ace Parker, dealt their first loss of the season over at Ebbets Field. Then after an upset by the cellar-dwelling Chicago Cardinals of the NFL West, The Giants got back on track.
By the last game of the season, the Giants had clinched the NFL East title with a record of 8–3. It mattered little that they lost that Sunday December 7, 1941, at the Polo Grounds to the Dodgers 21–7. It mattered much more, of course, that while they were playing that game Pearl Harbor was under attack by the Japanese. For the United States of America, World War II had begun.