New York Giants Super Bowl History

Posted: February 4, 2012 by Kodi in NFL

The David Tyree catch will go down as one of the greatest plays in SB History

The Giants faultered early when it came to Championship games but since the SB Era they have won 3 of 4

New York hopes to improve on their SB success when they face the Patriots in one of the most anticipated rematches

The New York Giants have played second fiddle to the Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles over the years but historically Big Blue has rich a rich past. Their Super Bowl XLVI opponents, the New England Patriots, joined the AFL in 1960 and didn’t make their first Super Bowl appearance until 1985. The New York Giants were one of 5 teams that were admitted to the NFL in 1925, but they are the only team that is still around today. The Giants and their fans have a rich tradition and Head Coach Tom Coughlin is hoping that his QB, Eli Manning, will prove that he truly is an elite player on football’s biggest stage. The pair have already won a Super Bowl against an undefeated Patriots team but they and the Giants are looking to etch their place in history.

After being admitted to the NFL in 1925 it took the Giants just three seasons before they posted a 11-1-1 record and won the 1927 title. They had a substandard season the following year and in 1929 the Giants owner bought the Detroit Wolverines to merge the two teams. That was the beginning of a productive stretch for the New York football Giants who made it to the NFL Championship game 8 times from 1933-46 but they only won the game twice. The Giants struggled after that period and didn’t even appear in another Championship game until 1956 when they defeated the Chicago Bears 47-7 in Yankee Stadium. Many thought that Head Coach Jim Lee Howell was just getting started with a coaching staff that had Vince Lombardi running the offense and Tom Landry coaching the defense. New York would get to the Championship game 5 times from 1958-1963 but they didn’t win a single matchup.

New York had racked up 4 NFL Championships which is impressive but the Giants had qualified to play in the Championship game 14 times, giving them a record of 4-10. After 1963 the Giants suffered from multiple losing seasons and they didn’t make the playoffs for 18 years, recording just 2 winning seasons. The Giants made the playoffs in LB Lawrence Taylor’s rookie year of 1981 but the Giants returned to the Championship game for the first time in Head Coach Bill Parcells 4th season. It was 1986 and the Parcells coached Giants absolutely dominated their competition on the way to recording a 14-2 record in the regular season. They trounced the San Francisco 49ers 49-3 in the Divisional round and shutout the Washington Redskins 17-0 to get their chance to play in another Championship game.

It was Super Bowl XXI pinning the mighty Giants against the Denver Broncos with the game being played at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. It was John Elway and Phil Simms’ first Super Bowl appearance and on that day it was Simms who outplayed Elway on their way to winning the Giants first Super Bowl. Simms was 22-25 for 268 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions posting the highest QB Rating ever to be recorded in a Super Bowl to this day, along with his completion percentage of 88. Simms moved the ball around hitting 8 different receivers at least once and 5 targets had 3 or more catches. The Giants were actually trailing the Broncos 10-9 at halftime but outscored Denver 17-0 in the 3rd and 13-10 in the 4th to secure a 39-20 victory.

The following year the NFL was riddled by a strike and it took a toll on the Giants who missed the playoffs outright in ’87 and ’88. When they finally made it back to the playoffs in ’89 they lost in their first game but Parcells used that as motivation and in 1990 the Giants made a playoff push and found themselves in Super Bowl XXV. They did it behind a mediocre offense and one of the best defenses in NFL history. The Giants gave up a league low 211 points in the 1990 regular season behind the 6th ranked pass defense and 4th ranked rush defense. New York did lose Phil Simms late in the season and it turned out to be the beginning of the end for the QB who turned around Big Blue.

Parcells had to turn to Jeff Hostetler under Center but the offense was focused on RB Ottis Anderson and not turning the ball over. The Giants went 13-3 and set a record for the least amount of turnovers in a season, 14, while on their way to SB XXV. The Giants blew out the Bears 31-3 in the Divisional round but had to face the back-to-back defending Super Bowl Champion San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick. They squeaked by the Niners 15-13 and went on to face the Buffalo Bills at Tampa Stadium in Florida. New York fell behind the Bills 12-10 at halftime as K Scott Norwood’s 4 field goal attempts but a rushing TD by soon to be SB MVP Ottis Anderson in the 3rd quarter and a 21 yard field goal by Giants K Matt Bahr was the game winner. It was the closest Super Bowl in NFL history with the Giants winning 20-19 and starting a long stretch of Super Bowl losses for the Buffalo Bills. This game however will forever be known for the field goal that Norwood missed wide right in the final seconds rather than Parcells last game as a Giant.

It would be another 10 years before Big Blue would return to the Super Bowl but Head Coach Jim Fassel was able to get enough out of his squad while he was on the hot seat. Fassel had won 10 games in his first year as HC but had just 8 and 7 wins in the following two seasons and Fassel’s job was on the line in 2000. Two thirds of the way through the season Fassel’s Giants was 7-4 and it seemed like their playoff lives were on the line but luckily New York would win their final 5 games, finishing 12-4 and the NFC’s top seed. Once again New York was reliant upon a dominant defense that ranked top 5 in nearly every category and their offense was dependent on a solid running game behind RB’s Tiki Barber and Ron Dayne. The Giants passing game was mediocre behind QB Kerry Collins and WR’s Amani Toomer and Ike Hillard but in the end they just couldn’t cut it.

The Giants beat their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, in their first playoff game and then absolutely destroyed the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 in the NFC Championship. The Giants had earned their way to play against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Everyone knows about the NFL cliché that defense wins championships and in SB XXXV it was the Ravens defense that prevailed. They held TIki Barber to just 48 rushing yards while Kerry Collins had one of the worst games in SB history. He was 15-39 for 112 yards, no touchdowns and 4 interceptions and the Ravens went on to win 34-7. Baltimore Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis won the MVP and although Trent Dilfer completed 3 less passes than Collins he was the one getting a ring. Jim Fassel lasted just another three seasons before being replaced by current Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin.

In Fassel’s last season Big Blue finished the year 4-12 and it was an uphill battle for Coughlin to turn the franchise around. 2004 was a rebuilding year as the Giants were able to trade for Eli Manning after he was selected first overall in the 2004 NFL Draft. The Giants were 6-10 that year but since then they have won at least 8 games in a season and returned to the Super Bowl in 2007. The Giants were having success behind a rushing offense that accumulated over 2100 yards rushing. Manning and the passing game were middle of the road in terms of statistics but in the end the QB always gets the brunt of the attention. The Giants started the season strong at 6-2 but finished the second half of the season 4-4 and they backed into the playoffs with a Wild Card berth. The Giants would beat the Buccaneers, Cowboys and Packers at home to face the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

New York had played the Pats in the final game of the regular season and lost 38-35 but that game gave Big Blue the confidence it needed to push through the playoffs. The Pats were heavily favored and although this game featured some prolific offenses it was nothing similar to these teams regular season matchup. It was 7-3 New England heading into the 4th quarter but after touchdown catches by David Tyree and Randy Moss the game was 14-10 Pats with just two minutes left in the game. Eli Manning headed onto the field with absolutely no fear and in that final drive he and Tyree combined for what may be the greatest pass and catch in Super Bowl history. That play led to a 13 yard touchdown reception by Plaxico Burress and the Giants beat the Pats 17-14 and became the 3rd biggest upset in Super Bowl history (according to the spread) but will undoubtedly be one of the greatest.

That was the last time the Giants were in the Super Bowl and now just 4 years later they are facing the same team looking for redemption. Super Bowl XLVI looks to be one of the best Super Bowl’s in the NFL’s history and it doesn’t matter who wins but rather that these two teams are just playing each other.

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