For The Locals

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - OCTOBER 17: Former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning walks onto the field carrying the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a ceremony honoring the 2011 Giants Super Bowl team at halftime during a game against the Los Angeles Rams at MetLife Stadium on October 17, 2021 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Excitement is building for Super Wild Card Weekend as my New York Giants return to the playoffs for the first time in SIX YEARS! They’ll face the Minnesota Vikings on the road this Sunday at 4:25pm (FOX). You may not believe it given how they’ve looked since they won their last Super Bowl in 2012, but this franchise has a storied history of championships with 4 Super Bowl wins, tying for 3rd in the NFL.

Over the years of Giants football, there’s been tons of memorable wins but I’m going to try and narrow it down to 5 here. This won’t be easy but here we go.

  • #5 - Super Bowl XXV: Giants vs. Bills (1991)

    With the Gulf War looming in the background, Super Bowl XXV marked the Giants’ second trip to the Super Bowl. Having won their first Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XXI, they were looking to make it two for two. Meanwhile, it was the first Super Bowl appearance ever for the AFC champion Bills.

    The Giants lost quarterback Phil Simms for the year when he broke a bone in his foot, turning to backup Jeff Hostetler.  The Giants found themselves relying on a quarterback who had made only a handful of starts as they faced the top-ranked Jim Kelly. Buffalo was a heavy favorite to win.

    The Giants kept Kelly off the field by setting a Super Bowl record for time of possession with 40 minutes and 33 seconds, including 22 minutes in the second half. Scott Norwood came in for a field goal to win the game, but his 47-yard kick was wide. The Giants dodged a bullet and had their second Super Bowl championship. Ottis Anderson was named the Super Bowl MVP.

  • #4 - Super Bowl XLVI: Giants vs. Patriots (2012)

    Both the Giants and the Patriots were looking for their fourth Super Bowl win when they met in Super Bowl XLVI. The Patriots had won in three of their six previous Super Bowl appearances, while the Giants had won three of four. Most notably, New York had stunned New England to win Super Bowl XLII four years earlier. This was the first trip back to the big game for both teams.

    At time wound down, the Giants had the lead at 21–17, but Brady and the Patriots still had 57 seconds to score, and everyone knew that Brady was capable of making it happen. But New York’s defense shut down Brady, and New England never made it into their opponent’s territory. The Giants emerged with another Super Bowl win over the favored Patriots. Eli Manning completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions. He was named the Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career.

  • #3 - Super Bowl XXI: Giants vs. Broncos (1987)

    Super Bowl XXI marked the Giants’ first-ever appearance in the Super Bowl. Their last NFL championship had come three decades earlier in 1956, and their last appearance in the championship game was in 1963.

    The Giants won the 1986 NFC East title with a 14-2 record, tied for best in the league with the Bears. Their 14 wins were the most in franchise history. The team’s primary strength was its defense. Led by future Hall of Fame linebacker Lawrence Taylor, the Giants’ defense allowed the second-fewest points in the league and gave up the fewest rushing yards. In their two playoff wins before the Super Bowl, the Giants allowed a total of only three points.

    The Giants won their first Super Bowl championship 39–20. Phil Simms was named the Super Bowl MVP. He completed 22 of 25 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. His 88% completion percentage set a new Super Bowl record.

  • #2 - NFC Championship Game: Giants vs. Vikings (2000)

    I was at this game and no one wanted to leave even an hour after it ended. The atmosphere at Giants Stadium was unlike anything I’d ever been at in any sport.

    The Giants won the NFC East with a 12–4 record, which was the best in the conference. They beat the Eagles handily in the divisional round of the playoffs. A win against the Vikings would give them their first NFC Championship since 1990 and put them back in the Super Bowl.

    The game turned out to be one of the most one-sided wins in franchise history and the biggest rout in NFC championship game history. The Giants dominated the Vikings in all phases of the game. They maintained possession for more than 42 minutes. Going into the game, the Giants had been the underdogs. But after a near-perfect effort, they were the ones hoisting the NFC championship trophy. They were headed back to the Super Bowl for the first time in a decade which they would eventually lose 34-7 to the Baltimore Ravens.

  • #1 - Super Bowl XLII: Giants vs. Patriots (2008)

    The Giants’ victory in Super Bowl XLII heads the list as the greatest win in franchise history. The Giants were seeking their third Super Bowl championship and their first since they had won Super Bowl XXV 17 years earlier. They were also trying to become the first NFC wild-card team to win the Super Bowl.

    The AFC champion Patriots, meanwhile, were looking to claim their fourth Super Bowl championship in seven years. And they were coming off a perfect 16–0 season, the first team to complete a perfect season since 1972 and the first ever to do it in a 16-game season.

    New York and New England had met in Week 17, with the Patriots winning 38–35 to complete their perfect season. It was no wonder that the Patriots were 12-point favorites to win the Lombardi Trophy.

    With 1:15 left, the Giants faced third-and-five on their 44-yard line. Manning found himself under heavy pressure, but he eluded the grasp of two Patriots linemen and fired deep down the middle. Tyree out-jumped Patriots safety Rodney Harrison to make the catch. He maintained possession by pinning the ball against his helmet as he fell to the ground for a 32-yard gain. The Patriots got the ball back, but the Giants’ defense held them in check to preserve the win. It was a colossal upset that ruined what had been a perfect season for the Patriots and gave the Giants their third Super Bowl title. Eli Manning was named the Super Bowl MVP.