The 1991New York Giants season was the 67th season for the club in the National Football League. The Giants entered the season as the defending Super Bowl champion but failed to qualify for the playoffs. They were the eighth team in NFL history to enter a season as the defending Super Bowl champion and miss the playoffs. This was the second time the Giants had failed to make the playoffs after winning a Super Bowl, having also done so in 1987.
New York businessman Robert Tisch purchased half of the interest in the club. He purchased it from Mrs. Helen Mara Nugent, and her children, Tim Mara and Maura Mara Concannon on February 2.
During the Giants' previous season Phil Simms entered the year as the starter and started the first fourteen games of the season. In the course of that fourteenth game, where the Giants hosted the Buffalo Bills, Simms suffered a severe foot injury and backup Jeff Hostetler took over and led the Giants through the playoffs and to their Super Bowl victory over those same Bills.
Simms did recover from his injury and was expected to regain his starting position, but new coach Ray Handley decided to allow Hostetler to try to keep the position he had taken following the injury to Simms. Handley made his decision prior to the Giants' week one matchup with the San Francisco 49ers on Monday Night Football and gave the starting job to Hostetler amid some controversy. Hostetler led the Giants to 6 wins in his eleven starts, but broke his back during a week 13 win against Tampa Bay. Simms returned to finish the game, but went 2–3 as Giants starter the remainder of the year and the Giants fell out of the playoffs.