New York Giants
|New York Giants|
Play in MetLife Stadium
East Rutherford, New Jersey
Headquartered in the Timex Performance Center
East Rutherford, New Jersey
|Team colors||Blue, Red, White, Gray
|Owner(s)||John Mara (50%) and Steve Tisch (50%)|
|General manager||Jerry Reese|
|Head coach||Tom Coughlin|
|Big Blue, G-Men, Jints, Big Blue Wrecking Crew|
|League championships (8)|
|Conference championships (11)|
|Division championships (16)
|Playoff appearances (31)|
The New York Giants, referred to as the Giants, are a professional American football team based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, representing the New York metropolitan area. The Giants are currently members of the East Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL). The team plays its home games in East Rutherford, New Jersey at MetLife Stadium, which it shares with the New York Jets in a unique arrangement. Beginning in 2013, the Giants will hold their summer training camp at the Timex Performance Center at the Meadowlands Sports Complex.
The Giants were one of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, and is the only one of that group still existing. The team ranks third among all NFL franchises with eight NFL titles: four in the pre–Super Bowl era (1927, 1934, 1938, 1956) and four since the advent of the Super Bowl (Super Bowls XXI (1986), XXV (1990), XLII (2007), and XLVI (2011)), along with more championship appearances than any other team, with 19 overall appearances. Their championship tally is surpassed only by the Green Bay Packers (13) and Chicago Bears (9). During their history, the Giants have featured 15 Hall of Fame players, including NFL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award winners Mel Hein, Frank Gifford, Charlie Conerly, Y. A. Tittle, and Lawrence Taylor.
To distinguish themselves from the professional baseball team of the same name, the football team was incorporated as the "New York National League Football Company, Inc." in 1929 and changed to "New York Football Giants, Inc." in 1937. Although the baseball team moved to San Francisco after the 1957 season, the football team continues to use "New York Football Giants, Inc." as its legal corporate name, and is often referred to by fans and sportscasters as the "New York Football Giants". The team has also gained several nicknames, including "Big Blue", the "G-Men", and the "Jints", an intentionally mangled contraction seen frequently in the New York Post and New York Daily News, originating from the baseball team when they were based in New York. Additionally the team as a whole is occasionally referred to as the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew", even though this moniker primarily and originally refers to the Giants defensive unit during the 80s and early 90s.
The team's heated rivalry with the Philadelphia Eagles is the oldest of the NFC East rivalries, dating all the way back to 1933, and has been called the best rivalry in the NFL in the 21st century.
The Giants played their first game as an away game against All New Britain in New Britain, Connecticut, on October 4, 1925. They defeated New Britain 26–0 in front of a crowd of 10,000. The Giants were successful in their first season, finishing with an 8–4 record.
In its third season, the team finished with the best record in the league at 11–1–1 and was awarded the NFL title. After a disappointing fourth season (1928) owner Mara bought the entire squad of the Detroit Wolverines, principally to acquire star quarterback Benny Friedman, and merged the two teams under the Giants name.
In 1930, there were still many who questioned the quality of the professional game, claiming the college "amateurs" played with more intensity than professionals. In December 1930, the Giants played a team of Notre Dame All Stars at the Polo Grounds to raise money for the unemployed of New York City. It was also an opportunity to establish the skill and prestige of the pro game. Knute Rockne reassembled his Four Horsemen along with the stars of his 1924 Championship squad and told them to score early, then defend. Rockne, like much of the public, thought little of pro football and expected an easy win. But from the beginning it was a one-way contest, with Friedman running for two Giant touchdowns and Hap Moran passing for another. Notre Dame failed to score. When it was all over, Coach Rockne told his team, "That was the greatest football machine I ever saw. I am glad none of you got hurt." The game raised $100,000 for the homeless, and is often credited with establishing the legitimacy of the professional game for those who were critical.
In a fourteen-year span from 1933 to 1947, the Giants qualified to play in the NFL championship game 8 times, winning twice. During the period the Giants were led by Hall of Fame coach Steve Owen, and Hall of Fame players Mel Hein, Red Badgro, and Tuffy Leemans. This period also included the famous "Sneakers Game", where they defeated the Chicago Bears on an icy field in the 1934 NFL Championship Game, while wearing sneakers for better traction. The Giants were particularly successful from the latter half of the 1930s until the United States entry into World War II. They added their third NFL championship in 1938 with a 23–17 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Fourth NFL Championship and "The Greatest Game Ever Played" (1947-1963)
They did not win another league title until 1956, aided by a number of future Pro Football Hall of Fame players such as running back Frank Gifford, linebacker Sam Huff, and offensive tackle Roosevelt Brown, as well as all-pro running back Alex Webster. The Giants' 1956 championship team not only included players who would eventually find their way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but a Hall of Fame coaching staff, as well. Head coach Jim Lee Howell's staff had Vince Lombardi coaching the offense and Tom Landry coaching the defense. From 1958 to 1963, the Giants played in the NFL Championship Game five times, but failed to win. Most significantly, the Giants played the Colts in the 1958 NFL Championship Game that is considered a watershed event in the history of the NFL. The game, which the Giants lost in overtime 23–17, is often called "The Greatest Game Ever Played" and is considered one of the most important events in furthering the NFL's popularity. The following year, they lost the championship to the Colts again, giving up a 16–9 4th quarter lead en route to a 31–16 loss. In 1963 led by league MVP quarterback Y.A. Tittle, who threw a then-NFL record 36 touchdown passes, the Giants advanced to the NFL Championship Game, where they lost to the Bears 14–10.
Postseason Drought and Resurgence (1964–1982)
From 1964 to 1978, the Giants registered only two winning seasons and no playoff appearances. With players such as Tittle and Gifford approaching their mid 30s, the team declined rapidly, finishing 2–10–2 in 1964. They rebounded with a 7–7 record in 1965, before compiling a league-worst 1–12–1 record, and allowing more than 500 points on defense in 1966. During the 1969 preseason, the Giants lost their first meeting with the New York Jets, 37–14, in front of 70,874 fans at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut. Following the game, Wellington Mara fired coach Allie Sherman, and replaced him with former Giants fullback Alex Webster.
In 1967, the team acquired quarterback Fran Tarkenton from the Minnesota Vikings. Despite having several respectable seasons with Tarkenton at quarterback, including a 7–7 finish in 1967 and 9–5 in 1970, the Giants traded him back to the Vikings after a 4–10 finish in 1971 . Tarkenton would go on to lead the Vikings to three Super Bowls and earn a place in the Hall of Fame, while the Giants suffered through one of the worst stretches in their history, winning only 23 games from 1973–79. Before the 1976 season, the Giants tried to revive a weak offense by replacing retired RB Ron Johnson with future HOF fullback Larry Csonka, but Csonka was often injured and ineffective during his 3 years in New York. The 1977 season featured a roster that included three rookie quarterbacks.
The Giants were allowed to play their home games at the Yale Bowl in New Haven, Connecticut in 1973–74, and at at Shea Stadium (home of the Mets) in 1975, due to the renovation of Yankee Stadium. They finally moved into their own dedicated state-of-the-art stadium in 1976, when they moved into Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey. One of the low points during this period was the play known as the "Miracle at the Meadowlands", which occurred in 1978. With the Giants trying to kill the clock and secure a win against the Philadelphia Eagles, offensive coordinator Bob Gibson chose to call a running play. This resulted in "The Fumble" by QB Joe Pisarcik that was returned for a game-winning touchdown by the Eagles' Herman Edwards.
The Giants' front office operations were complicated by a long-standing feud between Wellington Mara and his nephew, Tim Mara. Jack Mara had died in 1965, leaving his share of the club to his son Tim. Wellington and Tim's personal styles and their visions for the club clashed, and eventually they stopped talking to each other. Commissioner Rozelle intervened and appointed a neutral general manager, George Young, allowing the club to operate more smoothly. The feud became moot on February 20, 1991, when Tim Mara sold his shares in the club to Preston Robert Tisch.
In 1979, the Giants began the steps that would, in time, return them to the pinnacle of the NFL. These included the drafting of quarterback Phil Simms in 1979, and linebacker Lawrence Taylor in 1981. In 1981, Taylor won the NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year awards and the Giants made the playoffs for the first time since 1963. One of the few bright spots during this time was the team's excellent linebackers, who were known as the Crunch Bunch. After the strike-shortened 1982 season, in which they finished 4–5, head coach Ray Perkins resigned to take over the same position at the University of Alabama. In a change that would prove crucial in the coming years, he was replaced by the team's defensive coordinator, Bill Parcells.
Bill Parcells Era (1983–1990)
In 1983, Bill Parcells was promoted to head coach from defensive coordinator. The 1983 Giants struggled in Parcells's initial year and finished with a 3–12–1 record, partially due to his decision to bench quarterback Phil Simms. Simms again became the starter beginning with the 1984 season which saw the Giants improve to 9–7. After beating the Los Angeles Rams in the Wild Card Round, the Giants prepared for a showdown against top-seeded San Francisco. The 49ers defeated the Giants 21–10 in the Divisional Round.
The 1985 Giants compiled a 10–6 record and avenged their loss against San Francisco by beating them in the Wild Card round 17–3. However, they again lost in the Divisional Round, this time to the Chicago Bears, by a score of 21–0. However, the following season would end with the Giants winning their first Super Bowl championship.
First Super Bowl Championship (1986 season)
After 9–7 and 10–6 finishes in 1984 and 1985 respectively, the Giants compiled a 14–2 record in 1986 led by league MVP and Defensive Player of the Year Lawrence Taylor and the Big Blue Wrecking Crew defense. As of 2012, this is the Giants' best regular season record since the NFL began playing sixteen-game seasons in 1978. After clinching the top seed in the NFC, the Giants defeated the 49ers 49–3 in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs  and the Redskins 17–0 in the NFC championship game, advancing to their first Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXI, against the Denver Broncos at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Led by MVP Simms who completed 22 of 25 passes for a Super Bowl record 88% completion percentage, they defeated the Broncos 39–20, to win their first championship since 1956. In addition to Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor, the team was led during this period by head coach Bill Parcells, tight end Mark Bavaro, running back Joe Morris, and Hall of Fame linebacker Harry Carson.
The Giants struggled to a 6–9 record in the strike-marred 1987 season, due largely to a decline in the running game, as Morris managed only 658 yards behind an injury-riddled offensive line. The early portion of the 1988 season was marred by a scandal involving Lawrence Taylor. Taylor had abused cocaine and was suspended for the first four games of the season for his second violation of the league's substance abuse policy. Despite the controversy, the Giants finished 10–6, and Taylor recorded 15.5 sacks after his return from the suspension. They surged to a 12–4 record in 1989, but lost to the Los Angeles Rams in their opening playoff game when Flipper Anderson caught a 47-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 19–13 overtime win.
Second Super Bowl Championship (1990 season)
In 1990, the Giants went 13–3 and set an NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season (14). They defeated the San Francisco 49ers, who were attempting to win the Super Bowl for an unprecedented third straight year, 15–13 at San Francisco  and then defeated the Buffalo Bills 20–19 in Super Bowl XXV.
Post-Parcells Era (1991–1996)
Following the 1990 season, Parcells resigned as head coach and was replaced by the team's offensive coordinator, Ray Handley. Handley served as coach for two disappointing seasons (1991–92), which saw the Giants fall from Super Bowl champions to an 8–8 record in 1991 and a 6–10 record in 1992. He was fired following the 1992 season, and replaced by former Denver Broncos' coach Dan Reeves. In the early 1990s, Simms and Taylor, two of the stars of the 1980s, played out the last seasons of their careers with steadily declining production. The Giants experienced a resurgent season with Reeves at the helm in 1993 however, and Simms and Taylor ended their careers as members of a playoff team.
The Giants initially struggled in the post Simms-Taylor era. After starting 3–7 in 1994, the Giants won their final six games to finish 9–7 but missed the playoffs. Quarterback Dave Brown received heavy criticism throughout the season. Brown performed poorly the following two seasons, and the Giants struggled to 5–11 and 6–10 records. Reeves was fired following the 1996 season.
Jim Fassel Era (1997–2003)
In 1997, the Giants named Jim Fassel, who had spent the previous season as offensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals, as their sixteenth head coach. Fassel named Danny Kanell the team's starting quarterback. The Giants finished the 1997 season with a record of 10–5–1 and qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years. However, they lost in the Wild Card round to the Vikings at home. The following year, the Giants began the season 4–8 before rallying to finish the season 8–8. One of the notable games of that season was a win over the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos in week 15, giving the Broncos their first loss of the season after starting 13–0.
Before the 1999 season, the Giants signed ex-Carolina Panthers quarterback Kerry Collins. Collins was the first–ever draft choice of the expansion Carolina Panthers in 1995, and led the Panthers to the NFC Championship game in his second season. However, problems with alcohol, conflicts with his teammates and questions about his character led to his release from the Panthers. The Giants finished the season with a 7–9 record, Fassel's first losing season as head coach.
NFC Champions (2000 season)
In 2000, the Giants were looking to make the playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Giants started the season 7-2, but suffered back-to-back home losses to St. Louis and Detroit to make their record 7-4 and call their playoff prospects into question. At a press conference following the Giants' loss to Detroit, Fassel guaranteed that "this team is going to the playoffs". The Giants responded, winning the rest of their regular season games to finish the season 12–4 and clinch the top seed in the NFC. In the Divisional Round, the Giants beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20–10 at home to qualify for the NFC Championship Game, in which they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 41–0. They advanced to play the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV. Though the Giants went into halftime down only 10–0, the Ravens dominated the second half. Their defense harassed Kerry Collins all game long, resulting in Collins completing only 15 of 39 passes for 112 yards and 4 interceptions. The Ravens won the game 34–7.
After a disappointing 7-9 record in 2001, the Giants finished the 2002 season with a record of 10-6, qualifying for the playoffs as a wild card. This set up a meeting with the San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park in the Wild Card round. The Giants built up a sizable lead throughout the game, and led 38-14 with 4:27 left in the third quarter. However, San Francisco rallied to win the game by one point, with the final score as 39-38.
After a dismal 2003 season in which the Giants finished with a 4-12 record, Jim Fassel was released by the Giants. His head coaching record with the Giants during this time was 58-53-1.
Tom Coughlin/Eli Manning Era (2004-present)
In 2004, three years after their last Super Bowl appearance, Fassel was replaced by current coach Tom Coughlin. Although Collins had several solid seasons as the Giants quarterback, he experienced his share of struggles. In 2004, the Giants completed a draft day trade for University of Mississippi quarterback Eli Manning. Manning became the team's starting quarterback in the middle of the 2004 season, taking over for Kurt Warner. During the three-year period from 2004-2006, Tom Coughlin's Giants compiled a 25–23 regular season record and two appearances in the Wild Card Round — both losses (to the Carolina Panthers in 2005 and to the Philadelphia Eagles in 2006.) and spawned intense media scrutiny concerning the direction of the team. During this period in their history, standout players included defensive end Michael Strahan, who set the NFL single season record in sacks in 2001, and running back Tiki Barber, who set a team record for rushing yards in a season in 2005. Barber retired at the end of the 2006 season.
Third Super Bowl Championship (2007 season)
Going into 2007, the Giants had made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. In 2007, the Giants became the third NFL franchise to win at least 600 games when they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 31–10 on Monday Night Football . For the 2007 season, the NFL scheduled the Giants' road game against the Miami Dolphins on October 28 in London's Wembley Stadium; this was the first NFL regular-season game to be played outside of North America. The Giants defeated the Dolphins, 13–10. The Giants finished 10–6, and became NFC Champions after defeating the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Dallas Cowboys, and Green Bay Packers in the NFC Playoffs. They set a record for most consecutive road wins with 10 (a streak which ended with a loss to the Cleveland Browns during week 6 of the 2008 season).
The Patriots (18–0) entered the Super Bowl undefeated and were 12 point favorites going into game weekend. The Giants defeated the Patriots 17–14 in Super Bowl XLII, capped by the famous "Manning to Tyree" pass. It was the third biggest upset by betting line in Super Bowl history (The Baltimore Colts were favored by 17 over the New York Jets in Super Bowl III, and the St. Louis Rams were favored by 14 over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI.). Co-owner John Mara described it as "the greatest victory in the history of this franchise, without question".
Opening of MetLife Stadium and Late-Season Collapses (2008–2010)
The Giants began the 2008 NFL season with a record of 11-1, but lost three of their last four regular season games partially due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound to wide receiver Plaxico Burress. However, the Giants still won the NFC East with a record of 12–4, and clinched the number one seed in the NFC after beating the Carolina Panthers for home field advantage and a first-round bye. In the Divisional Round of the playoffs, the Giants lost 23–11 to the Philadelphia Eagles at home.
In 2009, the Giants opened a new training complex, the Timex Performance Center, also located in the Meadowlands. After starting 5–0 in the 2009 season, New York lost to the likewise undefeated New Orleans Saints at the Superdome 48–27, beginning a four-game losing streak, in which they lost to the Arizona Cardinals 24–17, the San Diego Chargers 21–20 and the Philadelphia Eagles 40–17. The streak was broken with a 34–31 overtime victory against the Falcons. On Thanksgiving night, they lost to the Denver Broncos 26–6. The Giants next beat the division leading Cowboys. A week later, with a record of 7–5, they lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, 45–38. On December 27, the Giants lost to the Carolina Panthers 41–9 in their final game at Giants Stadium, and were eliminated from playoff eligibility. The Giants finished the season 8–8.
Following the season, the Giants fired first-year defensive coordinator Bill Sheridan, and replaced him with the former Buffalo Bills interim head coach, Perry Fewell. The Giants defense finished 13th overall under Sheridan, giving up 324.9 yards per game, and the final two losses of the season against Carolina and Minnesota, in which the Giants gave up 85 points, ultimately led to the firing.
In 2010, the Giants moved from Giants Stadium into MetLife Stadium, then known as the "New Meadowlands Stadium". They won against the Panthers in the very first game at the New Meadowlands, but then lost to the Colts in the second "Manning Bowl", so-called due to Eli Manning's brother Peyton playing for the Colts. The Giants dropped one game to the Tennessee Titans before going on a five-game winning streak, beating the Chicago Bears, Houston Texans, Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, and Seattle Seahawks. Before long, the Giants were 6–2, but lost two straight to division foes: to the Cowboys 33–20 at home, and to the Eagles on the road, putting the G-Men in 2nd place in the NFC East at 6–4. In first place was the Eagles, but at December 19 they were both tied for first place at 8–4, setting up a match for first place. The Giants were at home, and led 24–3 over the Eagles at halftime. The score was 31–10 with 5:40 left in the game, but Michael Vick led the Eagles to three touchdown drives to tie the game up at 31 with 40 seconds left. After a Giants three-and-outs, Matt Dodge punted the ball to Desean Jackson, who returned it for a touchdown, concluding the Giants' epic collapse. The next game, the Giants lost to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers 45–17, and at 9–6, they faced the Redskins. They had to win and have the Packers lose in order to get into the playoffs. The Giants won 17–14, but the Packers beat the Bears 10–3, so the Giants missed out on the playoffs again, ending a collapse in which the Giants went 4–4 in their last eight games.
Fourth Super Bowl Championship (2011 season)
During the 2011 preseason, the Giants lost Kevin Boss, Steve Smith, Rich Seubert, Keith Bulluck, Derek Hagan, and pro-bowl center Shaun O'Hara to free agency. However, the season also saw the emergence of second-year wide receiver Victor Cruz and second-year tight end Jake Ballard. The Giants opened their season with a 28-14 loss the Washington Redskins in FedEx Field on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. However, the Giants secured a 6-2 record by the midpoint of the season, including road victories over the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. The latter victory ended the Patriots' NFL record home-game winning streak, after a touchdown pass from Manning to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds left in the game.
However, the Giants then suffered a four-game losing streak, including road losses against the resurgent San Francisco 49ers and the New Orleans Saints and home losses to the Eagles and the then-undefeated Green Bay Packers, to make their record 6-6 entering December. The Giants broke their losing streak with a tightly contested 37–34 road victory over the Cowboys on December 11. but lost at home to the Washington Redskins the following week to make their record 7-7 with a Christmas Eve showdown against their crosstown rival New York Jets the following week. The Giants won, 29-14, and knocked the Eagles out of playoff contention, to set up a Week 17 home game against the Cowboys in which the winner would clinch the NFC East while the loser would be eliminated from playoff contention. The game was flexed into Sunday Night Football. The Giants defeated the Cowboys, 31-14, and clinched the NFC East title and the fourth seed in the playoffs. Wide receiver Victor Cruz finished the regular season with 1,536 receiving yards, breaking the Giants franchise record previously held by Amani Toomer.
On January 8, 2012 in the first round of the playoffs the Giants defeated the Atlanta Falcons 24–2. After giving up an early safety in the first half, QB Eli Manning threw for three consecutive touchdowns. RBs Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs combined for 172 yards rushing, a season-high for the Giants. With the victory, the Giants advanced to the second round against the top-ranked Green Bay Packers.
On January 15, 2012, the Giants defeated the Green Bay Packers 37–20. Eli Manning threw for 330 yards and 3 touchdowns, two of which to wide receiver Hakeem Nicks. This earned the Giants a spot in the NFC Championship Game on January 22, 2012, against the San Francisco 49ers. They won this game 20–17, in overtime, with Tynes scoring the winning field goal as he did four years earlier in the same game against the Packers.
The New York Giants won Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots with a score of 21–17. The winning touchdown was preceded by a 38-yard reception by receiver Mario Manningham. As in Super Bowl XLII, Eli Manning was Super Bowl MVP, defeating the New England Patriots for a second time in the Super Bowl.
Ahmad Bradshaw scored the game winning touchdown by falling into the end zone. The Patriots were allowing Bradshaw to get the touchdown so they would get the ball with some time remaining. When Eli Manning handed the ball to Bradshaw, he told him not to score. Bradshaw was about to fall down at the 1-yard line but his momentum carried him in, thus the "reluctant touchdown".
As was the case in each of their four previous Super Bowl appearances, the Giants trailed at halftime. They are the only team in NFL history to have more than two second half, come from behind, Super Bowl victories (4). (The Pittsburgh Steelers, who accomplished the feat in Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIV, are the only other team to do it more than once.)
Post-Super Bowl (2012-present)
The Giants finished with a 9-7 record in 2012 and did not make the playoffs. The Redskins won the division with a 10-6 record only to lose to the Seahawks 24-14 in Wild Card Weekend. QB Eli Manning, DE Jason Pierre-Paul, WR Victor Cruz, and G Chris Snee represented the Giants at the Pro Bowl.
Pre Super Bowl NFL Championships
Before the Super Bowl was instituted, the Giants won four officially recognized NFL Championships.
Super Bowl Championships
The Giants have won four Super Bowls, the fourth most behind only Dallas, San Francisco and Pittsburgh.