1991 New York Giants season

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1991 New York Giants season
Head coach Ray Handley
General manager George Young
Owner Wellington Mara
Robert Tisch
Home field Giants Stadium
Record 8–8
Division place 4th NFC East
Playoff finish did not qualify

The 1991 New 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,[1] and became the first organization in NFL history to do so twice; the Giants missed out on the playoffs a season after winning Super Bowl XXI as well.

The 1991 season marked the first season that the Mara family did not have total ownership of the Giants. Wellington Mara's nephew Tim, who had inherited the half-stake in the team that his grandfather and namesake had given to Tim's father Jack, decided that he no longer wanted to be involved with the team after twenty-six years, most of which had been spent feuding with his uncle over the team's operations. On February 2, 1991, shortly after Super Bowl XXV, Tim Mara announced he had sold his family's stake in the team to businessman Bob Tisch, the co-founder of Loews Corporation and former United States Postmaster General. Tisch did not take an active role in the operations of the team, instead choosing to focus on the team's finances; this enabled the Maras to keep control of the football side of the team and allowed Wellington Mara's son John to take a more active role with the Giants.[2]

The 1991 season also marked the first time since 1983 that the Giants entered the season with a new head coach. Bill Parcells decided to retire following the Super Bowl victory and general manager George Young chose to promote Ray Handley, the team's running backs coach, to the position instead of promoting defensive coordinator Bill Belichick; Belichick would leave the Giants soon after to become head coach of the Cleveland Browns.

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 Handley decided to make Simms and Hostetler compete for the position. 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.



After the 1990 season, in which the Giants won the Super Bowl, the Giants lost several members of their coaching staff. In addition to Parcells and Belichick,[4] wide receivers coach Tom Coughlin took the head coaching position Boston College; he was said to have been the first choice to replace Parcells and would have done so had he not left the Giants.

NFL Draft[edit]

1991 New York Giants draft
Round Pick Player Position College Notes
1 27 Jarrod Bunch  RB Michigan
2 55 Kanavis McGhee  LB Buffalo
3 83 Ed McCaffrey *  WR Stanford
4 111 Clarence Jones  T Maryland
5 139 Anthony Moss  LB Florida State
6 67 Corey Miller  LB South Carolina
7 195 Simmie Carter  DB Southern Miss
8 223 Lamar McGriggs  DB Western Illinois
9 250 Jerry Bouldin  WR Mississippi State
10 278 Luis Cristobal  G Miami
11 306 Ted Popson  TE Portland
12 334 Larry Wanke  QB John Carroll
      Made roster    †   Pro Football Hall of Fame    *   Made at least one Pro Bowl during career


Regular season[edit]


Game Date Opponent Result Giants points Opponents Record Attendance
1 Sept. 2 San Francisco 49ers Win 16 14 1–0
2 Sept. 8 Los Angeles Rams Loss 13 19 1–1
3 Sept. 15 at Chicago Bears Loss 17 20 1–2
4 Sept. 22 Cleveland Browns Win 13 10 2–2
5 Sept. 29 at Dallas Cowboys Loss 16 21 2–3
6 Oct. 6 Phoenix Cardinals Win 20 9 3–3
7 Oct. 14 at Pittsburgh Steelers Win 23 20 4–3
8 Bye Week
9 Oct. 27 Washington Redskins Loss 13 17 4–4
10 Nov. 4 at Philadelphia Eagles Loss 7 30 4–5
11 Nov. 10 at Phoenix Cardinals Win 21 14 5–5
12 Nov. 17 Dallas Cowboys Win 22 9 6–5
13 Nov. 24 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Win 21 14 7–5
14 Dec. 1 at Cincinnati Bengals Loss 24 27 7–6
15 Dec. 8 Philadelphia Eagles Loss 14 19 7–7
16 Dec. 15 at Washington Redskins Loss 17 34 7–8
17 Dec. 22 Houston Oilers Win 24 20 8–8


Game summaries[edit]

Week 7: at Pittsburgh Steelers[edit]

1 2 3 4 Total
Giants 7 6 7 3 23
Steelers 0 0 3 17 20

at Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


NFC East
(1) Washington Redskins 14 2 0 .875 6–2 10–2 485 224 L1
(5) Dallas Cowboys 11 5 0 .688 5–3 8–4 342 310 W5
Philadelphia Eagles 10 6 0 .625 5–3 6–6 285 244 W1
New York Giants 8 8 0 .500 3–5 5–7 281 297 W1
Phoenix Cardinals 4 12 0 .250 1–7 3–11 196 344 L8


1991 New York Giants final roster

Running backs

Wide receivers

Tight ends

Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

Reserve lists

Practice squad

Rookies in italics
Active, Inactive, Practice squad

Awards and honors[edit]

See also[edit]