New York Giants: Ranking Big Blue's 15 Best Playoff Wins over Last 30 Years
This year, it was a forgettable season as the Giants finished 9-7 and missed out on a chance to get back to the playoff and defend their championship.
But all the many Giants playoff wins the team has accomplished over the last 30 years are unforgettable.
So with this being Super Bowl week, this will be a trip down memory lane and will rank all of the best playoff wins for Big Blue during that span of time.
Honorable Mention: 1993 NFC Wild Card Round; Giants 17, Vikings 10
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After two terrible seasons under Ray Handley, the Giants brought in longtime Denver Broncos head coach Dan Reeves to turn it around in New Jersey.
And, in 1993, the Giants finished 11-5 and hosted a wild-card game under the old format against the Minnesota Vikings, who finished 9-7.
The Vikings were up 10-3 at halftime, but then the Giants took over in the second half of the game.
Not only did their defense pitch a shutout against Jim McMahon and company, but Rodney Hampton scored two touchdowns in the third quarter; one from 51 yards out and one from two yards out, and the Giants won 17-10.
What was memorable about this game was that it was the final home game and victory for two Giants legends; quarterback Phil Simms and linebacker Lawrence Taylor.
15. 2011 NFC Wild Card Round; Giants 24, Falcons 2
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The week before, the Giants defeated the Dallas Cowboys at MetLife Stadium to win the 2011 NFC East Division Title and earned the No. 4 seed in the playoffs.
Their first-round opponent was at home against the No. 5 seeded Atlanta Falcons.
Early on, the game got off to a slow start as the Falcons were up 2-0 because Eli Manning got a penalty for intentional grounding in the end zone.
Eli Manning's four-yard pass to Hakeem Nicks put the Giants up 7-2, and Big Blue never looked back.
Manning threw two more touchdown passes in the second half; a 72-yard bomb to Nicks and a 27-yard strike to Mario Manningham, and the Giants rolled 24-2.
The defense technically pitched a shutout because no points were scored against them.
Manning went 23-for-32 for 277 yards and threw three touchdown passes with no interceptions.
14. 2007 NFC Wild Card Round; Giants
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Before the 2007 playoffs, Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin were 0-2 during the postseason with the Giants.
So as the No. 5 seed, the Giants really needed to get a win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers so that people would stop questioning whether or not Manning was cut out for New York.
After trailing 7-0, the Giants took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter behind two Brandon Jacobs touchdowns.
In the fourth quarter, Manning threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Amani Toomer and put the Giants ahead 24-7.
The Giants would hold on to win 24-14 over Jon Gruden's bunch and earn the first career playoff victory for Manning, as well as Coughlin's first playoff win as the head coach of the Giants.
13. 1986 NFC Divisional Round; Giants 49, 49ers 3
I've always said that Joe Montana was perhaps the greatest quarterback who ever played in the NFL.
But on January 4, 1987, the Giants made him look like anything but that.
Montana was held to 98 total passing yards with two interceptions and did not throw a single touchdown pass in the game.
Phil Simms had two first-half touchdown passes, and Lawrence Taylor had an interception return for a touchdown as the Giants took a commanding 28-3 lead at halftime.
In the second half, Simms threw two more touchdowns in the third quarter and Joe Morris added a two-yard touchdown run as the Giants pummeled San Francisco 49-3 and advanced to the NFC Championship.
Simms was only 9-for-19 with 136 yards, but had four touchdown passes.
12. 2000 NFC Divisional Round; Giants 20, Eagles 10
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For the first time in three years since Jim Fassel's rookie season as head coach, the Giants got back to the playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Their first game was up against their NFC East rivals, the Philadelphia Eagles, a team the Giants had already beaten twice in the regular season.
The third game was no different from the first two.
Giants kick returner Ron Dixon took the opening kickoff of the game and returned it 97 yards to the end zone, and the Giants were immediately up 7-0.
If you ever want to hear Giants Stadium as loud as it's ever been, watch the crowd reaction to Dixon's return.
Jason Sehorn picked off Donovan McNabb on an acrobatic play and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown that made it 17-0.
The Giants held on to win 20-10 and advanced to the NFC Championship for the first time since 1990.
11. 2011 NFC Divisional Round; Giants 37, Packers 20
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After knocking off the Falcons in the first round, the Giants had to travel to Lambeau Field to play the defending champion Green Bay Packers.
Not to mention, the 15-1 Green Bay Packers with the league's MVP in Aaron Rodgers.
Yep, that didn't seem to bother the Giants as they took it to the champs in their own building.
The Giants went up 10-3 in the first quarter and were leading at halftime 20-10 on two Eli Manning to Hakeem Nicks touchdowns.
The second one was a Hail Mary right before the half that Nicks had to jump up and make over several Green Bay defenders, and it was an amazing catch to see.
In the fourth quarter, another Manning touchdown pass to Mario Manningham made it 30-13, and a Brandon Jacobs touchdown run sealed the victory as the Giants knocked off the 2010 Super Bowl Champions 37-20.
Manning out-dueled Rodgers by going 21-for-33 for 330 yards with three touchdowns and just one interception.
10. 2007 NFC Divisional Round; Giants 21, Cowboys 17
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During the regular season, the Giants had lost both encounters against the Cowboys, who were the No. 1 seed in the playoffs at 13-3.
The Giants came into Texas Stadium looking for revenge and played with no fear on the road.
The Giants jumped out to an early 7-0 lead off a 52-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Amani Toomer.
The Cowboys responded with two straight touchdowns that put them up 14-7 right before the half.
But the Giants marched down the field and punched in another touchdown, a four-yard TD pass from Manning to Toomer, and made it 14-14.
I feel that touchdown drive changed the entire complexion of the game, as the momentum swung right into the favor of the Giants in the second half.
The Giants did not allow another touchdown to the Cowboys and had Tony Romo running for his life at times trying to get the ball away from the Giants defense.
Brandon Jacobs' one-yard run put the Giants ahead 21-17, but Dallas still had time left on the clock to drive the field.
Romo and company got the ball into Giants territory, but on fourth down, Romo's pass to Terry Glenn was intercepted by R.W. McQuarters in the end zone, and the Giants knocked off the Cowboys in their own building to advance to the NFC Championship.
I will never forget the look on Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' face, watching the Giants celebrate the game on his field in utter disgust.
9. 1986 NFC Championship; Giants 17, Redskins 0
After dismantling the 49ers the week before, the Giants played host to the NFC Championship against a team they had beaten twice in the regular season; the Washington Redskins.
The week before, the Giants defense held the 49ers to just three points.
Against Washington, the defense pitched a shutout at home, made Jay Schroeder uncomfortable all game as they sacked him four times and never allowed him to get into a rhythm.
In the first quarter, Phil Simms threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lionel Manuel that put the Giants up 10-0 and Joe Morris' one-yard run put the Giants up 17-0 at the half.
And that's all the Giants needed as they advanced to their first ever Super Bowl in team history by knocking off Washington for a third time 17-0.
8. 2000 NFC Championship; Giants 41, Vikings 0
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Heading into the 2000 NFC Championship Game, many felt that the Giants were going to be overpowered by the Vikings' high-octane offense.
And were people wrong on that Sunday at Giants Stadium.
From start to finish, the Giants absolutely demolished the Vikings in their own building.
The Giants were up 14-0 before Daunte Culpepper had taken a single snap for the Vikings on offense.
Kerry Collins had by far the single best performance of his career by going 28-for-39 for 389 yards and threw five touchdown passes with two interceptions.
Ike Hillard had an amazing day for the Giants, hauling in 10 catches for 155 yards and two touchdown catches; a 46-yarder in the beginning of the first quarter and a seven-yard catch in the second quarter.
Culpepper was intercepted three times and Randy Moss was held down to two catches for 18 yards and no touchdowns.
The Giants went on to win 41-0 and moved on to play in Super Bowl XXXV, their first Super Bowl appearance in 10 years.
7. 2011 NFC Championship; Giants 20, 49ers 17, OT
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The Giants were on a run in 2011 similar to the one they were on back in 2007.
They had knocked off the Falcons and Packers in the previous weeks, and all that stood in the Giants' way was the high-powered defense of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
The 49ers got off to a quick start when Alex Smith threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis that put San Francisco up 7-0.
The Giants responded in the second quarter with a six-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Bear Pascoe, tying the game at 7-7.
A Lawrence Tynes field goal later on in the quarter put the Giants up 10-7 at the half.
In the third quarter, Smith connected again to Davis on a 28-yard touchdown strike and the 49ers were back up 14-10.
In the fourth quarter, Manning threw his second touchdown pass of the game, this one to Mario Manningham from 17 yards out, and the Giants regained the lead at 17-14.
A David Akers field goal tied the game at 17-17, and the game went into overtime.
In overtime, Kyle Williams fumbled a punt return that the Giants recovered, giving them excellent field position, which set up a game-winning 31-yard field goal by Tynes, and the Giants won a grueling battle 20-17.
Manning took an absolute pounding from the ferocious 49ers defense, getting sacked six times. Yet, Manning still went 32-for-58 for 316 yards and threw two touchdown passes and showed just how tough he could be when needed.
6. 2007 NFC Championship Game; Giants 23, Packers 20, OT
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Many people felt that the Giants would be out of their element in the 2007 NFC Championship Game.
They were playing at Lambeau Field in a game that started out -3 degrees and got colder as the night progressed.
Brett Favre was already used to playing in the cold weather and elements of his own building, but instead, it was Eli Manning who had the better game out of the two quarterbacks.
The Giants got out to a 6-0 lead off of two Lawrence Tynes field goals, but the Packers took the lead on a 90-yard pass play from Favre to Donald Driver that put them up 7-6.
The Packers had a 10-6 lead at the half, but the Giants were right in the game.
Brandon Jacobs put the Giants back on top with a one-yard plunge and moved them ahead 13-10.
Favre threw his second touchdown of the game to Donald Lee from 12 yards out and put Green Bay back up 17-13.
Ahmad Bradshaw's four-yard run put the Giants ahead again 20-17. In the fourth quarter, Mason Crosby's field goal tied the game at 20-20.
Tynes had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, botching a 36-yard field goal that would have won the game for the Giants.
In overtime, Favre threw his third interception of the game to Corey Webster, which gave the Giants excellent field position early on in the overtime period.
Tynes came back out for a 47-yard attempt, only this time, he drilled it right down the middle and sent the Giants to Super Bowl XLII as the Giants knocked off the Packers 23-20.
5. 1990 NFC Championship; Giants 15, 49ers 13
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Heading into the 1990 NFC Championship Game, the Giants played the part of the underdogs.
Despite finishing 13-3 in the regular season, the San Francisco 49ers were the two-time defending Super Bowl Champions looking for a three-peat and were an eight-point favorite heading into the game.
The Giants, however, were able to slow down the high-powered offense of the 49ers, and it turned into a field-goal kicking contest, as the Giants and 49ers were tied at 6-6 heading into halftime.
The 49ers got the first touchdown of the game when Joe Montana threw a 61-yard touchdown pass to John Taylor that put the 49ers up 13-6.
With backup quarterback Jeff Hostetler playing in place of injured quarterback Phil Simms, he kept the Giants in the game the whole time by using his legs to scramble and make big throws down field.
Joe Montana got knocked out of the game due to a vicious hit by defensive lineman Leonard Marshall, which forced Steve Young into the game.
In the second half, the Giants relied on Matt Bahr's leg to get them all of their points, as he kicked a 46-yarder that made the score 13-9.
In the fourth quarter, Bahr hit a 38-yarder that made the score 13-12 and then, with no time remaining on the clock, Bahr hit the game-winning 42-yard field goal that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl by knocking off the defending champions, 15-13.
4. Super Bowl XLVI; Giants 21, Patriots 17
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It's hard to believe that the Giants' second improbable run to the Super Bowl was just one year ago.
After knocking off the 49ers in the NFC Championship, the Giants had a date and rematch with the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.
Three months earlier in the season, Eli Manning had knocked off the Patriots 24-20 in Gillette Stadium, but that was just the dress rehearsal, as they would play the biggest game of the season in Indianapolis.
The Giants jumped out to an early 9-0 lead off a safety on Tom Brady and then a two-yard touchdown pass from Manning to Victor Cruz.
The Patriots responded with a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski and then a four-yard touchdown from Brady to Danny Woodhead that put New England up 10-9 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Brady struck again, throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez that put the Patriots up 17-9.
The Giants never panicked as they kept within striking distance, as Lawrence Tynes made field goals from 33 and 38 yards that cut the lead to 17-15.
In the fourth quarter, Chase Blackburn saved a touchdown by intercepting a pass intended for Rob Gronkowski deep downfield, a play that puts Blackburn forever in Giants playoff history.
With less than four minutes left, Manning was given the ball with a chance to drive the field against the Patriots defense.
Manning drove the length of the field, which included the renown 38-yard deep pass to Mario Manningham on the sideline, and the Giants took the lead with less than a minute when Ahmad Bradshaw fell into the end zone from six yards out.
Brady got one last chance to try and win the game, but his Hail Mary attempt to Hernandez fell incomplete in the end zone, and the Giants won Super Bowl XLVI 21-17.
Manning went 30-for-40 with 296 yards and one touchdown and was named Super Bowl MVP.
3. Super Bowl XXI; Giants 39, Broncos 20
Super Bowl XXI was the first time the Giants had gotten to a Super Bowl in their team history.
All that stood in their way were John Elway and the Denver Broncos.
The Giants took a 7-3 lead in the first quarter when Phil Simms threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Zeke Mowatt.
Elway gave Denver a 10-7 lead when he scampered into the end zone from four yards out.
George Martin sacked Elway in the end zone just before the half that made the score 10-9, but the momentum seemed to be on the side of the Giants going into the second half.
In the second half, it was all Giants.
Simms threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Mark Bavaro that put the Giants up 16-10.
Joe Morris' one-yard touchdown run made it 26-10 in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Simms threw another touchdown pass; this one was a six-yard touchdown pass to Phil McConkey that put the Giants up 33-10.
The Giants won their first championship by beating Denver 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI.
Simms set a Super Bowl record for completion percentage by going 22-for-25 with 268 yards and throwing three touchdowns. For his efforts, Simms was named Super Bowl MVP.
2. Super Bowl XXV; Giants 20, Bills 19
For the longest time, many Giants fans felt that this was the greatest Super Bowl ever played.
It still ranks up there as one of the best ever with a historic end to the game.
Just a week after playing underdog in the NFC Championship, the Giants again played underdogs against the Buffalo Bills, who were favored by seven points.
The Giants defense had a game plan to stop the high-powered offense led by Jim Kelly; the game plan that got Bill Belichick his reputation for being a defensive guru and his first head coaching opportunity.
The game was tied at 3-3 until Don Smith scored from one-yard out that put Buffalo up 10-3.
Bruce Smith sacked Jeff Hostetler in the end zone for a safety, and the Bills were up 12-3.
Hostetler kept the Giants in the game by throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Baker that made it 12-10 at halftime.
In the second half, the Giants used a Bill Parcells philosophy of grinding out the clock and controlling the ball, which lead to Ottis Anderson scoring from one-yard out that put the Giants out front 17-12.
Thurman Thomas scored from 31 yards out in the fourth quarter that gave Buffalo the lead again 19-17.
Matt Bahr, who was the Giants hero a week ago, nailed a 21-yard field goal that put the Giants ahead 20-19.
The Bills had one last chance to get into field-goal range for their kicker, Scott Norwood. Kelly got the Bills to the 29-yard line, setting up a 47-yard attempt for Norwood with eight seconds left.
Norwood's kick sailed wide right and the Giants held on to win Super Bowl XXV 20-19.
Anderson carried the ball 21 times for 102 yards with a touchdown and was named Super Bowl MVP.
1. Super Bowl XLII; Giants 17, Patriots 14
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February 3, 2008. Super Bowl XLII. The greatest Super Bowl ever played. The biggest upset in NFL history.
The Giants were already on an improbable run to Glendale, and they had one more obstacle: The 18-0 New England Patriots.
Nobody gave the Giants a chance in the world to knock off the undefeated Patriots, but the Giants had confidence from their Week 17 regular-season game against New England.
That didn't stop the Giants from taking to the Patriots and Tom Brady the entire game, sacking him five times in the contest.
A Lawrence Tynes 32-yard field goal in the first quarter and a Laurence Maroney one-yard run in the second quarter was all the scoring that happened until the fourth quarter, as it was 7-3 heading into the final period.
In the fourth quarter, Eli Manning threw a five-yard touchdown pass to David Tyree that gave the Giants a 10-7 lead that held up for most of the quarter.
With less than three minutes left in the game, Brady hit Randy Moss on a six-yard touchdown pass and put the Patriots ahead 14-10.
Manning was given the ball with less than three minutes left and over 80 yards to go.
The Giants quarterback engineered one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history, taking the team down the field.
On 3rd and 5, Manning escaped a sure sack and launched a 32-yard deep pass over the middle to Tyree that he had to jump up for and held onto with his helmet. Many feel it is the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.
With 39 seconds left, Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the back of the end zone and put the Giants ahead 17-14.
Brady got the ball back with 35 second left, but turned the ball over on four straight plays, and the Giants went on to complete the greatest upset ever in Super Bowl history by knocking off the Patriots 17-14 to win Super Bowl XLII.
Manning went 19-for-34 for 255 yards and threw two touchdown passes and was named Super Bowl MVP.