The Top 10 New York Giants Teams of All-Time
The New York Giants have been around since 1925, when Tim Mara purchased a franchise for New York for $500.
Needless to say, a lot has changed since since then and the Giants have seen their fair share of ups and downs throughout the decades. Here's a look at the top 10 teams that have given Giants fans countless memories and storybook finishes throughout the years.
No. 10: 1985 New York Giants (10-6)
While the 1985 New York Giants only went as far as the divisional playoffs, they did get to host their first playoff game since 1962 when they defeated the defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers 17-3.
While this team may be known for setting the table for the 1986 Giants, the season also saw individual maturity within multiple key contributors such as Mark Bavaro, Phil Simms, and Joe Morris.
Quarterback Phil Simms set a franchise record with 40 completions and 513 passing yards in a game, running back Joe Morris set team records with 1,336 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns, and Leonard Marshall recorded 15 1/2 sacks in 1985, also a franchise high.
Five players, including Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson, were named to the Pro Bowl, and the defense was second in the league in points allowed per game with 14.8.
No.9: 1997 New York Giants (10-5-1)
After a season that saw the Giants finish last in their division in 1996, the Giants rebounded the following year, going undefeated in NFC East division play under first year head coach Jim Fassel.
Relying on a stellar defense that ranked first in takeaways (44) and interceptions (27), the Giants ended the season on a three-game winning streak before losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Minnesota Vikings 23-22.
No. 8: 1934 New York Giants (8-5)
While the 1934 New York Giants were not the typical championship type, they did manage to somehow find themselves in the NFL Championship game against the Chicago Bears.
The Bears were perfect heading into the game and had already defeated the Giants twice during the regular season; but we know how the Giants franchise responds when handling another team's destiny. Just ask the 2007 New England Patriots.
New York went on to defeat the Bears 30-13 in what is now known as the "Sneakers Game."
The Giants trailed 13-3 in the third quarter before some of the players decided to change into sneakers to gain better traction on the Polo Grounds turf.
That decision lead to a 27-point fourth quarter comeback to complete the win and deny Chicago a perfect season.
No. 7: 1956 New York Giants (8-3-1)
In their first year playing in Yankee Stadium, the Giants captured their first NFL championship since 1938 when they defeated the Chicago Bears 47-7.
That year, the Giants had a trio of players that gained significant honors. Rookie Sam Huff earned a Pro Bowl selection as well as Rookie of the Year honors, tackle Rosie Brown was named the NFL’s Lineman of the Year, and utility man Frank Gifford captured the NFL's MVP.
No. 6: 2000 New York Giants (12-4)
The New York Giants brought in the new millennium in style, capturing the NFC East crown and clinching home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
New York went on to beat Philadelphia and then romped Minnesota 41-0 to advance to the Super Bowl for the first time since their 1991 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
Although the Giants were destroyed in the Super Bowl by the Baltimore Ravens in a 34-7 defeat, New York had realized great success after finishing the previous season third in the division with a record of 7-9.
While the defense was primarily the reason the Giants enjoyed so much success, the running game averaged 125.6 yards per game.
No. 5: 1958 New York Giants (9-3)
Once again New York lived up to their name and played like Giants on the defensive side of the football throughout the 1958 season. New York ranked first in the league in points allowed and fifth in point differential.
The Giants advanced to the playoffs and, in a first round matchup, New York was faced with stopping Jim Brown and the Cleveland Browns.
Brown had been running through defenses all season, gaining an NFL record 1,527 rushing yards, but New York didn't care about that. Brown was held to just eight yards and the Giants went on to win 10-0 to reach the title game against Baltimore Colts.
In a matchup that would go down as "the greatest game ever played," the Giants lost in overtime to the Colts 23-17.
No. 4: 1986 New York Giants (14-2)
This team could very well be better than the 1990 Super Bowl champs but, because they were considered such heavy favorites entering the season, a lot of luster is lost due to the fact that Giants teams hang their hat on hard work and this team did not have to work very hard to win it all.
After starting the season 5-2, the Giants went on to go undefeated the rest of the way, including blow-out victories against the Philadelphia Eagles, Arizona Cardinals, and Green Bay Packers.
Entering the playoffs on a nine-game tear, the Giants dismantled their postseason opponents by a combined score of 66-3 to reach the Super Bowl.
After trailing the Denver Broncos 10-9 at halftime in Super Bowl XXI, the Giants scored an NFL record 30-point second half to defeat the Broncos 39-20 and claim their first ever Super Bowl.
Linebacker Lawrence Taylor and quarterback Phil Simms went on to win MVP honors in the regular season and Super Bowl, respectively, and head coach Bill Parcells claimed his accolade as NFL Coach of the Year.
No. 3: 1927 New York Giants (11-1-1)
It's hard to rank a champion pre-playoff era over a Super Bowl champion, but the 1927 Giants are an exception.
Under first-year head coach Earl Potteiger, New York put on one of the most dominating seasons the franchise has ever seen.
Not only did the Giants go on to hold the best record in league, thus claiming the NFL Championship, but they left a trail of destruction everywhere they went.
New York gained more yards than any other team that year and were second in scoring.
While the offense surged, the defense was the true reason why the Giants were so dominant that year. New York allowed a total of 20 points in 13 games, including 10 shutouts equating to a point differential of 177 points.
With an unstoppable offense and a stingy defense, the 1927 Giants could very well be one of the most dominating teams the NFL has ever seen.
No. 2: 2007 New York Giants (10-6)
In 2007, the Giants opened the season 0-2 and trailed the Washington Redskins by two touchdowns at halftime; but destiny is never one to be denied, and neither were Giants.
New York pulled out an impressive 24-17 victory over the Redskins and then went on to win 14 of their next 18 games, including 11 consecutive road games, an NFL single-season record, earning them the title "Road Warriors."
New York then went on to defeat Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay on the road before taking on the undefeated and unmatched New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
While much of the game was evenly contested, the Patriots found themselves on the verge of destiny, leading 14-10 late in the fourth quarter with all of the pressure on the New York Giants.
With 1:15 remaining in the game and the Giants facing a 3rd-and-5, Eli Manning and David Tyree hooked up for one of the greatest plays in the history of sports.
While it may be hard to justify one moment to define a season, the play known as "The Catch" certainly defined the Giants 2007 season as miraculous.
The Giants went on to defeat the Patriots 17-14, becoming the first NFC wild card team to win the Super Bowl and just the fourth team to start a season 0-2 and reach the Super Bowl.
No. 1: 1990 New York Giants (13-3)
In 1990, the New York Giants showed the NFL the true meaning of a champion when they persevered through what could have been a major setback.
The Giants opened the season by winning 11 of their first 13 before losing starting quarterback Phil Simms to a broken foot in a Week 15 matchup with the Buffalo Bills.
With Super Bowl aspirations in question, backup quarterback Jeff Hostetler did just enough to help his team get through the playoffs and into Super Bowl XXV where the Giants would face a familiar opponent: the Buffalo Bills.
The Super Bowl pitted the Giants, who lead the league in fewest points allowed, against the Bills, who entered the game with most points scored.
After a hard-fought and balanced game, Bills kicker Scott Norwood had a chance at a last second, game-winning field goal that went wide right and gave the Giants their second Super Bowl Championship in five years.
This team is the greatest New York Giants team of all time because of their ability to win, even in the face of defeat. After losing their quarterback for the year and being considered Super Bowl underdogs, the Giants went about their business and won the way Giants football is supposed to be played: with power football and defense.
The Giants' defense was first in the league in points allowed and second in the league in takeaway/giveaway, at plus-20.
The offense maintained drives and took care of the football, something current coach Tom Coughlin could appreciate. Throughout the regular season, the Giants only turned the ball over 14 times, an NFL record.
The Chicago Bulls had Jordan, Pippen, and Jackson, and the New York Giants had Simms, Taylor, and Parcells.