Game No. 3 – New York Giants vs. Buffalo Bills – Super Bowl XXV (Jan. 27, 1991)
By Derek of The Sportmeisters
With the pinnacle game of the NFL season nearby, I am going back through the archives to discuss the top ten Super Bowls of all time. Our No. 3 game featured one team that would be on the rise for years with a few star players and one team that was playing with a backup QB.
The Buffalo Bills against The New York Giants would be the Super Bowl XXV matchup.
The New York Giants had just won Super Bowl XXI back in the 1986/1987 season, defeating the Denver Broncos. The team came out strong, going 4-0 before the bye and was on a tear after the bye, going 6-0 right after the bye.
However, they would lose the next two games. They then defeated Minnesota and faced Buffalo in week 15, where they suffered a huge loss. Quarterback Phil Simms went down with a broken foot and would miss the rest of the season and the playoffs. That would mean that backup Jeff Hostetler would have to lead them.
They would finish the season with the loss to Buffalo and then two wins to finish 13-3 and win the NFC East Division Title, locking up the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
Even though he missed the final two games, QB Phil Simms led the team with 2284 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. RB Ottis Anderson led the way on the ground with 784 rushing yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
RB Dave Meggett led the team in Receptions with 39 for 410 yards and a Touchdown and TE Mark Bavaro had 33 Receptions for 393 yards and five Touchdowns. WR Mark Ingram also had five Touchdowns. They were led on Defense by LB Lawrence Taylor (10.5 sacks, one Interception) and CB Everson Walls (six Interceptions).
Their divisional matchup was against the Chicago Bears and the Giants would dominate that game, winning 31-3. The NFC Championship Game pitted them against the number one seed San Francisco 49ers and QB Joe Montana. The 49ers defeated the Giants 7-3 in week 13 and the NFC Championship would also be a defensive game. The Giants would narrowly get the victory, 15-13 and would go on to their second Super Bowl in five years.
The 1990 Buffalo Bills would take a similar route to the playoffs. They would start the year 4-1 going into the bye and would go 9-2 after to finish 13-3 with the No. 1 seed in the AFC and an AFC East Title.
QB Jim Kelly led the way, throwing for 2829 yards and 24 Touchdowns. Running Back Thurman Thomas was a huge weapon in the offense and had 1297 rushing yards and 11 rushing Touchdowns to go with 49 Receptions for 532 yards and two more Touchdowns. WR Andre Reed was Kelly’s main target with 71 Receptions for 945 yards and eight Touchdowns. The defense was led by DE Bruce Smith (19 sacks).
Their divisional matchup pitted them against their divisional rivals the Miami Dolphins. The game turned into a shootout and the Bills would come out victorious 44-34. They then faced the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship. This game was completely one-sided as the Bills dominated 51-3 and went to the Super Bowl for the first time in team history.
The first quarter of the Super Bowl was relatively quiet as both teams kicked Field Goals, making it a 3-3 game going into the second quarter.
Buffalo would score first in the second quarter, with a one yard run from Don Smith. Then Bruce Smith would strike, sacking Hostetler in the end zone for a Safety and putting Buffalo ahead 12-3. However, Hostetler would find WR Stephen Baker in the end zone near the end of the quarter making it 12-10 at the half.
The Giants would pull ahead in the third quarter, with a one yard touchdown run from eventual Super Bowl MVP Otis Anderson, making the score 17-12 going into the fourth quarter.
The Bills would strike quickly as Thomas would take a 31 yard run to the house on the first play of the quarter, putting the Bills up 19-17. The Giants would retake the lead with 7:20 left in the game on a 21 yard Field Goal by Kicker Matt Bahr. The score was 20-19, but the game was far from over. The Bills would have their final chance and that’s when a legendary Super Bowl mishap happened.
Kelly and Thomas had led the team down the field, setting up Kicker Scott Norwood with a 47 yard chance to win the game. However, the kick sailed Wide Right and the Giants would hold on to win Super Bowl XXV 20-19.
This game had it all and that is why we have named it our No. 3 Super Bowl game of All-Time. Stay tuned for the rest of our Top 10 coming up in the next few weeks. Any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at Derek@Sportmeisters.com or Ryan@Sportmeisters.com .