NFL - NFC EAST
2021-2022 TEAM LEADERS
New York Giants
It was in 1925 that Tim Mara paid $500 for the rights to start an NFL franchise in New York. The young league was desperate to be in the nation’s biggest city, and so much so that they ignored the fact that Mara got his start in business as a bookmaker. That first year was not goosd financially. Mara lost $40,000 and had invested another $25,000 to keep the lights on that year. In a desperate attempt to cover his losses, he scheduled a game that December against the Bears and the most popular player in the country, Red Grange. The Bears and Grange came to the Polo Grounds, as did 70,000 fans, and just like that Giants football was a hit. By 1927 the Giants won their first NFL Championship, and of the four new teams that the NFL brought in for the 1925 season, the Giants are the only team that lasted beyond 1931. Of the remaining family owned NFL teams, only the Bears and the Halas family has been a part of the NFL longer than the Maras. Current president and CEO is John Mara, the grandson of founder Tim Mara.
Championships by the New York Giants
1927 NFL Championship
It was a dominant season by any standard. The Giants scored 197 points, allowed just 20, and had the league’s top-ranked offense and defense. Only a 6-0 loss to the Cleveland Bulldogs stopped it from being a perfect season.
1934 NFL Championship
For the first time the NFL held a championship game, and it was a doozy. The Bears led the Giants 13-3 going into the fourth quarter, but New York scored four unanswered touchdowns in the fourth to win the game 30-13.
1938 NFL Championship
This time it was the Packers and legendary coach Curly Lambeau leading his team to the Polo Grounds, only to return to Green Bay, 23-17, losers. There was a rematch for the 1939 championship, won by the Packers.
1956 NFL Championship
By 1956 the Giants were playing in Yankee Stadium and fielding a roster that included five Hall of Famers, including Frank Gifford and Rosey Brown. They beat the Bears 47-7 for their fourth NFL title.
Super Bowl XXI
The first of the two Bill Parcells Super Bowl wins, the Giants beat the Broncos 39-20 in the Rose Bowl. Phil Simms completed 88% of his passes that Sunday and won the game’s MVP award.
Super Bowl XXV
The most painful of the Bills’ four Super Bowl losses was the wide-right loss to the Giants, 20-19. Ottis Anderson led the way for the Giants with 102 yards rushing and one touchdown and was named the game’s MVP.
Super Bowl XLII
In the role of the ultimate spoiler, the Giants ended the Patriots bid to become the first undefeated team since 1972 by upsetting them in the Super Bowl, 17-14. This game had David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch”, three fourth quarter lead changes, and Eli Manning out dueling Tom Brady for the game’s MVP.
Super Bowl XLVI
Another big upset, the Giants were a 9-7 regular season team compared to New England’s 13-3 record. Once again it was Eli Manning besting Tom Brady, 21-17. Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP, making him just one of five players with more than one.
Key Stats by the New York Giants
Along with four NFL championships and four Super Bowl championships, the Giants have won their conference 11 times. They have been division champions 16 times in their history and have been in the playoffs a total of 32 times. Cold Hard Football Facts formulated a list of the 100 stingiest defenses in NFL history, and the 1944 Giants were ranked No. 1. The 1958 NFL Championship between the Colts and the Giants is referred to as “The Greatest Game Ever Played.” The Colts won in overtime.
Top Players in New York Giants History
The best of the Giants reads like the best of the NFL. Y.A Tittle was a league MVP and has No. 14 retired by the Giants. It’s hard to find a more terrifying defensive player than Lawrence Taylor. Known for his many years in the Monday Night Football broadcast booth, Frank Gifford was first-team All-Pro six times as a running back. In 1953 offensive tackle Rosey Brown was the 321st pick in the NFL Draft. The 27th round draft pick would be a first-team All-Pro selection eight consecutive years. In 13 years in the NFL, Brown missed just four games. He is a member of the NFL’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. Michael Strahan played 15 years in the NFL, all for the Giants, and retired with 141.5 career sacks. His 22.5 sacks in 2001 is the single-season record. Sam Huff was the first rookie middle linebacker to ever start an NFL Championship game. He is in the Giants Ring of Honor, Washington’s Right of Fame, and his No. 75 was retired by the University of West Virginia.
Top Coaches in New York Giants History
Originally Steve Owen wanted to be a jockey. But at 5-foot-11, 230 pounds, he was more suited to play football. So he did, and he did quite well. But where Owen really showed off was with his football innovation. It was Owen’s “A formation” that changed offenses in the 1930s, and allowed his Giants teams to be such a success. He is the team’s all-time winningest coach and he won three championships as a player and coach. James Lee Howell was a great coach in his own right, winning the 1956 NFL Championship as the head coach of the Giants. But he is most notable for the coaching tree he sprung. His offensive coordinator in 1956 was Vince Lombardi, and his defensive coordinator was Tom Landry. That leaves us Bill Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl champion with the Giants who is the only coach to lead four different teams to the playoffs and three different teams to a conference championship game. Assistants under Parcells who went on to win Super Bowls as head coaches include Sean Payton, Tom Coughlin, and Bill Belichick.
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