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Super Bowl Upsets: New York Giants Did The Unthinkable Not Once But Twice

Super Bowl Giants

For football fans, there is no better feeling then Super Sunday. It marks the conclusion of another National Football League season. And if your team is fortunate to play in the Super Bowl, then that day becomes bigger than most holidays. For the New York Giants, two of their four Super Bowl victories have been declared to be the biggest upsets in the series.

In both Super Bowl wins, Las Vegas sportsbooks deemed the Giants as the clear underdog in the contest. However, each Super Bowl-winning team was used to playing the “spoiler” role in the postseason. They defeated a higher-seeded team on the road in a highly contested NFC Championship Game. Thus, the Giants gave the term “road warriors” a new meaning in the sports vernacular.

The Genius of The Giants Upsetting The Mighty Buffalo Bills

The 1990 season was the Silver Anniversary for the Super Bowl as the matchup pitted the Giants against the Buffalo Bills. The game was played with no bye week as it was scheduled for the following Sunday after the conference championship games. The Giants had revenge on their mind as they loss to the Bills in a Week 15 regular season contest. Plus, starting quarterback Phil Simms broke his foot in the game, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season.

The Giants were led by a backup quarterback, an aging tailback and a very stifling defense. Ottis Anderson took over lead back duties after Rodney Hampton broke his leg against the Chicago Bears in the divisional round of the NFC playoffs. His outstanding play allowed him to be named Super Bowl MVP. The Giants defense had their hands filled as they had to slow down an offense that scored 51 points on the Los Angeles Raiders in the AFC Championship Game a week earlier. Defensive coordinator Bill Belichick devised the perfect game plan to shut down the Bills high-powered offense. However, by the game’s end, Jeff Hostetler showed that he was more than your prototypical backup quarterback.

Hostetler was the Star of Moment

After Simms’ injury, the G-Men offense became more of a play-action passing and power rushing attack. Hostetler was a very smart signal-caller, who had a strong arm and could make a play with his legs if the protection broke down in the pocket.

It is funny to look back at Super Bowl XXV and try to visualize the turning point in the game. One with no exception is Hostetler’s protection of the football while getting sacked by Bruce Smith in the end zone. Never has it been more important to give up two points and possession of the football than in this moment. It might have won the game for the Giants.

The G-Men defense forced a three-and-out on the Bills next possession. Then, the offense went to work on a 10 play/87 yard drive that ended with Hostetler throwing a 14-yard touchdown pass to Stephen Baker. It cut the Bills lead to 12-10 and gave everyone on the Giants sideline reason to believe they were destined for greatness on this Sunday.

The second half began with the Giants offense going on a 16-play/75-yard drive that culminated with Anderson scoring on a 1-yard run to give the G-Men a 17-12 lead. Both teams traded scores in the final quarter. Still, the Super Bowl came down to a final play as Bills kicker Scott Norwood field goal attempt went wide right in the final seconds to preserve a 20-17 victory for the Giants.

The Giants final three scoring drives were a key component to the team’s Super Bowl (40 minutes and 33 seconds) record for time of possession in a game. And more importantly, the franchise’s second Super Bowl win in five seasons.

Giants Uphill Battle Against Undefeated Patriots

In Super Bowl XLII, the Giants traveled to the desert as a huge underdog. Who could argue as their opponent, the New England Patriots, were going for a perfect season? Patriots featured a high-scoring passing attack led by Tom Brady. If the G-Men were going to win, then the defense would have to keep their offense in check all game long. Better said than done as the Pats scored 38 points on the Giants in a Week 16 win.

Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo devised a game plan that emphasized putting constant pressure on Brady ( five sacks recorded) in the pocket. It held the Patriots offense to score a season-low 14 points in the contest.

Super Bowl XLII’s Final Stanza Brought Unlikely Ending

Both teams traded scores on their opening drive and that was all the points scored until that memorable fourth quarter. The Patriots thought they had reached the summit of an undefeated season after scoring late in the fourth quarter to take a 14-10 lead over the Giants. Just one more defensive stand separated them from being crowned NFL immortals. But Eli Manning’s fourth-quarter heroics would spoil the Patriots party.

Millions of viewers worldwide had their jaws dropped as the Giants moved downfield on that memorable final scoring drive. Giants fans will never forget “the catch” by David Tyree that kept the drive alive or Plaxico Burress game-winning touchdown catch with 39 seconds remaining in the game. Manning was nearly laser perfect as he completed five of nine passes for 77 yards. No question, it was the most important scoring drive of his NFL career.

The Giants shocked the world with a 17-14 win. The game itself became an instant Super Bowl classic and is considered one of the biggest upsets in sports history.

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