History Of The New York Giants (1990-1999)

Super Bowl XXV Champion New York Giants

Super Bowl XXV Champion New York Giants

Continuing with Giants history, I will focus on the Giants of the 1990’s.  The 90’s began with a bang but saw the end of an era with Simms, Taylor and Parcells all ending their tenure with the Giants.

1990: The Giants jump out of the gate quickly winning their first 11 games to take a stranglehold on the NFC East. The win streak would end in Philadelphia as the Giants and 49ers both lost their first games a week before what would have been a December math up of undefeated teams on Monday Night in San Francisco. The Giants would go on to lose that game too, and began to look like a team with allot of faults. After a home win over the Vikings, the Giants found themselves in another marquee match up with Buffalo Bills. In a Saturday game played in freezing rain at Giants Stadium the Giants would fall 17-13 as Quarterback Phil Simms suffered a season ending foot injury. The Giants would go on to win the final two games of the season with backup Quarterback Jeff Hostetler. Back up Quarterback Jeff Hostetler played solid football in the Giants final two regular season games, but without Phil Simms how far could they make it in the playoffs? The Giants would not have to test that theory in the Divisional Round as the defense held the Chicago Bears to three points, as the Giants advanced to the NFC Championship with a 31-3 win at the Meadowlands. The Giants would face the 49ers, who were seeking their third straight Super Bowl Championship in San Francisco. The 49ers would not allow the Giants to reach the endzone, but Kicker Matt Bahr kept the Giants in the game while the defense held the 49ers to 13 points, while knocking Joe Montana out of the game. The Giants would draw to within one point after a fake punt was run by Linebacker Gary Reasons. With time winding down the Giants defense would step up big again and strip Running Back Roger Craig of the football to give the G-men the ball. The Giants would set up Kicker Matt Bahr in Field Goal range with three seconds left. Bahr would nail the 42-yard Field Goal to give the Giants a 15-13 win, and a trip to the Silver Anniversary Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXV:
In the Super Bowl played in Tampa, FL the Giants would face the high octane Buffalo Bills. Without Phil Simms the Giants were heavy underdogs in the Super Bowl that was played against a patriotic backdrop because of Operation Desert Storm. The greatest Super Bowl ever played began with a stirring rendition of the National Anthem by New Jersey Native Whitney Houston. The Bills would jump out to a quick 12-3 lead, as the Giants were in trouble of being caught in a Buffalo stampede. Bill Parcells knowing the Bills offense was hard to contain would have the Giants play a methodic ball control game the rest of the way, and closed the gap to 12-10 with a long Touchdown drive to close out the first half. The Giants would then go on another long methodical drive, which lasted more than 10 minutes to take a 17-12 lead. The Bills would re take the lead on a Touchdown run by Thurman Thomas on the first play of the 4th Quarter, but the Giants kept driving keeping the Bills offense on the sidelines, as they retook the lead 20-19. The Giants would establish a Super Bowl record 40:33 time of possession, but the Bills would have the ball with a chance to win the game. Quarterback Jim Kelly would get the Bills into position for a Scott Norwood Field Goal with ten seconds remaining. Norwood would hit the 47-yard attempt flush, but as it approached the goal posts it sailed wide right giving the Giants their second Super Bowl Championship.

Five months after the Super Bowl Bill Parcells stuns the team by resigning after seven seasons at the helm. With the announcement so late after the season, and the Giants top two assistants taking jobs elsewhere, the Giants were forced to settle on Running Back Coach Ray Handley. Handley was over his head from the start as he was thrown into the fire of a preseason Quarterback controversy. Should Phil Simms get his job back? Should Jeff Hostetler be given the job for his post-season performance?  Eventually “Hoss” would win the starting job. The Giants would win their first game, but would struggle in the ensuing weeks, and stood at 6-6 when the Quarterback Controversy raised its ugly head again. In a win in Tampa Bay against the Buccaneers Hostetler sustained an injury leading Phil Simms to get his job back, but in a following press conference Ray Handley would show how ill-suited for the job he was when he stormed out at a reporter’s question about the Quarterback situation. The Giants would lose three straight games before finishing at 8-8, missing out on the playoffs.

The problems of Head Coach continue as the Giants continue to play terrible football. As the season wore on it was more and more apparent that Handley’s days as coach were numbered, as the Giants would finish the season with a woeful 6-10 record.

1993: The Giants would hire Dan Reeves, who led the Denver Broncos to three Super Bowls as their new head coach. With Jeff Hosteller gone the starting Quarterback job was back in Phil Simms hands as the Giants ended one of the ugliest Quarterback Controversies in recent history. The Giants would return to their playoff form and would stand in first place with two weeks remaining at 11-3. However, a bad loss to the Arizona Cardinals and a heartbreaking Overtime loss to the Dallas Cowboys at home cost the Giants the NFC East title. The Giants would however, earn a wild card home game and would beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-10 on a frigid afternoon at Giants Stadium. However, the Giants season would end a week later with a 44-3 thrashing at the hands of the 49ers in San Francisco.

1994: The 1993 Playoffs would mark the end of an era for the Giants as Lawrence Taylor; one of the most dominating defenders in NFL history called it a career after 13 seasons. The Giants would then go on to stun their fans in June by unceremoniously releasing Quarterback Phil Simms after 15 years to make room for third year Quarterback Dave Brown. Brown would get off to a good start winning his first three games, but it was followed by a seven game losing streak that all but doomed their playoff hopes. However, Brown and the Giants would make a valiant comeback winning their last six games to finish 9-7, which left them just short of the postseason.

The Giants season got off on the wrong foot, as they were thrashed at home 35-0 by the Dallas Cowboys in the Monday Night season opener, spoiling a halftime ceremonies where the famous number 56 of Lawrence Taylor was retired. The Giants would go on to finish the season with a terrible 5-11 record, as their season ended with the franchise getting a black eye as fans pelted the San Diego Chargers with ice balls from snow under the seats knocking out a San Diego Chargers assistant coach.

In his third year as starting Quarterabck Dave Brown continued to struggle, as the Giants suffered through a 6-10 season that would claim the job of Head Coach Dan Reeves, who just came into the fold at the wrong time.

Under new Coach Jim Fassel the Giants get off to a another shaky start losing three of their first four games, in an attempt to change the fortunes of his team around Quarterback Dave Brown is benched in favor of second year Quarterback Danny Kannell. Although Kannell did not perform much better the Giants fortunes changed as Defensive End Michael Strahan came of age as a leader on the defense. The Giants would go on to finish with a 10-5-1 record, while not losing a single division game n the way to an NFC East Title. The third seeded the Giants would go on to face the Minnesota Vikings in the Wild Card Round. The Giants would hold a 22-13 lead with four minutes left in a game played in snowy Meadowlands. However, the Vikings would drive up the field as eth Giants defense would start fighting amongst themselves. After a Vikings Touchdown, the Giants would fail to pick up the onside kick setting leading to a game winning Field Goal that would stun the Giants 23-22.

Quarterback Danny Kannell would struggle miserably in his first full season with starting job. Kannell would eventually lose his starting job to Kent Graham as the Giants need a four game winning streak to close out the season with an 8-8 record.

The Giants instability as Quarterback continues as Kerry Collins gets the job away from Kent Graham. The Giants also suffer with inconstancy as they lose their final three games to finish with a 7-9 record.

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2 Responses to “History Of The New York Giants (1990-1999)”

  1. […] this article: History Of The New York Giants (1990-1999) » Giants Gab Share and […]

  2. […] shent_lodge wrote a very interesting post today.   Here’s a quick excerpt:caption id=”attachment_3562″ align=”aligncenter” width=”375″ caption=”Super Bowl XXV Champion New York Giants“][/caption] Continuing with Giants history, I will focus on the Giants of the 1990’s. […]

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