Retired too soon?
In his final two NFL seasons, Tiki Barber rushed for 1,860 and 1,662 yards before retiring after the 2006 season. The next season, the Giants won the Super Bowl without him, as Brandon Jacobs led the team in rushing (1,009 yards). Barber is the Giants' all-time leading rusher with 10,449 career rushing yards. His totals from his final two seasons alone would put him ninth on the franchise's rushing list, just behind Pro Football Hall of Famer Frank Gifford (3,609 yards).
New York sack attack
Only two players ranking among the top 10 in sacks all time played their entire career for the same team. Both played their entire career for the New York Giants. Michael Strahan, who played for the Giants from 1993-2007, is fifth all time with 141.5 sacks. Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor, who played for the Giants from 1981-1993, is tied for ninth on the all-time list with 132.5 sacks.
Home run Homer
While Homer Jones' career was cut short by injuries, he possessed big-play ability that has yet to be matched. Jones owns the NFL record with an average of 22.3 yards per reception in his career. Starting with the first year of his career in 1964, Jones averaged 20 or more yards per catch for five consecutive seasons. Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Owens never had a season in which they averaged 20 yards per catch.
In Super Bowl XXI, Phil Simms had the greatest performance of any Super Bowl quarterback. In that game, Simms completed 22 of 25 passes, setting the Super Bowl record with an 88.0 completion percentage. With 268 yards, three touchdowns and no picks, Simms also set the record for passer rating with a 150.9. The Giants defeated the Broncos, 39-20, and Simms was named MVP. Then, 21 years later, Eli Manning completed 75.0 percent of his passes (fourth-best completion rate) and posted a 103.8 passer rating (20th highest) in his Super Bowl XLVI MVP performance against the Patriots. In 23 career postseason games, Joe Montana never matched the Super Bowl that Simms had in terms of completion percentage or passer rating.
Take it on the road
The 2007 Giants are the only team in NFL history to win a Super Bowl while finishing the season with a losing record at home (3-5 at home, 7-1 on the road). The Giants won an NFL-record 11 consecutive road/neutral site games en route to capturing the Lombardi Trophy. Among Super Bowl-winning teams, only the 2011 Giants and 1988 49ers (4-4 home records) came close to this feat, if you want to call it one.
Losing to win
The Giants' Super Bowl triumph after the 2011 season was unlikely for a number of reasons. Among them was that the Giants are the only team in the Super Bowl era to win the big game after being outscored during the regular season. The Giants were outscored 400-394 in the regular season. The 2011 Patriots ranked third in total points during the regular season, outscoring their opponents by 171 points. The Giants defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17.
In the last two seasons, Victor Cruz has six touchdown receptions of 70-plus yards, the most in the league over that span. Cruz has as many 70-plus yard TD receptions as Julio Jones and Mike Wallace combined (those two are next on the list with three apiece). Cruz is the only receiver in the league in each of the past two seasons to have at least 80 receptions, 1,000 yards and 9 touchdowns. No other Giant has ever had one such a season.
A history of success
The Giants are one of the oldest franchises in NFL history and they've proven to be one of the greatest. The Giants have finished first in the regular season more times than any other franchise (23). It all started in 1927 when they tied the Pottsville Maroons for the most shutout games in a season. That year they won nine of the 10 shutouts they posted, setting a record still stands today. The Giants also share the NFL record, with the Bears, for most seasons (11) allowing the fewest points.
Eli in the clutch
En route to his second Super Bowl victory during the 2011 season, Eli Manning set the single-season record for touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. His 15 touchdown passes in the fourth quarter broke his brother's record of 14, set in 2002. In 2011, Eli threw as many touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as all of the Seahawks quarterbacks threw all season combined. That year, Manning also set the record with 16 completions of 25 or more yards in the fourth quarter.
The 1956 NFL champion Giants were coached by Jim Lee Howell, who had two of the greatest coaches on his staff. The offense was coached by Vince Lombardi, who went on to win five NFL championships -- including victories in Super Bowls I and II -- with the Green Bay Packers. The defense was coached by Tom Landry, who went on to win two Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. Landry didn't just get his coaching start with the Giants; the team also drafted him out of Texas in the 20th round of the 1947 draft. Landry ranks sixth in franchise history with 31 interceptions.
More Photo Essays:
- WWE and the NFL
- 2014 Top 20 fantasy point-per-touch wide receivers
- Active GMs with best record of drafting Pro Bowlers
- 2014 Top 10 fantasy point-per-touch tight ends
- Most impactful NFL compensatory picks of all time
- 2014 Top 10 fantasy quarterbacks points-per-touch
- Top 20 fantasy point-per-touch running backs
- Top 20 quarterbacks who went No. 1 overall in NFL draft
- 10 NCAA Tournament players who could play football