New York Giants - Greatest Sports Franchises

The New York Giants are the only team that entered the NFL in 1925 that still exists, and this franchise was instrumental in legitimizing the league in its early years. With a laundry list of important players and coaches that includes Steve Owen, Frank Gifford, Sam Huff, Roosevelt Brown, Alex Webster, Phil Simms, Lawrence Taylor and Eli Manning; the Giants have won a handful of championships over their time, and are historically are one of the best teams in the league. In this video, WatchMojo.com continues our series on the Greatest Sports Franchises of All Time with a look at the New York Giants.
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The History of the New York Giants


Though they share a stadium with the New York Jets, this team’s history put them in a league all their own. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be continuing our series of the most successful sports franchises with a look at the New York Giants.

Early NFL


Of the five teams that joined the NFL in 1925, the Giants are the only one that still exists. In fact, the Giants are credited with helping to legitimize professional football in its infancy.

First Two Championships


Between 1933 and 1946, Hall of Fame coach Steve Owen led Hall of Fame players Mel Hein, Red Badgro and Tuffy Leemans to eight championship games, and they walked away victorious twice.

Full of Hall of Famers


They added a third NFL championship in 1938 by beating the Green Bay Packers; however they didn’t win another league title until 1956. At that point, the team boasted Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, linebacker Sam Huff, offensive tackle Roosevelt Brown and all-pro running back Alex Webster.

1956 Championship


The 1956 championship team was led by head coach Jim Lee Howell, and had Vince Lombardi running offense while Tom Landry led defense.

Drought


Despite making it to the championship game five times from 1958 to 1963, the team failed to win a single time. However, the 1958 effort did help grow the league’s popularity.

League-Worst Record


The team came crashing back to reality in 1966 with a league-worst 1-12-1 record. That season they also gave up over 500 points on defense.

“Miracle at the Meadowlands”


In 1976, the club relocated to Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. But that move didn’t change their luck: in 1978’s “Miracle at the Meadowlands,” the Giants ran the ball against the arch-rival Philadelphia Eagles, but fumbled and caused a Herman Edwards touchdown. Indeed, from 1973 to 1979, the club won only 23 games.

Back to the Playoffs


However, it was in 1979 that the team drafted quarterback Phil Simms, and two years later they selected linebacker Lawrence Taylor. In addition to winning the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year, Taylor helped the club advance to the playoffs for the first time since 1963.

Super Bowl XXI


It wasn’t until 1986 that the Giants charged back into the playoffs with a 14–2 record. Led by head coach Bill Parcells, tight end Mark Bavaro, running back Joe Morris, and MVP Simms, they steamrolled over the 49ers and the Redskins before beating the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. This was the club’s first championship since 1956, and its first Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XXV


Then, in 1990, the Giants went 13-3, gave up only 14 turnovers and again defeated the 49ers before topping the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV. Parcells subsequently resigned as head coach, and the team crumpled after that.

Eli Manning


In 2004, the Giants traded for the top pick and selected Ole Miss quarterback Eli Manning, who was the son of former NFL great Archie and the brother of Peyton. Manning was instrumental in 2007 when the team shocked the undefeated New England Patriots by handing them a 17-14 loss in Super Bowl XLII. Special credit was given to the “Manning to Tyree” pass, which the receiver caught with his helmet. Co-owner John Mara described this as “the greatest victory in the history of the franchise, without question.”

Super Bowl XLVI


In 2011, the Giants once again surprised fans and critics by making it to Super Bowl XLVI.

Legacy


With all their NFL titles, the Giants rank third among franchises, after the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. Because of this, and the team’s history of Hall of Fame players, the New York Football Giants remain one of the greatest franchises of all-time.
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