Jets quarterback Joe Namath hands off to Emerson Boozer against...

Jets quarterback Joe Namath hands off to Emerson Boozer against the Baltimore Colts during Super Bowl III at the Orange Bowl in Miami on Jan. 12, 1969.  Credit: AP/Vernon Biever

SUPER BOWL III: JETS 16, COLTS 7

Jan. 12, 1969, Orange Bowl (Miami)

The game itself was not particularly exciting, with the Jets grinding out a victory behind Carle Place’s Matt Snell, who rushed 30 times for 121 yards and a TD and added four receptions for 40 yards. But the historical import was monumental, with the AFL champion Jets validating their league by stunning the Colts of the NFL, who were favored by nearly three touchdowns. The Jets intercepted Colts QBs Earl Morrall and Johnny Unitas a combined four times. Joe Namath guaranteed a victory during the week then delivered with a 17-for-28, 206-yard performance that earned him MVP honors.

SUPER BOWL XXI: GIANTS 39, BRONCOS 20

Jan. 25, 1987, Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)

Broncos quarterback John Elway gets sacked for a safety by...

Broncos quarterback John Elway gets sacked for a safety by Giants left end George Martin in the second quarter of Super Bowl XXI on Jan. 25, 1987 in Pasadena, Calif. Credit: AP/Lennox Mclendon

As good as the Giants were heading into the game – led by an elite defense centered around Lawrence Taylor – the Broncos did not make it easy on the NFC champs. Denver led 10-9 at halftime. But after that, the Giants poured it on and pulled away for their first NFL championship since 1956. Phil Simms was 22-for-25 passing, an 88% completion rate, 268 yards and three TDs. George Martin’s sack of John Elway for a safety in the second quarter started a run of 26 points in a row for the Giants, who outscored Denver 17-0 in the third quarter.

SUPER BOWL XXV: GIANTS 20, BILLS 19

Jan. 27, 1991, Tampa Stadium (Tampa)

Bills kicker Scott Norwood, center, misses the field goal on...

Bills kicker Scott Norwood, center, misses the field goal on the last play of the game, clinching the victory for the Giants in Super Bowl XXV in Tampa on January 27, 1991.  Credit: AP/PHIL SANDLIN

Entering the day, the question was how the Giants would slow the Bills’ explosive “K-Gun” offense. The answer was with a time-consuming running attack that kept the ball out of the hands of Jim Kelly and friends. The Giants possessed the ball for a whopping 40:33, with Super Bowl MVP Ottis Anderson rushing 21 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Hostelter, subbing for the injured Phil Simms, was 20-for-32 for 222 yards and a TD. The outcome was assured when Scott Norwood attempted a field goal from 47 yards out that sailed wide right with four seconds left.

SUPER BOWL XLII: GIANTS 17, PATRIOTS 14

Feb. 3, 2008, University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, Ariz.)

Giants receiver David Tyree catches a 32-yard pass while in...

Giants receiver David Tyree catches a 32-yard pass while in the clutches of Patriots safety Rodney Harrison and James Sanders during the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII at University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz. Credit: AP/Gene Puskar

In arguably the Giants’ greatest victory, they made history by denying the Patriots a historic achievement – handing New England its first loss after it started the season with 18 victories. The Giants had gone toe-to-toe with the Pats in the regular season finale, losing 38-35, and used that confidence to challenge them in the big game. Trailing 14-10 with 2:39 left, they drove 83 yards for the winning score – a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left. The key play was David Tyree’s 32-yard “Helmet Catch” on a third-and-5 on which Manning escaped heavy pressure.

SUPER BOWL XLVI: GIANTS 21, PATRIOTS 17

Feb. 5, 2012, Lucas Oil Stadium (Indianapolis)

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushes for a touchdown in front...

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushes for a touchdown in front of Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo during the second half of Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. Credit: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Even though it was not as big an upset as Super Bowl XLII, the Giants still were underdogs after a 9-7 regular season, including a 24-20 road victory over the Patriots in Week 9. Ahmad Bradshaw’s 6-yard run with 57 seconds left put the Giants ahead, 21-17. Bradshaw was supposed to fall short of the end zone to run down the clock as the Patriots tried to let him score, but he tumbled in awkwardly. Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP with a 30-for-40, 296-yard, one-TD effort, including a 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham on the winning drive.

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