Super Bowl XLVII Dossier: New York Giants

Only seven franchises in NFL history have repeated as Super Bowl champions: the Packers, Cowboys (twice), Dolphins, Steelers (twice), 49ers, Broncos and Patriots. New England was the last to do it, in 2004-05. Only one team has a chance to join that exclusive club at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans and that’s the New York Giants. Eli Manning and Co. are currently 14/1 to pull it off.
The Giants have reached five Super Bowls, tied for the fourth-most behind Pittsburgh, Dallas, New England and San Francisco. New York’s first title came in Super Bowl XXI, beating John Elway’s Broncos 39-20 at the Rose Bowl. The Giants were 9.5-point favorites and the total easily went over the 40 points. New York quarterback and game MVP Phil Simms had a performance for the ages, completing 22 of 25 passes, including 10 in a row in the second half. He passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns.
New York got back to the big game four years later and upset Buffalo 20-19 in Tampa when Bills kicker Scott Norwood missed a 47-yard field goal wide right in the final seconds. The high-powered Bills were seven-point favorites in the game and the total was set at 40.5, so Norwood’s missed kick was the difference between the over and under.
The Giants’ only Super Bowl loss came in XXXV also in Tampa as Baltimore won 34-7. The Ravens were three-point favorites and the total was a scant 33, tied for the lowest in Super Bowl history.
Manning won his first Super Bowl at XXLII in Phoenix. The Giants were 13.5-point underdogs but upset the unbeaten Patriots 17-14 – the total was 54, one of the highest in Super Bowl history. Manning was named MVP after leading New York on a game-winning 83-yard drive capped by a touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the final minute.
Big Blue has proven to be a thorn in the Patriots’ side, upsetting New England again last season in Indianapolis 21-17 as a three-point underdog (total 53). This time Manning led a nine-play, 88-yard drive that put New York ahead when running back Ahmad Bradshaw scored the winning touchdown. Manning won his second MVP award, joining Bart Starr, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady with that many. Joe Montana holds the record with three. Super Bowl XLVI was the first time two starting quarterbacks with MVP awards had faced off.
The Giants won the NFC East on the final night of the 2011 regular season and could find themselves in the same scenario this year just to reach the postseason. Entering Week 14, the Giants were 7-5 (5-6-1) and led the division by a game over Washington and Dallas, the team New York beat for last year’s division crown.
This year, the Giants close with games versus New Orleans, at Atlanta, at Baltimore and home against Philadelphia. Winning those two road games against division champions will be tough, so New York will for sure need to win its final two at MetLife Stadium to hold off the Redskins and the Cowboys, and even that might not be enough. The Giants are 4-2 at home this year (2-4 ATS).
Three of the Giants’ losses are in the NFC East, and that is the first tiebreaker after head-to-head results to crown a division champ. New York split with Dallas and Washington during the season. Neither of those teams has more than two division losses but they conclude the regular season against one another.