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New York Giants "What If?" Moments, The Super Bowl Years

Simms2McConkey : 6/30/2020 10:57 pm
Hey everyone,

A while back, I started a thread discussing some big "what if?" moments in Giants history during years that had potential to be Super Bowl-winning ones, or at least ones with deep playoff runs.

Examples in my post and the comment thread included Plax in 08, the Giants-Jets game in 88 and the Giants-49ers collapse in the 02 playoffs.

Some people mentioned that the pendulum has gone the other way in Giants history, so I wanted to take a look into that for the four Super Bowl-winning years down the road. Decided to write that today.

See what you think about one or any of the "what ifs" below and add/comment as you like. Pretty long, so obviously feel free to pick and choose as you wish.

1986

Regular Season: @ Minnesota

1. What if the 4th and 17 completion at Minnesota never happens? Do you think it takes the wind out of the team's sails a bit or do they forge on and still win out as they did?

2. What if the Giants lose to the Skins at RFK and finish as the No. 4 seed? Do they still win the Super Bowl?

(Side note: Read the box score...Jay Schroeder threw SIX picks that game? Wow.)

NFC Championship

1. What if the Giants had to travel to Chicago instead of hosting Washington?

Super Bowl

1. What if the Broncos score a TD instead of getting stonewalled before Karlis missed the chip shot FG?

1990

at 49ers: NFC Championship

1. What if the Gary Reasons fake punt failed?
2. What if Craig never fumbled?

(To be more detailed on No. 2, let's go with the scenario that Craig got stuffed behind the line, as he did in the game, but held onto the ball.)

vs. Bills in Tampa: Super Bowl XXV

1. What if Hostetler fumbles in the end zone and the Bills score a TD?
2. What if Ingram doesn't pull off a Houdini act on 3rd and 13?
3. What if the Bills committed to taking what the Giants gave them and running the ball with Thurman Thomas instead of throwing 30 times (30 Kelly passes, 15 Thomas runs)

2007

Regular Season

at Washington, Week 3

1. What if Washington scores the late TD as opposed to getting stuffed? Do heads roll or do the Giants find a way to bounce back still after two brutal opening weeks?

vs. New England, Week 17

1. What if the Giants lay an egg vs. the undefeated Pats in Week 17, or decide to rest their starters and get crushed? Do you think they still ride the momentum of that moral victory into the playoffs or do you think they go in a bit deflated and don't end up having the storybook postseason?

Playoffs

at Dallas, NFC Divisional

1. What if the Giants don't go on their sub-one minute drive to end the first half with the Toomer TD?

at Green Bay, NFC Conference Title

1. What if Pierce doesn't pull off the play of the game late in the 2nd, stuffing Jackson to hold Pack to a FG (10-6 Pack vs. what would have likely been 14-6 going into half).

2. What if Favre throws the ball out of bounds instead of tossing a lollipop to Webster in OT? 2nd and 8 from GB 28 at the time.

3. What if Tynes misses the OT FG? OR what if Coughlin decides to go for it on 4th and 5 from the GB 29?

Super Bowl vs. Pats

1. What if the Helmet Catch fell incomplete?

2. What if Smith fell short on the 3rd and 11 play late in the drive? (IMHO, the most underrated play in Giants history.)

3. What if Moss catches the late Hail Mary attempt but gets tackled in FG territory?


2011

at Jets

1. What if Cruz doesn't score the 99-yard TD?

Playoffs at GB

1. What if the Giants don't pull off the Hail Mary to end the first half?

Playoffs at SF

1. What if Kyle Williams fair catches the ball on the punt in OT instead of fumbling it away?

Super Bowl vs. NE

1. What if Manning-Manningham never happens and the ball falls harmlessly incomplete?

2. What if Welker catches the fourth quarter pass?
Edit on 07 Pats Regular Season  
Simms2McConkey : 6/30/2020 11:00 pm : link
Meant to say in the final line: Do you think they still have the storybook postseason or do you think they go in a bit deflated and end up losing?
2007  
Trainmaster : 7/1/2020 1:35 am : link
What if Jacobs fails on 4th and 1? A huge play that doesn’t get mentioned enough IMHO.
A couple more  
mittenedman : 7/1/2020 7:21 am : link
*What if Bradshaw doesn't recover that fumble deep in Pats territory in SB42? I still have no idea how he recovered that. Big 300# Ty Warren is just lying on the football and rookie Bradshaw jumps in and rips it out like a pitbull.

-------

*What if they don't call Snee on a bullshit hold in SB45? Jacobs busted one up the gut and it looked like the Giants might take control with the run. But there's the laundry. Huge HUGE momentum killer.

Of that list, the Wes Welker drop in 4QTR was most fortunate.  
LBH15 : 7/1/2020 8:50 am : link
I think there were only 4 minutes left and Giants were down 17-15. A touchdown (and extra point) almost seals it for the Patriots no matter what magic Eli had that season.

Football : The Game of Inches  
JonC : 7/1/2020 9:22 am : link
As difficult as the bad times have been since 2012, and from the mid 60s to the early 80s, NYG fans have been treated to as many moments at the top of the NFL as almost any team not named the Patriots.

2008 and 1988 were a shame but also proof of how long the season is, and how difficult it is to win in the NFL. You almost always need an extra bounce or two to go your way to win it all, no matter how good or dominant.
The Smith SB play on 3rd and 11  
Rick Morehouse : 7/1/2020 10:19 am : link
Is one of the least talked about plays, but was an absolute epic moment in NYG lore.

We don’t win otherwise
Slight deviation from your thread but  
DC Gmen Fan : 7/1/2020 10:19 am : link
what if in the 2008 game against the Panthers, John Kasey made that 50 yarder or Manning did not convert the 2 point play to Hixon? Then the Giants would not have the first seed, and instead of playing PHL they would have played ARI which they probably would have won.
What if Patrick Crayton  
Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy : 7/1/2020 10:48 am : link
doesn't drop the ball against the Giants late in the Cowboys game? That would have been an enormous 3rd down conversion and huge gain.

That Cowboys game was the only game during the two Super Bowl runs where the Giants didn't look like the better team. Not to say we didn't deserve to win, our DL getting the best of their OL late was huge and Eli and the offense had some big plays. But we were barely hanging on in that game, our defense put everything out on the field. That Crayton drop could've been a backbreaker.

Another Cowboys what-if, but this time from '11. What if Eli and JPP don't put the entire team on their back in 2011 to comeback and beat Dallas? That was clearly the best performance of JPP's career, and imo it is Eli's best regular season game. Eli's 2 throws on the run late in the game to Nicks and Cruz are 2 of the 5 best passes he's made as a Giant, and he did them almost consecutively with the season on the line. Unreal performances by Eli and JPP.
Or Romo overthrows a wide open Miles Austin  
DC Gmen Fan : 7/1/2020 10:51 am : link
in 2011.
RE: Or Romo overthrows a wide open Miles Austin  
DC Gmen Fan : 7/1/2020 10:52 am : link
In comment 14927268 DC Gmen Fan said:
Quote:
in 2011.


*doesn't overthrow
RE: The Smith SB play on 3rd and 11  
sb from NYT Forum : 7/1/2020 11:50 am : link
In comment 14927246 Rick Morehouse said:
Quote:
Is one of the least talked about plays, but was an absolute epic moment in NYG lore.

We don’t win otherwise


Good point, it was a fabulous play, especially considering Smith was a rookie.

Another great play was Jacobs converting a 4th and 1 on that drive. Giants literally don't win if he doesn't convert.
NJ.com: Brandon Jacobs' 2-foot run is lost in glory of that one-handed catch - ( New Window )
RE: What if Patrick Crayton  
LTIsTheGreatest : 7/1/2020 3:08 pm : link
In comment 14927266 Osi Osi Osi OyOyOy said:
Quote:
doesn't drop the ball against the Giants late in the Cowboys game? That would have been an enormous 3rd down conversion and huge gain.

That Cowboys game was the only game during the two Super Bowl runs where the Giants didn't look like the better team. Not to say we didn't deserve to win, our DL getting the best of their OL late was huge and Eli and the offense had some big plays. But we were barely hanging on in that game, our defense put everything out on the field. That Crayton drop could've been a backbreaker.

Another Cowboys what-if, but this time from '11. What if Eli and JPP don't put the entire team on their back in 2011 to comeback and beat Dallas? That was clearly the best performance of JPP's career, and imo it is Eli's best regular season game. Eli's 2 throws on the run late in the game to Nicks and Cruz are 2 of the 5 best passes he's made as a Giant, and he did them almost consecutively with the season on the line. Unreal performances by Eli and JPP.


That was offset by Corey Webster dropping an easy INT in the first half that would have been a pick 6
I think we could have won two more Superbowls if...  
Torrag : 7/1/2020 4:21 pm : link
we don't get fucked on a terrible PI call in the '89 Rams game that roster was loaded. In 2008 if Plax doesn't shoot himself and embroil AP in it as well I believe that team wins 14 or more regular season games and the title.

what if the Saints beat the 49ers  
Enzo : 7/1/2020 4:51 pm : link
in the 2011 playoffs? I don't see us having much of a chance in the SuperDome that year.
RE: what if the Saints beat the 49ers  
jnoble : 7/1/2020 11:52 pm : link
In comment 14927448 Enzo said:
Quote:
in the 2011 playoffs? I don't see us having much of a chance in the SuperDome that year.


The Saints had already humiliated us earlier that season. I was thrilled when they got knocked out of the playoffs because I knew they probably would've done it again and we were a bad match up. Scumbag Payton ran up the score on us in that regular season beating too still throwing the ball late in the 4th even though the game was well out of hand
I got one for Super Bowl 42.  
Angel Eyes : 7/2/2020 10:43 am : link
What if Asante Samuel intercepts Manning (the play before the Helmet Catch)?
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