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Fact or Fiction: The most untouchable Giants records


The crew is presented with four statements and must decide whether they are Fact or Fiction.

The most untouchable career franchise record on defense is Emlen Tunnell's 74 interceptions

John Schmeelk: Fact Players just don't rack of those kind of interceptions any longer given the efficiency, pinpoint and short-pass based NFL offenses of the present. Rod Woodson, Charles Woodson and Ed Reed are the only players with more than 60 interceptions who played past the 2010 season. It's just a very hard number to reach.

Lance Medow: Fact Emlen Tunnel not only set a franchise record with 74 interceptions but his 79 career picks (five more with the Packers) ranks second in NFL history. To further put things in perspective, only three players in league annals have collected more than 70. The next closest Giant to Tunnel is Jimmy Patton, who recorded 52 picks.

Matt Citak: Fact – What Tunnell did during his time with the Giants is simply amazing. The defensive back earned eight consecutive trips to the Pro Bowl from 1950-1957, in addition to earning six selections as an All-Pro. He intercepted seven passes in just 10 games as a rookie in 1948 and then a career-high 10 interceptions the following year. From 1948-57, Tunnell had at least six interceptions every season. That just does not happen in the NFL any longer. Patrick Peterson and Harrison Smith are tied for the current lead among active players with 34 interceptions, and each have played in the league for more than a decade. It would be shocking to see anyone come even close to Tunnell's 74 interceptions.

The most untouchable career franchise record on offense is Eli Manning's 57,023 passing yards

John Schmeelk: Fiction The NFL is becoming more of a passing league every year. Whether or not the Giants have a quarterback who can play 16 years like Eli did is a legitimate question, but getting to more than 57,000 yards over the span is very doable if a player can log that many games. Tiki Barber's 10,449 career rushing yards might be tougher to break given how running backs rarely play the position full-ime any longer and have such short careers.

Lance Medow: Fact It's going to be very difficult for anyone to break most of Eli Manning's marks given he made 222 consecutive starts between Nov. 2004-Nov. 2017. On top of that, in the entire history of the NFL, just four quarterbacks (Brett Favre, Philip Rivers, Peyton Manning and Eli) have reached 200 consecutive starts. That's a huge reason why the Giants legend piled up more than 57,000 passing yards. Another Giants quarterback would have to play as long, without any injuries, to even start having a discussion that it could be feasible. 

Matt Citak: Fact – This is another one that will be incredibly difficult for anyone to beat. Perhaps Manning's best trait was his ability to stay on the field. The legendary quarterback started 210 consecutive games, and wasn't even injured for the game that snapped his epic streak. This led to Manning creating a significant distance between himself and all other Giants quarterbacks – Phil Simms is second on the all-time passing list with 33,462 yards, more than 23,000 less than Manning. To put it into perspective, Daniel Jones is four years into his NFL career and is sixth on the franchise's all-time list with 11,603 yards. Unless someone is able to start 200+ consecutive games at quarterback again, Manning's record isn't being touched.

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The most untouchable single-season franchise record on defense is Michael Strahan's 22.5 sacks in 2001.

John Schmeelk: Fact – This isn't just a Giants record, it is an NFL record (shared with T.J. Watt). Although sack numbers are increasing due to the higher frequency of passes being thrown in the league, it is hard to imagine another Giant surpassing 22.5 sacks. The expanded 17-game season helps but it is not enough.

Lance Medow: Fiction – It's either Michael Strahan's sack record or Jimmy Patton and Otto Schnellbacher's shared interception total of 11 in 1958 and 1951, respectively. You can make a strong case for both but go with the latter. Although 22.5 sacks seem untouchable on the surface, Jason Pierre-Paul recorded 16.5 in 2011, which is at least in the same ballpark. No one has posted double-digit interceptions in a Giants uniform since 1968 and only one player has come close in the 21st Century (Stevie Brown had eight in 2012).Based on those trends, go with matching or passing Strahan as more likely.

Matt Citak: Fact – Strahan set the NFL all-time single-season sack record with his 22.5 in 2001. Pittsburgh Steelers OLB T.J. Watt matched that number in 2021, and others came close in the years before Watt was finally able to reach Strahan's mark. But 22.5 sacks in a single season is quite the accomplishment. Lawrence Taylor, perhaps the greatest-ever defensive player, topped out at 20.5 sacks in 1986. The next-highest Giants sack total, other than Strahan's 18.5 sacks in 2003, was Jason Pierre-Paul's 16.5 in 2011. Strahan's high-mark will be very tough for anyone to beat.

The most untouchable single-season franchise record on offense is Y.A. Tittle's 104.8 passer rating in his 1963 NFL MVP season.

John Schmeelk: Fiction – Passer rating are only going up as completion percentages sky-rocket and interceptions plummet, thanks to passing games that include so many safe completions at or near the line of scrimmage. Those plays will often turn into big games thanks to the dynamic athletes on the other side of the plays. 

Lance Medow: Fiction While Y.A. Tittle's feat shouldn't be overlooked, several Giants quarterbacks have finished their respective seasons in the 90s, including 2015 when Eli Manning posted a 93.6 passer rating. When you look around the league, 104.8 has easily been surpassed by the NFL's annual leader in 15 of the last 16 seasons. That's why Tiki Barber's single-season mark for carries will never be broken. He ran the ball 357 times in 2005 and the only player to even reach 300 carries since is Barber again. With most teams using running back committees and the injury rate at that position, Tiki's mark is more than safe. 

Matt Citak: Fiction – This one was close, as Tittle's 1963 passer rating is an impressive mark, one that no other Giants QB has come close to in the 60 years since. However, Tittle's 104.8 ranks tied for 61st on the NFL's all-time list. While no Giants QB has beat it, many others have. That is why I'm going with Daniel Jones' 1.1 interception percentage last season as the most untouchable single-season franchise record. That mark is tied with five others as the 22nd-best in NFL history. Within the Giants record books, Phil Simms came closest at 1.3 percent. Jones' 1.1 was the best in the NFL last season, as he threw just five interceptions on 472 pass attempts. In the last five years, the only QBs to best that mark are Aaron Rodgers (four times), Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes and Drew Brees.

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