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Fact or Fiction: Greatest all-time Giants Super Bowl performances


Phil Simms put forth the greatest individual performance in Giants postseason history in Super Bowl XXI.

John Schmeelk: Fact - This is a yearly question and the answer always remains the same. Simms set a Super Bowl record for completion percentage in that game, completing 22 of 25 passes (88%). In an era where completing 60% of attempted passes was a feat, his number looks even more impressive. He threw for 268 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Broncos led, 10-9, at halftime, so its not like those stats were empty in a blowout situation. No other Giant has been better in a Super Bowl and it isn't particularly close.

Lance Medow: Fact - Forget Giants postseason history, Simms' performance in Super Bowl XXI is considered one of the greatest showings in NFL playoff history. Not only did he set Super Bowl records for consecutive completions, completion percentage & passer rating but he also helped the Giants post a Super Bowl-record 30 points in the second half. Carl Banks' performance in that same game deserves some serious consideration as he recorded 14 tackles, including 10 unassisted (four for losses). It's easy to overlook what the defense, especially Banks, did against John Elway & Co. when you consider Simms' offensive clinic in the second half.

Matt Citak: Fact - This one is simple. Simms completed a jaw-dropping 88% of his passes in Super Bowl XXI, totaling 268 yards, three touchdowns with no interceptions. His 150.9 passer rating is the franchise's highest in a postseason game since the NFL-AFL merger and lands at No. 11 on the all-time postseason list. In fact, Simms is the only Giants quarterback since the merger to rank in the Top 50 in single-game postseason passer ratings. The only other Giant on the all-time list is Charlie Conerly, who appears on the list twice for his performances in the 1956 and '58 NFL Championship games.

The 1990 Bills' offense was better than the 2007 Patriots' attack, even though both fell to the Giants in the Super Bowl 

John Schmeelk: Fiction - The 2007 Patriots might own the best offense in NFL history. They set an NFL record with 589 points scored and it wasn't broken until six years later by Peyton Manning's Broncos, when points were much easier to collect. The Patriots had the best deep threat in the NFL in Randy Moss, a fantastic slot receiver in Wes Welker and a good combination of backs with Laurence Maroney and Kevin Faulk. Tom Brady was pretty good, too. Despite losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl, the 2007 Patriots were probably the best team in NFL history.

Lance Medow: Fiction - The 2007 Patriots averaged just under 37 points per game and scored a NFL record 589 points over 16 regular season games. In comparison, the 1990 Bills averaged just under 27 points and posted 428 points on the season - that's a significant difference in both statistical categories. While Buffalo showcased its Big Three in Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed and when it's all said and done may have more Hall of Famers, the level of execution & explosive plays achieved by Tom Brady & Co. is in a league of its own.

Matt Citak: Fiction - The 2007 Patriots offense is the greatest in NFL history. Tom Brady and Randy Moss led the way as each one set records (Brady with 50 passing TDs, Moss with 23 receiving scores). As for the unit as a whole, the Patriots scored 589 total points, including 12 games of 30+ points, both were the most-ever at the time (the 2013 Broncos surpassed both records). Of course, the Pats are the only team to go undefeated since the regular season schedule expanded to 16 games, but they also have the highest point differential in a season at +315. All of these stats show just how impressive the Giants' defense was in Super Bowl XLII, limiting this all-time great offense to a mere 14 points.

View iconic photos from the Giants' Super Bowl XLII victory over the undefeated Patriots.

The Super Bowl is the toughest championship to win in sports

John Schmeelk: Fiction - The single-elimination aspect of the NFL playoffs gives more of an opportunity for a team to get hot and make a run in any given season. Is that easier? It is easier for a less talented team to win the Super Bowl than in other sports, but harder for a more talented team. In the NBA, for example, the best team nearly always walks away with the championship thanks to its seven-game series format.

Lance Medow: Fact - It clearly takes more games to win a title in the three other U.S. major professional sports, but volume alone doesn't mean it's more difficult. Having more games in a series is beneficial for a higher-seeded team as it lowers the chance of an upset because you're asking the underdog to not win just one game but three more. In football, the favorite doesn't have that luxury and protection. It's just one game with absolutely no margin for error because if you lose, there's no second chance to make up for it. The Lombardi Trophy is the toughest to claim and the best evidence is the fact that the best team during the regular season is far from a lock to win it all.

Matt Citak: Fact - Winning a Super Bowl is obviously a very difficult accomplishment; consider that 12 teams have never hoisted the Lombardi Trophy, while four have never even reached the sport's biggest game. As we have seen in various seasons throughout history, a team does not necessarily need to be the best in order to win a championship. Super Bowl XLII is a prime example of that. The Patriots were perhaps the greatest team in NFL history, going 18-0 with the most dominant offense we have ever seen. And yet the Giants' defense, which ranked 17th in points allowed in the regular season, held Brady and the Pats to just 14 points in the most important game. Sometimes all you need is a little bit of magic and luck (see David Tyree's Helmet Catch). 

Philadelphia and Kansas City will combine for more than 50 points on Sunday

John Schmeelk: Fact - Both of these defenses are very talented but this will be a relatively high-scoring game. Both teams have very good offensive lines, which should give the quarterbacks time to operate. Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the league, and one of the best quarterbacks in history, so he will figure out a way to score points. The Eagles can score running the ball or throwing deep to AJ Brown and Devonta Smith. Jonathan Gannon and Steve Spagnuolo are good coordinators, but the offenses will have the advantage when all is said and done.

Lance Medow: Fact - It's not a stretch for both of these teams to reach at least 25 points. The Eagles and Chiefs showcased two of the best offenses in the NFL during the regular season as they each ranked in the top three in the league. Kansas City is averaging 25 points this postseason while Philadelphia is at 34.5. On top of that, the Eagles put up 31 points against one of the best defenses in the league in San Francisco. If both teams fail to combine for at least 50, it will be a product of sloppy play and turnovers as opposed to two defenses completely shutting down the opposing offenses. In the 15 games that Jalen Hurts started during the regular season, the Eagles scored under 20 points once. The same can be said for Patrick Mahomes. The Chiefs failed to reach 20 points just once in 17 contests.

Matt Citak: Fact - There is no denying the talent on the Eagles' defense, with the unit stacked at just about every level. If it were the Bengals getting ready to take on the Philly defense, this answer would have gone the other direction as the Bengals' defense is quite strong. But with Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts under center, along with stellar skill position players, including Travis Kelce, AJ Brown and others, it's hard to see either offense being contained on Sunday. The last time we saw a true offensive explosion in the Super Bowl was five years ago when the Eagles defeated the Patriots in Super Bowl LII, 41-33. It may not be quite as high-scoring on Sunday, but the two offenses should easily combine for more than 50 points.


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