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Fact or Fiction: All-time Giants playoff performances


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

The greatest individual postseason performance in Giants history was Phil Simms in Super Bowl XXI

John Schmeelk: Fact - One could make the argument for Eli Manning's performance in Green Bay in the 2007 NFL Championship game, but it does not beat Phil Simms' Super Bowl XXI dominance. Simms completed 22 of 25 passes for 268 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. His 88% completion rate set a NFL record and he set the passer rating record at 150.9. In an era when completing 60% of passes was a big deal, Simms was nearly perfect. He was at his best when it mattered most.

Lance Medow: Fact - Forget Giants postseason history. Phil Simms' performance in Super Bowl XXI is considered one of the greatest showings in NFL postseason history. He also helped the Giants post a Super Bowl-record 30 points in the second half. And ran three times for 25 yards. Carl Banks' performance in that same game deserves some serious consideration as he recorded 14 tackles, including 10 unassisted and four for losses. It's easy to overlook what the defense, especially Banks, did against John Elway & Co. given the offensive clinic in the second half.

Matt Citak: Fact - You would be hard-pressed to find a better postseason performance by any quarterback in NFL history, let alone Giants history. Simms was not that far off from a perfect game. Simms added 25 yards on the ground, good enough for the second-most on the team that day. His completion percentage and passer rating in Super Bowl XXI still rank as the highest in Super Bowl history, so this seems like an easy one.

Eli Manning's NFL-high 1,219 passing yards in a single postseason (2011) is the best record ever held by a Giants player

John Schmeelk: Fact - Manning capped his best regular season with a phenomenal playoff run, not only averaging over 300 yards per game, but also completing over 60% of his passes, and throwing nine touchdowns to just one interception. He managed those stats in front of an offensive line that was no longer elite. Manning was constantly pounded into the ground in the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers. Manning played his best football in the most important games and 2011 was no exception.

Lance Medow: Fiction - The best record ever held by a Giant was the Super Bowl completion mark set by Simms. The biggest and most meaningful stage in the NFL is the Super Bowl so if you accomplish a notable feat in that round, you top the list. Although Eli Manning's record encompasses an entire postseason, he didn't set any marks in Super Bowl 46 against the Patriots. Simms' stats against the Broncos have lasted since the 1986 season, making them even more impressive.

Matt Citak: Fact - We have seen some dominant postseason performances by quarterbacks around the league over the last decade or so, including strong stretches from guys such as Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Yet Manning's 1,219 passing yards still comes in as the most in an NFL postseason - and the total doesn't even do his performance justice. Manning completed 65 percent of his passes that run and finished with an incredible 9-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio - with two game-winning drives.

View photos of the Giants' epic win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI.

The Bengals will upset the Rams in Super Bowl LVI

John Schmeelk: Fact - This pick is probably more from the heart than the head, but the Bengals are going to win the game. Bengals fans deserve a little joy, while the Rams have been a bit of a nomad franchise. Joe Burrow has a Joe Montana vibe to him that is hard to shake. Might Aaron Donald and the Rams' pass rush derail the Bengals? Yes. The Rams came close to blowing a big lead to the Buccaneers and were a Jaquiski Tartt dropped interception away from elimination in the NFC Championship. The Rams might have some more star power, but the Bengals are playing better football right now.

Lance Medow: Fact - The third time will be a charm for the Bengals after losing in the Super Bowl to the 49ers after the 1981 and '88 seasons. Cincinnati has just as much firepower on offense as the Rams and Joe Burrow & Co. are more than capable of putting points on the board against any defense. But it's the Bengals defense that really make this pick – the unit is underrated, especially after Lou Anarumo's crew limited the Raiders, Titans and Chiefs to just 19 total points in the second half and overtime combined. They've also recorded six takeaways over the course of those three contests. The only concern about the Bengals is their offensive line as Aaron Donald and Von Miller can both easily wreck games; yet Burrow has faced a lot of pressure and the offense has found a way to get it done. He was sacked nine times in the Divisional Round against the Titans, but the Bengals prevailed. Cincinnati is a young team that plays very loose because the group doesn't know any better – it's a factor that will benefit the team in Los Angeles.

Matt Citak: Fact - This has been a back-and-forth exercise for almost two weeks. The Rams have an incredibly talented roster, led by Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. They are strong on both sides of the ball, not to mention special teams (with punter Johnny Hekker). However, the Bengals have Joe Burrow, and that seems like more than enough to take home the Lombardi Trophy right now. Burrow is a little over a year out from tearing his ACL, and yet he led the league with his 70.4 completion percentage to go with a 34-14 touchdown-to-interception ratio. In three postseason games, the second-year QB has done more of the same, completing 68.8 percent of his passes for 842 yards with two game-winning drives. Burrow is playing like a man on a mission, and with the Bengals' defense performing like it has been for the last month, Cincy pulls off this upset.

A non-quarterback will be named Super Bowl LVI MVP

John Schmeelk: Fiction - A pick for the Rams would have meant selecting Aaron Donald as the game's MVP, but if the Bengals win the game the MVP is going to have to be Joe Burrow. He will have to overcome a struggling offensive line, likely by spreading around the ball to different wide receivers. RB Joe Mixon will not do enough to secure the MVP.

Lance Medow: Fact - Although Joe Burrow and Matt Stafford are more than capable of lighting up the box score, let's not overlook the weapons at other positions in this game. Bengals wide receivers Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd can easily post monster numbers as can the Rams' Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham and Tyler Higbee. On defense, Aaron Donald, Von Miller and Jalen Ramsey are game-changing players and while the Bengals may not have the big names, that group has been opportunistic - Trey Hendrickson posted 14 sacks this season. Based on all those factors, go with the field over the quarterbacks despite the fact that four of the last five Super Bowl MVPs have been under center.

Matt Citak: Fiction - It would have been a lot easier to pick fact when going with the Rams, as either Aaron Donald or Cooper Kupp could take home the MVP. But for the Bengals to pull off the upset, Burrow is going to have to step up and put together one of the best performances of his young career. Perhaps one of the receivers, such as Tee Higgins could have a big day (Ja'Marr Chase may have his hands full with coverage from Jalen Ramsey), but Burrow will be named the MVP if Cincy ends up on top.


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