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Season Recap: 1981 New York Giants
With the second selection in the draft. New York chose Lawrence Taylor, a linebacker from North Carolina. The Giants started slowly, going 2-3, before obtaining running back Rob Carpenter from Houston. Carpenter sparked a three-game winning streak. The Giants lost three straight to drop to 5-6. Second-year quarterback Scott Brunner replaced an injured Phil Simms and the team responded with four victories in the final five weeks, including a 13-10 overtime defeat of Dallas in the season finale that sent them into the playoffs for he first time in 18 years. On December 27, the Giants defeated the Eagles 27-21 in the NFC wild card game. The season ended for New York on January 3 when it was defeated by the 49ers 38-24 in a divisional playoff game.