Plaxico Burress and the Giants ruined the Patriots’ unbeaten season in Super Bowl XLII.
Been there, done that. Just ask the New York Giants.
As they get ready for the unbeaten Packers on Sunday, the struggling G-Men can take solace in their Giant killer pedigree.
At least three times in their long and glorious history the Giants have taken out unbeaten opponents — twice in championship games.
As recently as four seasons ago, the Giants spoiled the undefeated dreams of the New England Patriots in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.
The Giants, a number five seed and 12-point underdog, rallied in the final minutes to upend previously unbeaten (18-0) New England and alter the course of NFL history. Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with just 35 seconds remaining to give New York the monumental 17-14 win.
The Giants, who lost six games during the regular season, avenged a 38-35 loss to the Patriots in the final game of the regular season.
Nearly 75 years earlier, in December of 1934, the Chicago Bears waltzed into Manhattan with a 13-0 record, a record-setting offense, and high hopes for an unbeaten season and an NFL championship.
The Bears took an early lead over the 8-5 Giants in the second NFL Championship game ever played. But the Giants then made a surprise move as reported by the New York Times, coming out in the second half “with basketball shoes replacing the cleated football shoes. The solidly frozen ground made cleats useless, and the basketball shoes made all the difference.”
Trailing 13-3, the Giants rallied for four touchdowns in the fourth quarter and an improbable 30-13 win in a contest, shown at right, that became known in NFL lore as the “Sneakers Game.”
In December of 1998, the defending Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, led by John Elway, took a 13-0 record into a December game against the Giants at the Meadowlands.
Denver went up 16-13 in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard touchdown run by Terrell Davis. But the Giants, then 5-8, put together a finishing drive. With just 48 seconds left in the game, New York scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Kent Graham to Amani Toomer for a shocking 20-16 win.
Can history repeat itself?
Extra Points: The Giants also had a chance to knock off the only undefeated team in NFL history, the 1972 Miami Dolphins. With just two games remaining in the regular season, the Dolphins (12-0) came into Yankee Stadium and beat the Giants 23-13 on the strength of three Gary Yepremian field goals. Miami went on to defeat the Washington Redskins in Super Bowl VII and finish a perfect 17-0.