The New York Giants are the fourth-oldest franchise in the NFL. Founded in 1925, the team won its first league title just two years later and, minus a 17-year playoff drought from 1964-80, has been a force in the NFL ever since.
Throughout its history, the Giants have been one of the most successful franchises in league history, winning eight titles and playing in 19 championship games. Here are the 10 best teams they have ever fielded.
Finished: Beat Chicago Bears 30-13 in NFL Championship Game
Regular Season Record: 8-5
New York's second title came through a great choice in footwear. At 8-5, the Giants seemed outmatched against a 13-0 Bears team. To make matters worse, freezing rain had turned the Polo Grounds field into a sheet of ice and both teams muddled through the first half, which ended with Chicago leading 10-3. Determined to give his team better footing, Giants head coach Steve Owen sent his friend Abe Cohen to Manhattan College to find sneakers during halftime. Cohen returned in the third quarter with the goods and New York scampered away with 27 fourth-quarter points and the win. Today, the "Sneakers Games" remains one of the most mythicized stories in NFL history.
Finished: Beat New York Yankees 13-0 in final regular-season game
Regular Season Record: 11-1-1
The Giants won their first title by outscoring their opposition 197-20 and beating their crosstown rivals at Yankee Stadium to close the season. The NFL did not institute a championship game until 1933 so the title went to the team with the best record. New York was clearly the best team with the 7-2-1 Green Bay Packers finishing second.
Finished: Lost to Green Bay Packers 16-7 in NFL Championship Game
Regular Season Record: 12-2
Quarterback Y.A. Tittle threw 33 touchdown passes as New York won the Eastern Conference by three games before losing to the Packers in the league championship. Of the 11 Giants teams that have lost NFL Championship games, I have the 1962 team on this list because they lost to the greatest Packers team of all time.
Finished: Beat Green Bay Packers 23-17 in NFL Championship Game
Regular Season Record: 8-2-1
New York lost two of its first three games by a total of seven points but went 7-0-1 to finish the season and win its third NFL championship.
Finished: Lost to Baltimore Ravens 34-7 in Super Bowl XXXV
Regular Season Record: 12-4
Sporting a backfield of Ron Dayne and Tiki Barber, New York averaged 256.5 rushing yards per game and earned the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. There, they never trailed against their NFC opponents, beating the Minnesota Vikings 41-0 in the conference championship, but were no match for a Ravens defense destined for immortality.
Finished: Beat New England Patriots 21-17 in Super Bowl XLVI
Regular Season Record: 9-7
New York is the only 9-7 team to win a Super Bowl thanks to dramatic upsets of Green Bay, San Francisco, and New England. While I generally rank Super Bowl era champions higher than their predecessors, I have this team lower because they are the only team on this list who gave up more points than they scored over the course of a season.
Finished: Beat Chicago Bears 47-7 in NFL Championship Game
Regular Season Record: 8-3-1
On the field, linebacker Sam Huff was named Rookie of the Year and Frank Gifford became the first player to finish in the top five in both rushing yards and receptions on his way to winning the league MVP. On the sidelines, Vince Lombardi served as offensive coordinator and Tom Landry led the defense. In the championship game, New York jumped out to a 34-7 lead against Chicago in a rout.
Finished: Beat New England Patriots 17-14 in Super Bowl XLII
Regular Season Record: 10-6
This scrappy team went 10-6 in the brutal NFC East and entered the playoffs as the No. 5 seed. They advanced to the NFC Championship Game thanks to road wins at Tampa Bay and Dallas. New York then beat the top-seeded Packers in overtime in below-freezing conditions at Lambeau Field to earn their shot at the 18-0 New England Patriots. The Giants used their fierce pass rush and one of the greatest catches in NFL history to beat the Patriots 17-14 and score the biggest upset in Super Bowl history.
Finished: Beat Buffalo Bills 20-19 in Super Bowl XXV
Regular Season Record: 13-3
After losing quarterback Phil Simms late in the season, backup Jeff Hostetler led New York through the playoffs, beating the two-time defending Super Bowl champion San Francisco 49ers in Candlestick Park in the NFC title game. In the Super Bowl, New York's defense and ball-control offense was enough to edge Buffalo's no-huddle attack to take home their second title.
Finished: Beat Denver Broncos 39-20 in Super Bowl XXI
Regular Season Record: 14-2
Led by league MVP Lawrence Taylor, the "Big Blue Wrecking Crew" demolished San Francisco and Washington in the postseason, and then dominated Denver in the second half to win the Giants first title since 1956. They also made the Gatorade shower mainstream.
— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.