OK, so I am going to cheat today. Instead of giving you just one moment at No. 9 in our countdown of the top 10 New York Giants Super Bowl moments, I am going to give you three. I couldn't choose between them, and it gives us more to talk about, anyway.
No. 9 -- Super Bowl safeties
Safeties have played a role in three of the Giants' Super Bowl victories. Let's look at each of them.
Super Bowl XXI, Jan. 25, 1987 -- With the Giants trailing the Denver Broncos, 10-7, it was the Big Blue defense that turned the game around. First, the Giants held the Broncos on first-and-goal from the 1-yard line with Denver kicker Rich Karlis somehow missing a 24-yeard field goal.
Denver's next possession began at the Bronco 15-yard line. A Leonard Marshall sack and an incomplete pass set up third-and-12 at the 13-yard line. Also of note, the second down play was a replay review ruled in favor of the Giants.
On third down with slightly less than three minutes left in the first half, John Elway took a shotgun snap, retreated to the goal line under heavy pressure and was sacked in the end zone for a safety by George Martin. That started the Giants on a streak of 26 unanswered points that led to a 39-20 victory and their first Super Bowl title.
Super Bowl XXV, Jan. 27, 1991 -- This seems like an odd one to include here because it was a safety AGAINST the Giants, but it turned out to be one of the crucial plays that allowed them to defeat the Buffalo Bills, 20-19.
With the Giants trailing, 10-3, and with the ball at their own 7-yard line quarterback Jeff Hostetler went back to pass. He stumbled, Bills Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith came off the edge, got his hand on Hostetler's arm and brought him down for the safety and a 12-3 Buffalo lead.
Watch the play and you see that Smith chopped at Hostetler's arm with the ball exposed. It's amazing the ball didn't come out and turn into a Buffalo touchdown, which would have given them a 17-3 lead. Hostetler probably saved the game right here by finding a way to hold onto the ball.
Super Bowl XLVI, Feb. 5, 2012 -- In his own end zone and under heavy pressure from Justin Tuck, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was called for intentional grounding to give the Giants a 2-0 lead with 8:52 left in the opening quarter. The Giants went on to beat Brady and the Patriots in a Super Bowl for the second time in four years, this time by a 21-17 score.