Remember that dominant, high-octane New York Giants passing attack of the 1980’s? That’s because it didn’t exist. Today’s lost art of running the football was embedded in the DNA of teams NFL-wide, and the Giants were no exception. There was that time Phil Simms torched the Cincinnati Bengals secondary however.
Giants vs. Bengals, 10/13/1985
Simms completed 40 passes in 62 attempts for 513 yards, the latter two setting Giants’ passing records. For some context, in today’s pass-first league, Eli Manning has thrown for less yards than that (473) in his last two games. Afterward, all Simms could reflect on was the fact it wasn’t enough, as the Bengals defeated Big Blue, 35-30. Simms told reporters his miscues would be what stood out most about his performance:
“"It doesn't mean much. When we look at the game (films) tomorrow, all I'll see is what I screwed up. We gave away too many opportunities to win this game."
The Giants ran off four straight victories after dropping that game. They finished that season 10-6 and made it to the divisional round of the NFL Playoffs, where they were shutout 21-0 by the “Monsters of the Midway,” the 1985 Chicago Bears.
Simms and the Giants, coached by Bill Parcells and with help from Lawrence Taylor and Joe Morris among others, went on to win Super Bowl XXI the following season. It was the first of four championships for the franchise, and Simms took home MVP honors on 268 passing yards and three touchdowns.