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New York Giants Responsible for 4 of NFL’s Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Losses

February 15th, 2014 at 3:00 PM
By Dan Benton

In honor of Valentine's Day on Friday, NFL Network took a look at the Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Losses in NFL history. The New York Giants, being the eternal underdog that they are, were responsible for four of those top 10 most heartbreaking losses.

Johnia! / Foter / CC BY-NC

No. 9: 2011 NFC Championship Game — New York Giants defeat San Francisco 49ers

Perhaps one of the greatest non-Super Bowls ever played, the 2011 NFC Championship game was tough, physical and violent for four full quarters. Two of the best teams in the game — with two of the better defenses in the game — battled into overtime, where a fumble would ultimately set up a game-winning Lawrence Tynes field goal. The lasting image from that game? Other than Eli Manning's mud-filled helmet, was punter Steve Weatherford running down the field screaming "We're going to the f—king Super Bowl!" They would later defeat the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI.

No. 8: 2007 NFC Divisional Playoff Game — New York Giants defeat Dallas Cowboys

This upset will live in infamy — and not just because of the look on Jerry Jones' face afterwards. Following the loss, wide receiver Terrell Owens gave the press conference of a lifetime, where he broke down into tears, lips quivering as he repeated: "That's my quarterback. That's my quarterback." Tony Romo, of course, came under fire for that performance after throwing the game-losing interception as the last few moments of the clock ticked away.

No. 4: Super Bowl XXV — New York Giants defeat Buffalo Bills

Great defense vs. unstoppable offense was the headline going into Super Bowl XXV, with many thinking even Big Blue couldn't slow down Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas & Co. But, thanks to a "wide right" courtesy of Scott Norwood to end the game, Big Blue held strong and came down with a huge upset, winning only their second Super Bowl. To this day, Super Bowl XXV is the only Super Bowl to be decided by a single point.

No. 1: Super Bowl XLII — New York Giants defeat New England Patriots

Already named the greatest Super Bowl ever played — twice — Super Bowl XLII now receives the honor of most heartbreaking loss in NFL history. In other words, it was also the most tremendous upset in NFL history. After having lost to the New England Patriots in the preseason and then again in the final week of the regular season, the Giants would go on to upend the then 18-0 Patriots, ruining "perfection" and giving Big Blue faithful the greatest single moment in their sports lives.


Just because the Super Bowl left NY/NJ it doesn't mean the NFL action is over. Come see the Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Liberty Science Center see jerseys worn by legends, make the tough call under the hood, try on equipment and get immersed into football like never before.

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Tags: Buffalo, Buffalo Bills, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, Eli Manning, Football, New England, New England Patriots, New York, New York Giants, NFL, San Francisco, San Francisco 49ers, Super Bowl XLII, Tony Romo

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15 Responses to “New York Giants Responsible for 4 of NFL’s Top 10 Most Heartbreaking Losses”

  1.  Dirt says:

    For all of the shockers they’ve delivered, they’ve received some heartbreakers as well:

    - Vikings playoff game
    - Rams playoff game
    - 49ers playoff game
    - Miracle at the Meadowlands I
    - Miracle at the Meadowlands II
    - Plaxico’s Pistol

    •  Nosh.0 says:

      That Vick game was brutal. Team was ready to make another run to the SB. Worse loss I’ve ever experienced as a Giants fan. Trey Junkin game and Emmit Smith shoulder game are close seconds.

  2.  GIANTT says:

    Dan puts up a pleasant article remind us that things are nt all doom and gloom
    (thank you Dan ) and then – plp – right back in the slop

  3.  fanfor55years says:

    All truly great wins, but I remember one that should certainly be in the Top 10 heartbreakers.

    On the final day of the season in 1958 the Giants played the Cleveland Browns, led by All-World Jim Brown. I was there with my father. It was at Yankee Stadium and the field was icy and there were early snow flurries. All the Browns had to do to win the Division title and go on to the league championship game (in which they’d be favored) was get a tie.

    First play of the game, Brown goes about 70 yards on a run for a touchdown and things look horrible, largely because both Frank Gifford and Alex Webster, who are a very large part of the Giants’ offense, cannot get decent footing since their run game is largely outside the tackles and they cannot get the traction to cut back.

    Anyway, I think the Browns were winning 10-3 and looking like they were going to end the Giants’ season when Gifford takes a pitch-out from Conerly and throws the ball all the way across the field to an uncovered Kyle Rote who almost scores a TD to tie. On the next play Gifford takes another pitch and throws a TD pass to someone (I don’t remember who but it was probably the tight end, whose name was, I think, Bob Chandler, but I may be wrong about the receiver).

    So with about a minute left in the game, and after a Jim Brown fumble that was recovered by a Giants’ defense that dominated the Browns in the second half and had 4-5 guys hanging on Brown every time he touched the ball, Pat Summerall lined up for a 50-yard FG try. It was snowing pretty hard by that time and I am almost sure that the players were having a hard time seeing the goal posts. I can tell you that we couldn’t see them in the stands. Up goes the kick (in those days a 50-yard FG attempt was considered highly unlikely to succeed) and as we all anxiously await the result we hear a roar from the fans behind the goal posts close to what was first base for the Yanks. The roar rolls around the Stadium as we all realize the kick is good.

    The Browns have to play us again the next week in a Divisional Playoff and we beat them. The rest is history. Who knows? If Summerall doesn’t break the Browns’ hearts in the snow then the “Greatest Game Ever Played” (later supplanted by the 2007 Super Bowl, at least in my opinion) doesn’t happen and the immense growth of the NFL takes a lot longer to get underway.

    But that win was a great one, it was a heart-breaker for Cleveland, and I had the privilege of being there, with my father, in the snow. It’s a wonderful memory.

    •  rlhjr says:


      What a wonderful memory to have.

      •  jb322 says:

        Nice! Did you have a couple of Brontosaurus burgers at the game?

        Only kidding! What a great memory to have.

        My first Giants game was at RFK stadium, I believe it was 1970. I remember sitting right behind the goal posts catching practice field goals from Pete Gogolak and throwing them back. The funniest thing was this guy behind us who tracked down one of the practice field goal balls and tried to switch it with another ball. The Giants coach actually came into the stands and chased the guy down to get the football back. The game ended on a failed fake field goal try by the Deadskins. I loved watching Ron Johnson, Bob Tucker, Fran Tarkenton and Tucker Frederickson for the first time in person. What a great feeling! Me and my brother fought over the binoculars we brought, he wanted to check out the cheerleaders and I wanted watch the game, I guess I was too young to know any better. I remember it was the first time I saw Larry Brown also, one of my all time favorite runningbacks. On the ride home the radio was playing “Everything is Beautiful” and I thought to myself that was the perfect song for the moment.

    •  Dirt says:

      Wrote a long reply and lost it, so here’s the cliff notes:

      My top 5 favorite games attended (in chronological order):
      - 2000 Divisional Round vs Philadelphia
      - 2002 Week 17 vs Philadelphia
      - 2005 vs Denver
      - 2007 Week 17 vs New England
      - 2011 Wild Card Round vs Atlanta

  4.  jerseyrich says:

    Great post by 55 a few articles back on the Dolphins situation. Id personally take Incognito on this team tomorrow. I wouldn’t trade a 7th round pick for the punk.

    If Linval wants to remain in Blue, then he’s going to have to give “Blue” a discounted price.

    At almost 44 years old and a fan since I was 9, ive seen many bad losses for the Giants. The SF playoff loss with Shockey was brutal, as was the Vikings loss in the late 90′s vs cunningham. However, I don’t know if I will ever experience a more empty feeling than seeing Flipper Anderson run into the tunnel after his game winning TD catch in the 89 playoffs. I was 19 and watching the game in my bedroom. I threw the covers over my head and stayed there until the following morning.

    •  Dirt says:

      Flipper Anderson is my oldest clear football memory. I was 8. Watched the game outside with a whole bunch of people on a TV with rabbit ears and a generator. The TV lasted only a few seconds longer than the Giants season.

      •  jerseyrich says:

        I could see that…im surprised I didn’t smash mine; I think I was in too much of a state of shock. That’s a hell of a first memory to have as a Giants fan.

  5.  stuh says:

    FF55 I remember that kick the yard markers were obliterated you couldn’t tell how long the kick was. But I thought it was 49 yards. What an exciting moment in Giant history. That kick was more remarkable because Straight away kickers hardly ever kicked field goals that far and the condition were brutal.
    Your memory is a lot better than mine because The details of the rest of the game are not in my memory bank. But I can still see that kick.
    I also think that Howell lost the “greatest game” by not going for the 1st down and less than a yard at the 50. Giving the ball to Unitas at that when the Giants were moving down field was a bad mistake.

  6.  stuh says:

    I saw a couple of articles back that someone said that he thinks Nicks is better than Cruz. The Stats sure don’t look that way. Cruz is a more versatile receiver and has better numbers than nicks who I believe was less than ordinary last year.

  7.  James Stoll says:

    Let’s not forget the first Super Bowl victory over the broncos. Tough to top that.
    Giants had not won a championship in 30 years. Phil Simms pitched a near perfect game. And Harry Carson capped it off with what was then the unheard of act of dumping a bucket of Gatorade on your coach

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