The New York Giants have four Lombardi Trophies sitting in their lobby as a result of some magical Super Bowl runs over the past 37 years.
Those were great runs, and they had quite a few years where they fell short in disappointing fashion. But not every year they didn’t hoist the hardware was a downer.
There were some seasons that were simply entertaining and just downright fun, even if they didn’t end in a Super Bowl championship.
One of those seasons was 2000, which Touchdown Wire’s Mark Lane rates as the Giants’ “most fun playoff run that didn’t end with a Super Bowl win.”
The Giants were 7-4, but coach Jim Fassel pushed all his chips into the center of the table as New York finished 12-4 and secured the No. 1 seed. The Giants brushed off the Philadelphia Eagles 20-10 in the divisional round. New York had no problem with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game as they avenged their wild-card loss from 1997 with a 41-0 obliteration.
The Giants went on to lose miserably to the Baltimore Ravens, 34-7, in Super Bowl XXXV.
For this writer, the most fun non-championship season was 1981, Lawrence Taylor’s first season and the Giants’ first appearance in the postseason since 1963.
Big Blue had not had a winning season since 1972 and the first two seasons under new general manager George Young and head coach Ray Perkins had not gone well. In fact, 1980 was one of the worst in franchise history to that date.
The arrival of Taylor turned the worm for the Giants, though. They battled on defense and conjured up enough offense to win nine games, including a thrilling 13-10 Week 16 victory over the hated Dallas Cowboys at Giants Stadium that clinched a playoff berth.
The Giants went on to beat another hated rival — the Philadelphia Eagles — in the wild card round but the ride ended the next week in San Francisco in a 38-24 loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion 49ers.
For the first time in the Super Bowl era, the Giants were relevant and they would remain so for the next decade.