New York's Road to the Super Bowl

Here's how Big Blue got itself into the big dance…

Regular Season

at Dallas, Cowboys 45, Giants 35

Eli Manning almost goes toe-to-toe with Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and the Giants trail just 17-16 at halftime. But the Giants secondary can't cover Cowboys receivers, and Sam Hurd's 51-yard touchdown catch with 3:00 left seals it. Just as distressing, Manning bruises his shoulder, leaving his status uncertain for the next week's game against Green Bay.

vs. Green Bay, Packers 35, Giants 13

Manning plays but the defense continues to struggle. Green Bay leads 14-13 at halftime before outscoring the Giants 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Brett Favre throws for 286 yards and three touchdowns. Plaxico Burress burns Al Harris on a 26-yard TD catch, not the first time Plax will have his way with the Packers corner.

at Washington, Giants 24, Redskins 17

The Giants are 0-2 and trailing 17-3 at halftime when their season takes a major turn. They score 21 second-half points and keep Washington out of the end zone after it drives to a first down at the 1 with 58 seconds left. Washington quarterback Jason Campbell spikes it and the Giants make three straight stops.

vs. Philadelphia, Giants 16, Eagles 3

The Eagles are all kinds of banged up, missing, among others, versatile back Brian Westbrook. The Giants take full advantage by tying an NFL record with 12 sacks on Donovan McNabb, a team-record six by Osi Umenyiora. There's no greater evidence that the Giants have begun to understand defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo's schemes.

vs. Jets, Giants 35, Jets 24

Once more the Giants trail big at halftime, this time 17-7 as Manning goes 3-for-10 for 22 yards with a 0.00 quarterback rating. But Manning connects on touchdowns to Jeremy Shockey and Burress, and rookie cornerback Aaron Ross, who sat the first half for missing curfew, clinches it with a 43-yard interception return for a touchdown.

at Atlanta, Giants 31, Falcons 10

The Giants win their fourth straight game by shutting out the Falcons in the final three quarters on Monday night. Manning throws for 303 yards with TDs to Burress (43 yards) and Toomer (5 yards), whose 48th career touchdown catch ties him with Kyle Rote for most in franchise history.

vs. San Francisco, Giants 33, 49ers 15

The Giants run for 140 yards and their "D'' puts forth another big effort forcing four turnovers. Umenyiora shows his immense athleticism by forcing a Trent Dilfer fumble, scooping it up and sprinting 75 yards for the touchdown.

vs. Miami (at London), Giants 13, Dolphins 10

The Giants clinch an ugly win in ugly weather on an ugly Wembley Stadium field. Manning's 10-yard touchdown run with 59 seconds left in the first half accounts for the only Giants' touchdown. They go into their bye week on a six-game win streak, with division leader Dallas looming after the break.

vs. Dallas, Cowboys 31, Giants 20

Once more the Giants hang with Dallas for three quarters, and once more the Cowboys break away in the fourth. Terrell Owens runs by Sam Madison for a go-ahead 25-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter. Ahmad Bradshaw returns the ensuing kickoff 83 yards to the 2, but the play is called back on a Kevin Boss holding penalty. The Giants then drive for an apparent game-tying touchdown run by Brandon Jacobs, but that too is called back, this time on a Chris Snee holding call, eventually resulting in a field goal.

at Detroit, Giants 16, Lions 10

The Giants secure a 16-10 win with interceptions by James Butler and Sam Madison in the final 2:00. The Lions had entered the game 4-0 at home. The Giants win the turnover battle, forcing four and committing two, something they won't do again for a long time.

vs. Minnesota, Vikings 41, Giants 17

Manning has a nightmare of a game, throwing four interceptions, three of which are returned for touchdowns. The game gets off to a rocky start for the Giants when Tarvaris Jackson hits Sidney Rice on a 60-yard touchdown pass. It's the Giants' worst loss since a 31-7 loss to Washington three years earlier, and their biggest home loss since a 50-21 defeat to Washington in 1999.

at Chicago, Giants 21, Bears 16

The Giants' slippery season takes another unpredictable turn as they score 14 fourth-quarter points in a 5:21 span to erase a 16-7 deficit. Manning endures a week of criticism to make several clutch plays down the stretch.

at Philadelphia, Giants 16, Eagles 13

The Giants move their record to 9-4 and are on the verge of clinching a playoff berth. Philadelphia scores on its first possession, with Westbrook walking into the end zone to complete an 18-yard touchdown catch. But the Giants' defense stiffens. Philly has a chance to send it to overtime, but David Akers' 57-yard field-goal attempt slams off the right upright in the final seconds.

vs. Washington, Redskins 22, Giants 10

Not since that nightmarish start at Baltimore his rookie season has Manning played so poorly. He completes 18-of-52 passes and the Redskins dominate. The Giants go to 3-4 at home and fail to clinch a playoff berth.

at Buffalo, Giants 38, Bills 21

The Giants are in the playoffs for the third straight season. Once more they make their faithful sweat as Buffalo takes a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter. But Kawika Mitchell's 20-yard interception return for a touchdown in the opening minute of the fourth gives the Giants the lead for good. Bradshaw scores on an 88-yard run and Corey Webster has a 34-yard interception return for a TD to cap the Giants' 21-point fourth quarter.

vs. New England, Patriots 38, Giants 35

The Giants play one of their best games all season. But this time they are outscored in the fourth quarter and New England becomes the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 16-0. The Giants lead 28-16 in the third quarter before New England rattles off 22 straight points.

Playoffs

Wild-card game at Tampa Bay, Giants 24, Bucs 14

The Giants advance to the divisional playoffs with another clean game by Manning, this time against the conference's top-rated defense. Manning is 20-for-27 for 185 yards and two scores, and the Giants spend almost the entire game in the face of Tampa quarterback Jeff Garcia.

Divisional playoffs at Dallas, Giants 21, Cowboys 17

The Giants set an NFL record with their ninth straight road win, withstanding Dallas' drive to Big Blue's 23-yard line in the final minute. R.W. McQuarters makes it official with a game-clinching interception for the second straight week, this one in the end zone on a pass intended for Terry Glenn.

NFC championship game at Green Bay, Giants 23, Packers 20 (OT)

The Giants record one of their biggest wins in franchise history when Lawrence Tynes kicks a 47-yard field goal in minus-3 degree temperatures at Lambeau Field. Corey Webster sets up the game-winner by intercepting Brett Favre on Green Bay's first possession of overtime. Tynes misses a 36-yard field goal as time expires in regulation, and was off on a potential tie-breaking 43-yarder with 6:49 left.


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