The New York Giants had one of the more incredible runs to a Super Bowl victory in NFL history. They overcame a 9-7 record and negative point differential to take down the three best teams in the league.
What were the most exciting moments of the 2011 season? Victor Cruz’ 99 yard catch? Jason Pierre-Paul’s blocked kick? Here are the top 10 most exciting moments for the New York Giants last year.
No. 10 – Domenik Hixon’s Circus Catch vs. St Louis Rams
In Week 2 the Giants were on Monday Night Football and Domenik Hixon made a circus bobbling catch at the end of the first half to give the Giants a two point lead. Unfortunately he tore his ACL on the play and had to sit out the rest of the season. He expects to be back at full strength this year and compete for the No. 3 receiver spot.
No. 9 – Victor Cruz Catch and Run for 74 yard Touchdown vs. Dallas Cowboys
In the season finale with the Dallas Cowboys, Victor Cruz got the scoring started with this incredible catch and run. He took a five yard out route 74 yards to the house, outrunning any Cowboys player who attempted to chase after him. The game was for all the marbles, and Cruz’s 178 yard performance proved he was ready for the big time.
No. 8 – Eli Manning Leads Improbable Comeback vs. Arizona Cardinals
This game featured one of the controversial calls of the season. During the Giants final touchdown drive of the quarter, Cruz makes a catch and goes to the ground untouched. He leaves the ball on the ground, and the Cardinals pick it up thinking they recovered a fumble. However, the officials ruled that Cruz “gave himself up” therefore he is considered down. Moments later Eli threw the game winning score to Hakeem Nicks, capping off an incredible come from behind victory. The Giants were down 27-17 with 5:16 remaining.
No. 7 – Victor Cruz’s Incredible One Handed Grab vs. Seattle Seahawks
It’s amazing how many times Cruz is on this list, and could be on it even more times if I was being biased. Although it was in a losing effort, Cruz makes this incredible catch between two defenders as he tips the ball to himself and then reaches out with one hand to secure the catch. He went 68 yards for the score on the play.
No. 6 – Jake Ballard Game-Winning Catch vs. New England Patriots
Jake Ballard officially broke out with his performance against the Patriots in Week 9. He made two incredible catches on the game-winning drive including the touchdown catch with 15 seconds remaining.
No. 5 – Jason Pierre-Paul’s Blocked Kick vs. Dallas
Just one of the many great moments for JPP, this one allowed the Giants to cling to a three-point win at the new Cowboys stadium, at which they’ve never lost. He had an incredible game and this was just the icing on the cake.
No. 4 – Hakeem Nicks Hail Mary Catch in Knocking Off 15-1 Green Bay Packers
Should we create 15-2 shirts? The Packers were basically handed the Super Bowl before the playoffs started, but the Giants had other plans. JPP guaranteed victory, and the Giants came through in the biggest way, knocking off the Packers 37-20. The score should not have been that close. Hakeem Nicks highlighted the game with two incredible touchdown catches, including a hail mary at the end of the first half.
No. 3 – Victor Cruz 99-yard Touchdown Catch vs. New York Jets
Cruz makes the list for a third time with his monumental catch and run against the Jets. With the Giants dead in the water and accomplishing nothing offensively, Cruz put the Giants ahead with a 99-yard catch and run. The Giants had not moved the ball the entire first half, and this put them up 10-7 at halftime.
No. 2 – Mario Manningham Late Game Heroics Super Bowl XLVI
People seem to forget that Manningham made more than just one incredible catch on the final drive of Super Bowl XLVI. He made three catches on the first four plays of the drive, totaling 56 yards. The Giants would not have won the Super Bowl had Manningham not stepped up in the biggest way. It’s a shame the Giants could not afford to keep him.
No. 1 – Eli Manning Late Game Winning Drive in Super Bowl XLVI
Was there any doubt in your mind this is where I was going for No. 1? Eli carried this team on his back all season long, so it was no wonder he would carry them to a Super Bowl with late game heroics…again. With all the pressure on him, Eli was as cool as ever, leading the Giants 88 yards on nine plays. The drive was capped by the strangest game winning touchdown in Super Bowl history.