Kick returner Dave Meggett led the NFL in punt return yards , while also gaining yards on kickoff returns, rushing for yards, and catching 39 passes for yards. New York began the regular season by winning their first 10 games, and then went into a tailspin and lost three of their next four. One week after losing to the division rival Philadelphia Eagles , 31—13, the 10—1 Giants were defeated on Monday Night Football in a 7—3 defensive battle with the 10—1 San Francisco 49ers , who had won the previous two Super Bowls and ultimately finished the regular season with an NFL best 14—2 record.
Then, in their 17—13 loss to the Bills, New York suffered a major setback when starting quarterback Phil Simms , who had thrown for 2, yards and 15 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions during the year, went down for the season with a broken bone in his foot. Simms's replacement, Jeff Hostetler , had started only two games in his seven years as a backup with the Giants. However, Hostetler displayed fine passing and scrambling ability in his limited playing time during the season, and threw only one interception and committed no fumbles.
With Hostetler at the helm, the Giants responded by winning their final two games to finish the regular season 13—3, good enough to win the NFC East and earn the second seed in the NFC playoffs. The Bills had a very talented team with nine Pro Bowl selections on their roster. And on special teams , Pro Bowler Steve Tasker was a major threat, forcing fumbles, delivering jarring tackles, and blocking kicks. But as good as their defense was, it was the Bills' flashy, high-powered offense that gained the most attention.
Unlike the Giants, the Bills routinely used the no-huddle offense to storm down the field and score points very quickly. Instead of going into a huddle after each play, quarterback Jim Kelly would immediately send his offense back to the line of scrimmage and call the play there after reading the defense.
This strategy prevented opposing defenses from properly reading the Bills' formation, making substitutions, or even catching their breath. The Bills' no-huddle K-Gun offense worked well enough for Kelly to finish the regular season as the top rated quarterback in the NFL One reason for his success was that he had two outstanding wide receivers: future Hall of Famer Andre Reed , who made his specialty going across the middle on slants and crossing routes, recorded 71 receptions, yards, and 8 touchdowns, and future Hall of Famer James Lofton , who was the deep threat with 35 receptions for yards a Tight end Keith McKeller contributed 34 receptions for yards and 5 touchdowns.
Pro Bowl running back Thurman Thomas had an AFC-best 1, rushing yards, caught 49 passes for yards, and scored 13 touchdowns.
Thomas also led the NFL in yards from scrimmage for the second consecutive season. Even though Kelly missed the last 2 games of the season with a knee injury, suffered in the same game in which the Giants lost Simms, the Bills finished with a 13—3 regular season record.
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The Giants began their championship postseason run by easily eliminating the Chicago Bears , 31—3. In leading the Giants' "power football" offense, Hostetler threw only 17 passes, but two went for touchdowns and he threw no interceptions. He also directed a rushing attack that gained yards, including 43 and a touchdown from Hostetler himself. This game offered a preview of what lay in store for Super Bowl XXV, as the Giants scored on drives of 75, 80, 49 and 51 yards, which lasted nine, 11, 11 and 16 plays.
Overall, New York held the ball for , compared to Chicago's But New York lost another key player for the season when rookie running back Rodney Hampton , the team's second-leading rusher during the regular season with yards, suffered a broken leg. However, with the exception of a yard touchdown pass from Montana to wide receiver John Taylor , the Giants contained the 49ers' offense extremely well.
A sack by Giants defensive end Leonard Marshall early in the fourth quarter knocked Montana out of the game. Despite their great defensive effort, the Giants still trailed 13—9 midway through the fourth quarter, but a yard run from linebacker Gary Reasons on a fake punt set up kicker Matt Bahr 's fourth field goal, cutting their deficit to 13— The 49ers now led by Steve Young tried to run out the clock on their ensuing possession, but running back Roger Craig had the ball dislodged by nose tackle Erik Howard , and Lawrence Taylor recovered the fumble in mid-air with remaining.
Five plays later, Bahr kicked his fifth field goal, a yarder, as time expired to give New York the win. As for the Bills, Jim Kelly returned from his injury to lead Buffalo to a 44—34 playoff victory over the Miami Dolphins. The Bills jumped to an early 20—3 lead, but Miami quarterback Dan Marino rallied his team back and cut Buffalo's lead to 30—27 going into the fourth quarter. However, Buffalo scored a touchdown on their first drive of the period with a 5-yard run by Thurman Thomas.
Kicker Scott Norwood then recovered a fumble from Miami on the ensuing kickoff, allowing the Bills to put the game away with Kelly's yard touchdown pass to Andre Reed. Kelly finished the game with passing yards, three touchdowns, and 37 rushing yards. Reed was also a big factor, recording receiving yards and a pair of touchdown catches. James Lofton caught 7 passes for yards and a touchdown.
Thomas led the Bills' ground attack with 32 carries for rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, while also catching 3 passes for 38 yards. The Bills' defense dominated the Raiders' offense, which was without running back Bo Jackson , who suffered a career-ending injury against the Cincinnati Bengals the week before, limiting them to an early field goal and intercepting five passes from quarterback Jay Schroeder.
Meanwhile, the Bills' offense racked up yards, piling up yards and points so fast the game was out of reach by the end of the first half. Kelly was 17 of 23 for yards passing, and two touchdowns to Lofton. Thomas had yards rushing, 61 yards receiving, and his backup, Kenneth Davis , tied a playoff record with three touchdowns.
Most experts expected that the Giants' defense would not be able to contain the Bills' turbo-charged no-huddle offense, which had scored 95 points in 2 playoff games.
Many also questioned how effective the Giants' offense would be after failing to score a single touchdown in the NFC Championship Game. Also, in Week 15 of the regular season, the two teams met at Giants Stadium, where the Bills defeated the Giants 17— For the first time, each player wore a Super Bowl logo patch on his jersey.
With the Gulf War having begun 10 days prior to this Super Bowl's scheduled date of January 27; rumors had begun circulating of a possible delay or cancellation of the conference championship games and the Super Bowl. However, the NFL quickly denied those rumors by stating the games would go on as scheduled. On radio, the game was broadcast nationally on CBS.
Jack Buck served as play-by-play with Hank Stram his color commentator. Because of the Gulf War situation, this marked the first time the Super Bowl would be telecast in most countries around the world. With America involved in the Gulf War ,  the positive response to the rousing performance was overwhelming, and it was released as a single and a video. It reached number 20 on the Billboard Hot — making her the only act to turn the national anthem into a pop hit of that magnitude.
Houston's rendition was critically acclaimed and largely regarded as one of the best renditions of the U. It was produced by Disney and featured over 3, local children from different ethnic backgrounds and a performance by boy band New Kids on the Block , with special guest Warren Moon. ABC did not broadcast the halftime show live. The halftime show was later shown on tape delay after the game at around EST , although most ABC affiliates ran the first episode of Davis Rules following the Super Bowl, and may have televised the remaining parts of the halftime show later.
To counteract the Bills' no-huddle offense, the Giants' used a tough-nosed, conservative plan on both sides of the ball. On offense, the plan was to use a power running game utilizing Ottis Anderson , aided by quarterback rollouts, bootlegs, and play-action fakes. As tight end Mark Bavaro later recalled, "We came out with three tight ends, fat slobs picking you up and moving you and letting you tackle O.
The Giants set a Super Bowl record for time of possession with 40 minutes and 33 seconds, including 22 minutes in the second half. On defense, New York wanted to be physical with Buffalo's wideouts, and play with extra defensive backs to concentrate on stopping the Bills' passing game, while shifting focus away from trying to stop Buffalo's running game. In his book The Education of a Coach , David Halberstam wrote that one of defensive coordinator Bill Belichick 's specific plans to combat the Bills involved convincing his defense who had been the best unit against the run in the NFL that season that they would win the game if Thurman Thomas ran for more than yards.
Belichick also felt that Jim Kelly was not as good at reading defenses as some other elite quarterbacks were for example, Joe Montana , and that Kelly tended to "freeze" what he was seeing from a series and then use that information on the next one, which meant the Giants could be a step ahead of him all game if they alternated their cover plans from drive to drive.
The contrast in strategies was evident during the first quarter. After forcing the Bills to punt on the opening drive of the game, the Giants consumed off the clock by marching 58 yards in 10 plays to score on a yard field goal from Matt Bahr. In that drive, New York ran five rushing plays and five passing plays. However, the Bills struck right back on their ensuing possession with a five-play, yard drive that took off the clock, including a tipped yard completion from Kelly to wide receiver James Lofton that set up Scott Norwood 's yard field goal to tie the game 3—3.
After forcing the Giants to punt on their ensuing possession, the Bills' offensive strategy started to work to perfection. Kelly led the Bills on a play, yard scoring drive that consumed and moved the ball so effectively that the team never faced a third down. Kelly completed six consecutive passes four to Andre Reed for 62 yards, and running back Don Smith capped it off with a one yard touchdown run to give Buffalo a 10—3 lead early in the second quarter.
Smith's touchdown run was his only carry of the game and the last carry of his career. Reed's 5 first quarter receptions were a Super Bowl record. After trading punts, the Giants were pinned at their own 7-yard line. On second down, defensive end Bruce Smith sacked quarterback Jeff Hostetler in the end zone for a safety, increasing the Bills' lead to 12—3. On the play, Smith had a chance to force a fumble, since Hostetler was holding the football with only his throwing hand.
But to his credit, Hostetler held the ball away from Smith, helping to ensure that only two points would be surrendered. Frustration-Free Packaging. New Used. AMZN Sports. National Sports. IMP Shopping Mall. Fan Zone. UnbeatableSale, Inc. American Web Mall. Shop Crazy. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Learn more about Amazon Prime. Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime.
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