The New York Football Giants of 1986 hosted the NFC Championship game at Giants Stadium 25 years ago this week. It was a familiar match-up with the Division rival Washington Redskins. It was also a contest against mother nature.
With winds whipping upwards of 30 miles an hour, the Giants and Redskins battled the elements all day. Harry Carson, as the lone captain for the coin toss, called tails as always and wins the toss. The words “We’ll take the wind” are now a part of Giants lore. The Giants scored 10 first quarter points, and held Washington to just 2 first downs. The Redskins punted three times in the first quarter and netted 23, 27, and 24 yards. Behind 10-0, the Redskins mounted a drive in the 2nd quarter, only to have a botched snap on a field goal try of 51 yards. The Redskins were doomed. Jay Schroeder was forced to pass 50 times in this game, many of them futilely into the strong and gusting winds. He finished the game 20-50 with a 3.8 yard average per pass.
After the 17-0 halftime lead, the Giants defense took over and made that the final score. At the conclusion of the game, John Madden remarked “Last year, I thought the Bears had the best defense I had ever seen. But in the last two weeks, I feel these Giants have as good a defense as has ever played in this league.” He was right. They had now given up a total of 3 points in two playoff games.
The Giants, and their faithful fans, now started planning their trip to sunny Pasadena for a re-match with the John Elway led Denver Broncos. Those of you who have been following this series of stories know that we already had plane tickets in hand, purchased the day after the Giants defeated the Broncos back in November. It was quite a trip…stay tuned