The Hall of Fame Game is 11 days away… single digits on the countdown is rapidly approaching, folks. It’s becoming real. But for now, let’s reminisce on the retired #11 of Giants lifer Phil Simms.
Simms holds the record for games played in Giants blue with 164, three in front of Charlie Conerly and 11 ahead of a hard charging Eli Manning. His 95 career victories also sits at the top of the heap, efficiently acquired (particularly from 1985 onward) with a 67% career winning percentage.
“I told Phil, I think you’re a great quarterback. It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks of you except me and your teammates. You got to be what you are by being daring and fearless. So let’s go. Be yourself.”
1986. The Giants transformed into a “Tuna” hardened and exquisitely tuned juggernaut. They finished 14-2 in the regular season and stormed through the postseason with historic dominance (+82 margin of victory):
- Divisional Playoffs versus San Francisco, W 49-3
- Conference Championship versus Washington, W 17-0
- Super Bowl versus Denver, W 39-20
Phil Simms’ epitomized greatness in that Super Bowl XXI route, completing 22 of 25 passes (88%) for 268 yards and three scores. He blew up the stat sheet without attempting a single pass in the final 10:56 of the game. The performance would later draw superlative praise from Parcells:
“This might be the best game a quarterback has ever played.”
What we often forget as Giant fans — and rightfully so given the final outcome — is that Simms was far from perfect during the ’86 regular season. He threw more interceptions (22) than touchdowns (21) and was sacked 45 times. Yet the Giants still racked up W after W. When the Jints faced scoreboard pressure that year, Simms always came up large — to the tune of a pair of 4th quarter comebacks and four game winning drives.
From 1979-1983 it was an unsightly scene. From 1984-1990 it was confidence personified. In 1993 it was a return to the old guard and a final farewell to a legend.
How will you remember the 15-year Giants career of Phillip Martin Simms?