The 1990 season finished with the NY Football Giants (13-3) as NFC East Division Champions.
The powerhouse NFC East sent three teams to the playoffs that year.
On January 13, 1991, the Giants began their playoff run with a dominating 31-3 win over the Chicago Bears. Oh, and Eli Manning was 10 years old.
30 Years ago, Coaches Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick teamed up for some masterful game plans to lead the Giants to their second Super Bowl championship. The team still had many of the core players from Super Bowl XXI.
QB Phil Simms led the team to an 11-3 start that season before suffering a season-ending foot injury.
That left Jeff Hostetler to finish the season and lead the offense, including SB XXI veterans Mark Bavaro, Maurice Carthon, Bart Oates, William Roberts in the playoffs. The defense was led by SB XXI veterans Lawrence Taylor, Carl Banks, Gary Reasons, Leonard Marshall, Mark Collins, as well as XXI rookies but now-established veterans Pepper Johnson and Erik Howard.
Parcells and Belichick set up this Division Playoff victory by playing a defense the Giants had not played all season. All season the Giants played a 3-4 that showcased the linebackers (Taylor, Banks, Johnson, and Reasons).
In this game, the Giants went to a 4-3, loaded the box with 8 players, daring Chicago to throw the ball.
On offense, the Giants controlled the line of scrimmage, eventually taking the fight out of the Bears’ vaunted defensive front. Giants LT Jumbo Elliott had quite a battle with Richard Dent on this day. The game plan worked to perfection.
The defense dominated the game, made a goal-line stop, and left no doubt they were ready to dethrone the San Francisco 49ers in a thriller of an NFC Championship game the following week.
When asked about this game and the 1990 Giants, LT Jumbo Elliott replied:
“Great year. Great team. Great teammates. Great coaches. Great trainers. Great equipment team. Great owner. Great front office. Great scouts. Great fan base!! The best.”
Flash forward to today’s coaching combination of Joe Judge and Patrick Graham. This tandem preaches “multiples” with players that can play many positions and many schemes. This coaching staff hasn’t won anything yet. But, can you see the parallels in approach and game plans? Let’s hope Joe and Patrick stay together for years to come.
A quick note about the NFC East back in 1990 was the three playoff teams: the Giants, Washington (HC Joe Gibbs), and Philadelphia (HC Buddy Ryan). Joe Gibbs and Bill Parcells battled hard every year they faced each other.
Today, Washington’s head coach happens to be Ron Rivera, the Middle Linebacker for the 1990 Chicago Bears that the Giants beat 30 years ago today.
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