49ers–Giants rivalry

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San Francisco 49ers–New York Giants
San Francisco 49ers wordmark.svg
San Francisco 49ers
New York Giants wordmark.svg
New York Giants
First meetingNovember 9, 1952
Giants 23, 49ers 14
Latest meetingNovember 12, 2018
Giants 27, 49ers 23
Next meetingSeptember 27, 2020
Meetings total41 meetings[1]
All-time series21–20 (NYG)[1]
Postseason resultsTied 4–4[1]
Largest victoryNYG 49, SF 3 (1986)
Smallest victorySF 39, NYG 38 (2002)
Current win streakNYG 1 win (2018—present)
Championship Success
NFL Championships (13)

Divisional Championships (28)

NFC East Divisional Championships

  • NYG (8)

NFC West Divisional Championships

  • SF (20)

Super Bowl Appearances (12)[2]

The 49ers–Giants rivalry is a National Football (NFL) rivalry between the San Francisco 49ers and the New York Giants. It is one of the great inter-division rivalry games in the NFL. The two teams do not play every year; instead, they play once every three years due to the NFL's rotating division schedules, or if the two teams finish in the same place in their respective divisions, they would play the ensuing season. Since 1982, the 49ers and Giants have met eight times in the postseason (including two NFC Championship Games), the most times two teams have met in the playoffs in the NFL since that time.

The Giants have won 17 regular season games while the 49ers have won 16 and both have won 4 postseason games against each other. However, San Francisco leads the overall series 18–12 since 1980.

Memorable games[edit]

1981 Divisional Playoff Game: Seeds of a Dynasty[edit]

In what was both Bill Walsh and Joe Montana's third season with the San Francisco 49ers the Team finished 13-3 after starting the season 1-2. Clinching the NFC West with a week 13 matchup with the New York Giants and would later finish as the #1 seed in the NFC. Four weeks later the Giants and 49ers met again in the Divisional Round and San Francisco prevailed with a 38-24 victory en route to winning Super Bowl XVI.

1984 Divisional Playoff Game: Second Win in 4 Years[edit]

The 49ers finished the 1984 season with a record of 15–1. The Niners hosted the Giants for the second time in four seasons in Candlestick Park. A defensive struggle between both teams the 49ers prevailed 21–10 against a young emerging Big Blue Wrecking Crew defense en route to their second Lombardi trophy in Super Bowl XIX.

1985 Wild Card Playoff Game: Winds of Change[edit]

Entering the 1985 season the 49ers were unable to top their 15-1 record and falling to 10-6 and finishing the season as a Wild Card hoping to repeat as Super Bowl Champions. They would travel to the Meadowlands and face a familiar foe: the New York Giants for the first time in the postseason at Giants Stadium. Despite 362 yards of Total offense by the 49ers, they were held to a field goal as the home team prevailed 17-3 and would start a 3 game losing streak in the postseason against the Giants.

1986 Divisional Playoff Game: The Massacre in the Meadowlands[edit]

Having gone 14-2 during the regular season and riding a nine-game winning streak, the Giants faced off against the Niners in a divisional playoff game at Giants Stadium in the Meadowlands following the 1986 season. The game featured at least five future Hall of Fame players (QB Joe Montana, WR Jerry Rice and S Ronnie Lott for the Niners and LB Lawrence Taylor and LB Harry Carson for the Giants), and several future Hall of Fame coaches (Bill Walsh for San Francisco and Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick for New York). San Francisco looked to be on its way to an early lead when Jerry Rice turned a short pass into a long gain, but then inexplicably dropped the football while running after the catch. The fumble was recovered by the Giants, who went on to take a 28-3 lead at halftime. The game was also notable by the vicious hit on Joe Montana by Giants Nose Tackle Jim Burt of the Giants. The final score was Giants 49, Niners 3. The Giants went on to win Super Bowl XXI that year.

1990 NFC Championship Game: "There Will be No Three-Peat"[edit]

Having won two straight Super Bowls behind Quarterback Joe Montana in 1988 and 1989, the 49ers appeared poised to do it again and make NFL history to become the first team to Three-Peat in the Super Bowl era as they hosted the Giants in the NFC Championship Game. San Francisco was the heavy favorite, but the Giants played inspired football, holding their own with the two-time defending Super Bowl champions. The game turned into a defensive struggle and a battle for field position. One of the more memorable moments in the game is Joe Montana being knocked out on a Blindside hit by Giants Defensive End Leonard Marshall as Montana backed into Marshall's oncoming pass rush while trying to evade Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor rushing from Montana's right. This contest would be Montana's second to last game as a 49er. New York trailed 13-12 with 49er Quarterback Steve Young in relief of Montana and trying to run out the clock when the 49ers fell prey to the relentlessness of the Giants' defense. Giants Nose Tackle Erik Howard turned his shoulders perpendicular to the line of scrimmage in order to negate a double-team block by 49ers' Guard Guy McIntyre and Center Jesse Sapolu. McIntyre released from his block on Erik Howard to check the oncoming rush of Giants linebacker Pepper Johnson allowing Howard to knife through as Jesse Sapolu knocked him to the ground and Howard managed to get his helmet on the football when he came into contact with 49ers Running Back Roger Craig forcing Craig to fumble the ball. On the right-side of the Giants defensive formation, Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor beat a block by Tight End Brent Jones and another subsequent block by Fullback Tom Rathman to position himself in the offensive backfield behind Craig's location in the 49er-Giant scrum at the line of scrimmage. Taylor caught the ball as it was knocked out of Craig's grasp and was tackled by Tom Rathman and Brent Jones, the 49er players he beat to get into position to recover the fumble forced by Erik Howard, with less than 3 minutes in the game. The Giants drove downfield and with four seconds to go the Giants turned to placekicker Matt Bahr who stepped onto the field to attempt a 42-yard field goal that would put the Giants in the Super Bowl. Bahr successfully executed the kick, sending the Giants to the Super Bowl, which they would win over the Buffalo Bills. The game is most notable for play-by-play announcer Pat Summeral's quote "there will be no three-peat" after Bahr made the field goal. The NFL in its 100 Greatest game series named it the 25th greatest game of all time[3]

1993 NFC Divisional Playoff: Ricky runs wild[edit]

49ers running back Ricky Watters ran for 118 yards and a playoff record 5 touchdowns as the 49ers crush the Giants 44-3 to advance to the NFC Championship Game where they would lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys. The 49ers dominated the entire game as they outgain the Giants 413 yards to 194 yards, with the defense sacking Giants quarterback Phil Simms 4 times, and forcing 3 turnovers. This game also marked the final game of the careers of Simms and linebacker Lawrence Taylor as they announce their retirement soon after.

2002: Cortez kicks game winner[edit]

The Giants totally dominated the 2002 regular season contest in the Meadowlands, played on national television the Thursday before the first weekend. New York outgained San Francisco 361-279, but also turned it over three times while only forcing one. The game was tied, 13-13 when Tiki Barber scored on a 1 yard touchdown run with 1:55 remaining. But Jeff Garcia led the 49ers down the field to the Giants' 19 yard line, where Jose Cortez connected on a 36 yard field goal with six seconds left to give the 49ers a dramatic 16-13 victory.

2002 NFC Wild Card: The Comeback[edit]

For the second time in the 2002 season, the Giants and 49ers played in San Francisco. This time, however, it was a Wild Card playoff game. The Giants once again dominated the game from the get go, racing out to a 38-14 lead late in the third quarter. But Jeff Garcia once again led the 49ers back, this time in one of the most incredible comebacks in football history. He rallied San Francisco to three touchdown drives (and a two point conversion on one of them) and a field goal for 25 unanswered points to give the 49ers a 39-38 lead with a minute to go. But the Giants had one more chance. QB Kerry Collins drove the Giants down to San Francisco's 23 yard line, where they set up for the game-winning field goal with six seconds left. But the snap from Trey Junkin was too low, and holder Matt Allen was forced to scramble and heave a desperation last gasp pass, which fell incomplete, and the 49ers won, 39-38. The 24 point deficit erased by the 49ers was the second largest deficit ever overcome in a playoff game.

In a rare move, the day after the game the NFL issued a formal written apology to the Giants for a bad call by the referees on the final play of the game.[4] The referees, the league ruled, had missed a blatant pass interference penalty against San Francisco that would have nullified another penalty on the Giants, thereby giving the Giants another chance to kick a 41-yard game-winning FG. But the result of the game stood.

2011 NFC Championship: Tynes kicks Giants to Super Bowl[edit]

After the 49ers defeated the Giants in Candlestick Park in the regular season, the two teams met again in the NFC Championship Game in San Francisco. The 49ers struck immediately, with Alex Smith connecting with Vernon Davis for a 73 yard touchdown to put the 49ers up 7-0. But Eli Manning responded with a touchdown of his own, to Bear Pascoe, and then Lawrence Tynes kicked a field goal to give New York a 10-7 halftime lead. Smith answered with another touchdown to Davis to put the 49ers up 14-10, and Manning answered with a touchdown to Mario Manningham to put the Giants up 17-14. David Akers then hit a 25 yard field goal to force overtime. In the OT session, 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams was stripped of the football by Giants linebacker Jacquian Williams on a punt return. New York recovered, and Lawrence Tynes kicked the game-winning field goal to put the Giants in the Super Bowl, which they won over New England.

Game results[edit]

Date Score Winner Competition Location Series
November 9, 1952 23–14 Giants Regular Season New York 1–0 NYG
September 30, 1956 38–21 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 2–0 NYG
December 1, 1957 27–17 49ers Regular Season New York 2–1 NYG
September 18, 1960 21–19 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 3–1 NYG
November 17, 1963 48–14 Giants Regular Season New York 4–1 NYG
October 20, 1968 26–10 49ers Regular Season New York 4–2 NYG
October 15, 1972 23–17 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 5–2 NYG
December 21, 1975 26–23 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 6–2 NYG
October 16, 1977 20–17 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 7–2 NYG
September 24, 1978 27–10 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 8–2 NYG
October 14, 1979 32–16 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 9–2 NYG
November 23, 1980 12–0 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 9–3 NYG
November 29, 1981 17–10 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 9–4 NYG
January 3, 1982 38–24 49ers NFC Playoffs - Divisional San Francisco 9–5 NYG
October 8, 1984 31–10 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 9–6 NYG
December 29, 1984 21–10 49ers NFC Playoffs - Divisional San Francisco 9–7 NYG
December 29, 1985 17–3 Giants NFC Playoffs - Wild Card East Rutherford 10–7 NYG
December 1, 1986 21–17 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 11–7 NYG
January 4, 1987 49–3 Giants NFC Playoffs - Divisional East Rutherford 12–7 NYG
October 5, 1987 41–21 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 12–8 NYG
September 11, 1988 20–17 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 12–9 NYG
November 27, 1989 34–24 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 12–10 NYG
December 3, 1990 7–3 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 12–11 NYG
January 20, 1991 15–13 Giants NFC Championship Game San Francisco 13–11 NYG
September 2, 1991 16–14 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 14–11 NYG
September 6, 1992 31–14 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 14–12 NYG
January 15, 1994 44–3 49ers NFC Playoffs - Divisional San Francisco 14–13 NYG
October 1, 1995 20–6 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 14–14
November 30, 1998 31–7 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 15–14 SF
September 5, 2002 16–13 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 16–14 SF
January 5, 2003 39–38 49ers NFC Playoffs - Wild Card San Francisco 17–14 SF
November 6, 2005 24–6 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 17–15 SF
October 21, 2007 23–15 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 17–16 SF
October 19, 2008 29–17 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 17–17
November 13, 2011 27–20 49ers Regular Season San Francisco 18–17 SF
January 22, 2012 20–17 (OT) Giants NFC Championship Game San Francisco 18–18
October 14, 2012 26–3 Giants Regular Season San Francisco 19–18 NYG
November 16, 2014 16–10 49ers Regular Season East Rutherford 19–19
October 11, 2015 30–27 Giants Regular Season East Rutherford 20–19 NYG
November 12, 2017 31–21 49ers Regular Season Santa Clara 20–20
November 12, 2018 27–23 Giants Regular Season Santa Clara 21–20 NYG
September 27, 2020 Regular Season East Rutherford