David TyreeJohn David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports
Score: Giants 17, Patriots 14
Date: Feb. 3, 2008. Site: University of Phoenix Stadium.

This was not a difficult call for me. The third-down Eli Manning pass that David Tyree caught against his helmet in the waning minutes of the Super Bowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots had to be the winner for most memorable play in New York Giants history.

The helmet catch was a runaway winner in fan balloting, pulling in more than 70 percent of the votes.

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The other two nominees came in Giants losses. That surely doesn't disqualify them as "memorable," and it's not as though the Giants' history doesn't have its share of lean times. But this is a franchise that has won four Super Bowls, and it seems to me that the winning play should come from one of those.

So what are the possibilities? The Phil Simms Super Bowl doesn't really have a standout play. It was a thrashing from the start. The most memorable play from the second Bill Parcells Super Bowl win was a missed field goal by the Buffalo Bills' Scott Norwood at the end of the game. And while Mario Manningham's sideline catch in Super Bowl XLVI was an all-time play, I rate the Tyree play ahead of it because of the difference in the significance of those two Super Bowls in NFL history.

The first Manning/Tom Coughlin Super Bowl was one of the greatest upsets in the history of sports, the Giants coming from behind against a Patriots team that was 18-0 and had set multiple offensive records. Also, the play had more to it than the helmet catch, as Manning had to escape what looked like a sure sack in order to get the throw off.

The Giants converted a fourth down earlier in that drive and would have to convert another third down later in it to keep their hopes alive before Manning connected with Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown. But the Tyree play was so brilliantly improbable, so incredibly clutch on both ends and so significant in changing the history of the NFL (the 2007 Patriots would have plausibly been able to call themselves the greatest team ever) that it had to be the winner.

Giants' biggest key to success

July, 10, 2014
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The biggest key to the New York Giants' success over the next three years is a player who's only signed for two of them, and it's not a young player. Quarterback Eli Manning is as vital to his team's success as any player in the league, and the extent to which the Giants can handle the tremendous offseason roster turnover they underwent this season and return to contender status in the NFC rests on Manning's ability to reinvent himself in a new offense this year and in the years immediately following.

Manning
Manning's 2013 season was the worst of his career so far, as he threw a career-high and league-leading 27 interceptions. The offense crumbled around him. The offensive line collapsed due to injuries. Top wide receiver Hakeem Nicks mysteriously shut it down in a contract year. The running game never showed up. But Manning would admit that he was also part of the problem. He appeared to let the mess that was mushrooming around him affect his performance and his decision-making, and the result was an unacceptable level of performance.

Manning is 33 years old now and has two years remaining on his contract. Somewhat surprisingly, the Giants chose not to try to extend Manning's contract this offseason, though it would have saved them significant cap room. His cap numbers the next two years are $20.4 million and $19.75 million, which are monster numbers that make it difficult for the Giants to budget around him, but they don't mind that if he's performing like a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

That's why the biggest key to the Giants' success over the next three years is Manning's ability to master new coordinator Ben McAdoo's offense, help all of the new pieces jell together and convince the Giants that an extension that keeps him in blue for the remainder of his career is a no-brainer. If Manning flames out in 2014, then the Giants have a major decision to make about the most important position on their roster. And that would throw their next three years -- and likely a few after that -- into disarray.

NFL Nation Buzz: Giants' top plays

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
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video 
ESPN.com New York Giants reporter Dan Graziano discusses the finalists for the team’s most memorable plays.
video

Giants LB Mark Herzlich talks about his battle with cancer and how he persevered and became a Super Bowl champion.
Herm EdwardsAP Photo/Burnett
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in New York Giants history. On Monday we looked at David Tyree's "helmet catch" from the Super Bowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots, and on Tuesday we looked at the Lawrence Taylor sack that broke Joe Theismann's leg in 1985. Please vote for your choice as the Giants' most memorable play.

Score: Eagles 19, Giants 17
Date: Nov. 19, 1978 Site: Giants Stadium

SportsNation

Which is the most memorable play in Giants' history?

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    72%
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    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,899)

The fourth-place Giants had taken a 14-0 first-quarter lead on the third-place Eagles. And in spite of a comeback, the game appeared won when the Giants intercepted the ball inside the two-minute warning. Fans headed for the exits as Giants quarterback Joe Pisarcick knelt to the ground on first down in an attempt to run out the clock. But instead of giving up the game, the Eagles banged away at the middle of the Giants' offensive line in an attempt to force Pisarcick to fumble. Because of that, the Giants decided not to run the kneel-down play on second down, and instead had Pisarcik hand the ball off to running back Larry Csonka, who picked up 11 yards and set up a third-and-2. One more kneel-down would have won the game for the Giants.

Instead, on third down, offensive coordinator Bob Gibson called another handoff to Csonka. But the exchange between Pisarcick and Csonka wasn't clean, and the ball came loose. Eagles defensive back Herman Edwards, who was blitzing on the play, picked it up and ran it back 26 yards for a stunning touchdown and an Eagles victory.

It was the fourth straight loss in what would be a six-game losing streak in the second half of a 6-10 Giants season. Gibson was fired the next day. The Eagles would go on to finish 9-7 and reach the playoffs, and since the winners write the history books, "Miracle at the Meadowlands" became the name by which the play would forever be called by everyone but Giants fans. They refer to it, simply and grumpily, as "The Fumble."

Giants release training camp schedule

July, 8, 2014
Jul 8
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Football season is right around the corner, and the New York Giants announced their full training camp schedule on Tuesday.

The Giants will hold 14 practices open to the public, beginning on Tuesday, July 22, and ending on Thursday, Aug. 14. All practices will be at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Here's more information from the Giants:

General admission seating for approximately 2,000 is available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Standing room along the fence line of the perimeter of the practice fields is also available. There is no admission charge for watching training camp workouts and parking is free. Public parking is in Lot K on the grounds of the MetLife Sports Complex. The lots will open to the public one hour before the scheduled start time of practice and lots will close one hour following the conclusion of practice. All fans attending practice will be subject to security screening before entering the seating area.

Fan Guidelines: Practice sessions will be open to the public throughout training camp (July 22-Aug. 14). Limited seating is provided alongside the practice fields. Restroom facilities, concession stands and a free kid’s activity area will also be available. A different position group of Giants players will sign autographs for fans each day following practice.

PLEASE NOTE: In the event of inclement weather (including rain, thunderstorms and extreme heat), practices will be moved indoors and will be closed to the public.

And here's the full open practice schedule:

Tues., July 22; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Wed., July 23; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Thurs., July 24; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Fri., July 25; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Sun., July 27; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Mon., July 28; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Tues., July 29; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Thurs., July 31; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 1; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 6; 5:40-7:50 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 11; 3:20-5:30 p.m.
Tues., Aug. 12; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 13; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Thurs., Aug. 14; 1:20-3:30 p.m.
Lawrence Taylor and Joe TheismannGeorge Gojkovich/Getty Images
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This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in New York Giants history. On Monday we looked at David Tyree's "helmet catch" from the Super Bowl XLII victory over the New England Patriots. Wednesday, we will look at the Joe Pisarcik-Herman Edwards "Miracle at the Meadowlands" play from 1978. Please vote for your choice as the Giants' most memorable play.

Score: Redskins 23, Giants 21
Date: Nov. 18, 1985 Site: RFK Stadium

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Which is the most memorable play in Giants' history?

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    72%
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    20%
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    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,899)

Lawrence Taylor surely had sacks of which he was prouder -- sacks that helped win games, sacks that helped win playoff games, etc. But the one everyone remembers is the one that ended the career of Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann.

Everyone remembers this one because they remember what it sounded like and, unfortunately, what it looked like. This was a "Monday Night Football" game being watched all around the country, and the gruesome details of the play stick in the memory of anyone who happened to be watching.

It was early in the second quarter with the game tied, and the Redskins called a flea flicker. Theismann handed the ball to running back John Riggins, who ran up toward the line before turning and flipping the ball back to Theismann. The Giants were not fooled. Harry Carson got there first, but Theismann wriggled away from him only to find Taylor waiting. Taylor brought him down, Gary Reasons jumped on the pile, everyone nearby heard a loud "crack" and, suddenly, Taylor was up and waving to the Redskins sideline for someone to come in and help Theismann.

The TV replays were horrendous, clearly showing the bone protruding through the skin of Theismann's leg. Theismann left the field on a stretcher, giving way to Jay Schroeder, who would lead the Redskins to a fourth-quarter comeback victory later that night. But the play stands among the most memorable in the history of both franchises. From the Giants' end, it has come to symbolize Taylor's ferocity as the best defensive player in NFL history. But, while both he and Theismann, who never played again, obviously remember the play, each has said in the intervening years that he has never watched the replay.

Taylor had greater moments as a Giant. For example, fans undoubtedly remember him ripping the ball out of Roger Craig's hands in the 1990 NFC Championship Game. And he helped deliver two Super Bowl titles. But there's little doubt that, if you're making a "most memorable plays" list, the devastating 1985 sack that wrecked Theismann's career meets the criteria.
David TyreeJohn David Mercer/USA TODAY Sports
» VOTE HERE » NFC Plays: East | West | North | South » AFC: East | West | North | South

This is one of three nominations for the most memorable play in New York Giants history. In the next two days, we'll feature Lawrence Taylor's sack that broke Joe Theismann's leg in 1985 and the Joe Pisarcik-Herman Edwards "Miracle at the Meadowlands" play from 1978. Please vote for your choice as the Giants' most memorable play.

Score: Giants 17, Patriots 14
Date: Feb. 3, 2008 Site: University of Phoenix Stadium

SportsNation

Which is the most memorable play in Giants' history?

  •  
    72%
  •  
    20%
  •  
    8%

Discuss (Total votes: 44,899)

What's forgotten about this play is that Giants quarterback Eli Manning was as close to being sacked as a quarterback can possibly be without actually being sacked. The Giants trailed the undefeated New England Patriots 14-10 with a little more than a minute left in Super Bowl XLII. It was third-and-5 on the Giants' 44-yard line, the eighth play of a drive on which the Giants already had converted a fourth down and would later need to convert another third. The play broke down and it appeared as though the Giants would have to pick up a long fourth down to keep their hopes of the upset alive. But Manning slipped out of the grasp of New England defensive end Jarvis Green, stepped forward in the pocket and fired the ball over the middle, where little-used Giants wide receiver David Tyree and Patriots defensive back Rodney Harrison were jumping for it at the same time.

Replays would show that Tyree caught the ball with both hands but that Harrison's hand got there too and knocked Tyree's left hand off the ball. As the two fell to the ground together, Tyree pinned the ball against the forehead of his helmet with his left hand, then managed somehow to get his left hand back on the ball and maintain possession all the way to the ground.

The result was a miraculous 32-yard gain and a first down that kept alive the Giants' chances. Three plays later, Manning found Steve Smith to convert a third-and-11, and on the play after that, he connected with Plaxico Burress for the 13-yard touchdown catch that gave the Giants the 17-14 lead.

The Giants kicked the ball back to New England, but with only 29 seconds left on the clock, Tom Brady couldn't get the ball out of his own end, and the Giants secured the third, and most astounding, Super Bowl title in their history. Tyree's catch was improbable enough to fit the moment. No one thought the Patriots, who carried an 18-0 record into the game and would have been only the second team in NFL history to finish a season undefeated, would lose. Most expected this to be a coronation of the best team in the history of the game. Manning, Tyree and the Giants did everything they possibly could to deny it.
All this week, we took a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' offense as it heads into training camp. The week of July 14, we'll do the same with the defense. Today, though, as a Saturday special, we'll take a look at the way the Giants' special teams stack up with a couple of weeks still left before camp.

Kickers: Josh Brown, Brandon McManus

Punter: Steve Weatherford

Long snapper: Zak DeOssie

Kick returners: Quintin Demps, Trindon Holliday, Odell Beckham Jr.

Punt returners: Holliday, Beckham, Rueben Randle, Jerrel Jernigan

Gunners: Zack Bowman, Bennett Jackson, Charles James et al.

Special teams coach Tom Quinn said in June that he saw the placekicker position as a competition between Brown, who was the Giants' kicker last year, and McManus, a rookie out of Temple. That's a battle to watch in camp.

Demps was signed for kickoff returns, but the suspension and release of Will Hill has left the Giants thin at safety, and Demps likely will have to play more there than they originally planned. That could open the door for Holliday or rookie Beckham to get more kick-return chances, assuming they're not afraid to use this year's first-round pick there and expose him to injury that could limit him on offense. David Wilson, who was brilliant as a kick returner in his 2012 rookie season, is unlikely to find himself back in the mix even if he's cleared for contact following neck surgery. Michael Cox, if he makes the team at running back, could factor here as well.

Holliday should be the primary punt returner, though Beckham can likely do the job there too. Randle and Jernigan are holdovers from last year's punt-return unit, which was one of the worst in the league.

Bowman gets mentioned here because his ability to get down the field on special teams is a primary reason the Giants signed him. James and Jackson could use strong performances on the coverage teams in camp as a means of making the team in a crowded field of cornerbacks.

Weatherford's and DeOssie's spots are as secure as Eli Manning's is.
Each day this week, and then the week of July 14, we are taking a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' roster heading into training camp. Today, we take a look at the offensive line, which was the unit most responsible for the 2013 collapse and an area they hope they've improved this offseason.

Projected starters: LT Will Beatty, LG Geoff Schwartz, C J.D. Walton, RG Chris Snee, RT Justin Pugh

[+] EnlargeChris Snee
Jason O. Watson/Getty ImagesThe Giants hope Chris Snee can hold up for another season at guard at age 32.
Projected backups: OT Charles Brown, G John Jerry, G Brandon Mosley, C Weston Richburg

Other candidates for roster spots: T/G James Brewer, G Eric Herman, C Dallas Reynolds, T Jamaal Johnson-Webb, T Rogers Gaines, T Troy Kropog, T DeMarcus Love

Schwartz and Pugh are the most solid-looking guys in their spots at this point, assuming health for both. Walton will compete with rookie second-round pick Richburg for the starting center spot, and that could absolutely go either way. The Giants won't be afraid to start Richburg at center if they think he's ready, but they also don't rush rookies if they're not ready just because they were high picks.

They are hoping Snee can hold up physically and play right guard all year, but they won't know that until it happens. They're hoping Beatty can recover from his broken leg in time for training camp and certainly the start of the season, but they can't be sure that will be the case until they see it, either. And even if healthy, Beatty will have a lot of work to do to bounce back from his disappointing 2013 campaign. Jerry and Brown are the respective backup candidates at those spots, but Jerry missed a lot of spring practice time with a knee injury and could also face a league-imposed suspension as a result of his involvement in the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal from last year. Mosley is a guy they like as a backup guard, and he could move up the depth chart quickly if there are injury issues ahead of him.

I keep thinking the Giants will take 10 offensive linemen, but that's going to force tough choices elsewhere, so it's possible it could be nine if everyone's healthy. Brewer has been around a while and played a lot of different positions for the Giants, but he hasn't done very well with the chances he's had. Herman is still a young player they'll look to hold on to if they can. Reynolds is a veteran who helps as a backup at center and guard, but with Richburg and Walton both on the roster, he could be expendable.
All this week, and then the week of July 14, we're taking a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' roster heading into training camp. Today we look at the position that's on everyone's mind: Tight end.

Projected starter: Adrien Robinson

Other candidates: Larry Donnell, Kellen Davis, Daniel Fells, Xavier Grimble

That's not a super-inspirational group right there, and Robinson is in that top spot only because he appears to be the leading candidate at this point. Anyone from the "others" group could overtake him easily, but as of now the Giants are hoping that this is the year Robinson hones that raw talent they saw in him when they drafted him in the fourth round in 2012. They drafted him based on that raw ability and hoped they could mold him into an NFL player. Health issues have slowed his development, which admittedly may never happen, but they see a guy who can be a dynamic option as a blocker and a receiver if he can get consistent practice time.

Donnell is a player whose versatility and athleticism they also like, and he was enough of a contributor on special teams last year to warrant a longer look with the offense. Fells and Davis are basically just blockers, and there's likely to be a spot for at least one of them. Grimble is an undrafted rookie out of USC who was once thought of highly as a recruit but never really put it together in college. He's a wild-card, but in this tight end field, you can't rule out anyone. Unless the Giants find a better option on the market between now and the start of camp, this is going to be a free-for-all search for the least objectionable option.
All this week, and then the week of July 14, we are taking a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' roster heading into training camp. Today, we look at the wide receiver group.

Starters: Victor Cruz, Rueben Randle

[+] EnlargeGiants
Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY SportsRueben Randle will try to grab a bigger role in the Giants' offense.
Backup candidates: Odell Beckham Jr., Jerrel Jernigan, Mario Manningham, Trindon Holliday, Corey Washington, Marcus Harris, Julian Talley, Preston Parker, Travis Harvey

Cruz is the only sure thing in this group, and the Giants are best when he's working as the slot receiver. That means they need to spend camp identifying their best options on the outside. Randle, the 2012 second-round pick, is the guy they'd like to see take the leap in his third season. He showed enough flashes last year to make them think he can be a big playmaker. They just need him to play and work more consistently.

Beckham was this year's first-round pick, and as such he'll get an opportunity to contribute as a starter as soon as he's ready to handle it. But the Giants don't rush rookies, and if he's not ready, they will wait and use other options until he is. Manningham is a wild card -- a player the Giants know and like but who's coming off knee problems that kept him from being a factor for the 49ers during his two seasons away from New York. Jernigan showed enough late last year to merit more of an opportunity, but regardless of what anyone says publicly, he's still viewed as Cruz's backup in the slot more than anything else.

Holliday was signed as a return man and is unlikely to make much of a contribution on offense, though they did use him there a bit in the spring with others injured, and he held his own. The rest of the guys on that list are long shots and/or practice squad candidates.

Opportunity knocks for Jacquian Williams

July, 2, 2014
Jul 2
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video ESPN.com New York Giants reporter Dan Graziano says Jacquian Williams has an opportunity to earn the full-time job as the team’s starting weakside linebacker.
Each day this week, and then in the week of July 14, we're taking a position-by-position look at the New York Giants' roster in advance of training camp. Today we look at the running backs group.

Starter: Rashad Jennings

Backup candidates: David Wilson, Peyton Hillis, Andre Williams, Michael Cox, Kendall Gaskins

*Fullback candidates: Henry Hynoski, John Conner

Starting with the halfbacks, Jennings was signed to be the workhorse back and is likely to lead the team in carries if everyone stays healthy. They like him as a between-the-tackles runner and as a receiver out of the backfield, and they will work with him in camp to make sure he can handle the necessary protection responsibilities to play on third downs.

But the wild card is Wilson, the 2012 first-round pick who's coming off neck surgery. Wilson still hasn't been cleared for contact, and while he hopes to receive his clearance July 21, it's no sure thing until it happens. If Wilson can play, he has a chance to become a major factor and challenge Jennings for carries and catches. The Giants believe Wilson offers a home-run threat from the running back position, and if he's healthy they will find a way to get that into their lineup.

Hillis, the veteran, impressed the Giants in a short trial last year as a pass-blocker and a receiver. But at this point in his career, he's a backup who could be beaten out for his roster spot. Williams, the rookie, is a fourth-round pick who led the NCAA in rushing yardage last year at Boston College. He's a work in progress but will get a chance to develop in the new offense as a between-tackles runner. Cox, the 2013 seventh-round pick, was able to stick last year because the Giants needed him on kick returns. This year, he'll have to make the team as a running back, and a healthy Wilson could make that tough. Same with Gaskins, who got a lot of looks in minicamp with Wilson sidelined but is a guy the coaching staff likes.

*As for fullback, this shapes up as a straight one-on-one competition between Hynoski and Connor, who signed last year when Hynoski got hurt. Tough to handicap it at this point, but if he is healthy Hynoski could have the edge as a player the Giants know better and who's shown an ability to contribute something as a receiver out of the backfield. They like them both as blockers, but Hynoski is a bit better on the rare occasions when the fullback has to have the ball in his hands.

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