The New York Giants have retired jersey number 11 in honor of Phil Simms, one of the most revered quarterbacks in Giant, and NFL, history. The number 7 overall draft pick in 1979 out of Morehead State, the Kentucky native would start 11 games as a rookie and put up a winning record of 6-5.
The next few years were a struggle, interrupted by injuries. But in 1984 Simms showed the talent, and put up the numbers, that would prove him to be a world-class quarterback. That season, 1984, Simms passed for 4,044 yards and 22 touchdowns. He averaged 252.8 yards per game passing, good enough for fourth overall in the NFL.
1985 was another strong season for Simms, one in which he again threw for 22 regular season touchdowns. He threw for 3,829 total yards and had his best single season completion percentage to-date at the time, a mark of 55.6%. The Giants finished with a 10-6 record in the regular season with Simms at the helm that campaign. They beat the San Francisco 49ers in the Wild Card game that season, before losing to the eventual Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears in the Divisional matchup.
1986 is the season which would cement Simms as an all-time New York Giant great. Leading the Giants offensively to a 14-2 regular season record, and an NFC East title, Simms marched the team through the playoffs, handily winning all three games that season, culminating in a 39-20 victory over the Buffalo Bills, and the first Super Bowl Championship in New York Giants history (note: the Giants had previously won the NFL Championship, but not in the incarnation of the "Super Bowl" until that point). Simms put up a phenomenal performance in the Championship, eventually earning Super Bowl MVP honors.
Simms would remain with the New York Giants for the duration of his NFL career, unfortunately missing out on participation in their next Super Bowl Championship following the 1990 NFL season, due to injury. Over his long career at QB with Big Blue, Simms put up the following numbers:
- 33,462 passing yards
- 164 regular season wins
- 199 passing touchdowns
- 2,576 passes completed
- 204 passing yards-per-game
Did you know.......that Phil Simms has two sons who have played in the NFL?