Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 98

Jessie Armstead, selected with the number 207 overall pick in the 1993 NFL draft by the New York Giants, is the best in team history to ever wear the jersey number 98.  The linebacker out of the University of Miami suited up for 16 games as a rook, while registering an interception and a forced fumble.  His production steadily increased in his second season as he notched three sacks, including another INT and forced fumble

His third year for Big Blue would see Armstead given some starting time at LB.  Getting the first team nod for two contests, Armstead put up 36 solo tackles, 10 assists, half a sack, a forced fumble and an interception for a touchdown.

It was in Armstead's fourth season for New York that he had his breakthrough and became a full-time starter.  For the 1996 NFL regular season, Armstead made a hefty 83 solo tackles with 31 assists, three sacks, two interceptions, a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.  He was now part of the Giants' starting defensive corps and earning his stripes.

1997 would see Armstead receive an invitation to the Pro Bowl and be named an All-Pro.  He garnered those honors on the back of a regular season which saw him pick up 101 solo tackles, 31 assists, 3.5 sacks and two interceptions, one of which would be for a touchdown.

Armstead would, in fact, be invited to five consecutive Pro Bowls, showing his consistency as a member of the Giants linebacker crew.  He would contribute significantly to the team's run to Super Bowl XXXV against the Baltimore Ravens, notching 1.5 sacks in those playoffs.  In total, for his New York Giant career, the former Miami Hurricane put up the following regular season numbers:  594 solo tackles, 183 assists, 30.5 sacks, 12 interceptions and 11 forced fumbles.

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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 97

Mathias Kiwanuka actually wore jersey number 94 for a bit more than he wore jersey number 97.  But since we've already slotted in a number 94, we'll make Kiwanuka the best to ever wear jersey number 97 for the Giants.  The number 32 overall draft pick in the 2006 NFL draft out of Boston College, Kiwanuka played an intimidating defensive end, standing at 6' 5" and 260 lbs.

Making a positive impression as a rookie for New York, Kiwanuka started in nine of the team's 16 regular season games in 2006.  And while he was on the field, starting or otherwise, he made the most of his time, racking up some notable stats as a rook.  Kiwanuka registered 44 solo tackles, nine assists, four sacks, four passes defended, two interceptions and two forced fumbles.  Pretty much ticked off each defensive stat category........as a rookie.

In 2007, Kiwanuka switched to the linebacker position and started in nine games for the Giants there, prior to his season ending prematurely due to a fractured leg.  In the ten total games Kiwanuka played for Big Blue that season, he picked up 4.5 sacks with 34 solo tackles and 12 assists, as his tackle and sack ratio per game increased from his impressive rookie season.

With an injury sidelining his teammate, number 72, Osi Umenyiora, in 2008, Kiwanuka was switched back to the defensive end position.  It suited him well, proving he could play either end or linebacker professionally at a high level.  That regular season, Kiwanuka racked up 8 sacks, 34 solo tackles, 17 assists, two forced fumbles and a safety, starting in all 16 games.

In 2009, he switched his jersey number to 94, putting up some similar stats to the previous season, although not starting in all 16 games.  2010 was a difficult professional season for Kiwanuka as he was sidelined with a herniated disc.  In 2011, he was back on the field again though, starting at the linebacker position.  Healthy and recovered, it might have been his best season as a Giant.  He racked up 62 solo tackles, 22 assists, 3.5 sacks, two passes defended, an interception and a forced fumble.  Of course, following the 2011 regular season, Kiwanuka helped anchor the defense that guided New York to the Super Bowl Championship.

Kiwanuka would play three more NFL seasons, all with the New York Giants, following that Super Bowl.  For his regular season career as a Giant, the big defender racked up 301 solo tackles, 111 assists, 38.5 sacks, 13 forced fumbles and three interceptions.

Did you know..............that Mathias is the grandson of the first prime minister of Uganda?




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Thursday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 96

Wearing number 96 for the New York Giants, Barry Cofield was selected with the number 124 pick in the 2006 NFL draft out of Northwestern University.  The native of Cleveland, OH started in all 16 games as a rookie for the Giants, starting his NFL career off on the right foot.  In that first season, his numbers were pretty good, especially for a rook.  32 solo tackles, 12 assists and a sack and a half, with three passes defended.  Not too shabby.

Cofield was a steady producer for Big Blue, putting up similar statistics in each of his years with the team.  The big defensive lineman had quite possibly his best season with the team in 2010, when he registered 39 solo tackles, 15 assists and 4 sacks, with 4 passes defended and 2 forced fumbles.

He also earned a Super Bowl ring, suiting up for the Giants squad which won Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots.

In his six seasons wearing number 96 with New York, Cofield had 154 solo tackles, 56 assists, 10.5 sacks, 12 passes defended and 3 forced fumbles, during the regular seasons.

Best NFL Number 96

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 95

Frank Ferrara wore number 95 for the New York Giants over his three season NFL career.  Hailing from Brooklyn, New York and nearby New Dorp high school on Staten Island, Ferrara played collegiately at the University of Rhode Island.  He joined the Giants for nine games in 2001, recording six tackles, four assists and a sack.  2002 was Ferrara's best with New York, as he suited up for all 16 regular season games, starting one, and registering 20 solo tackles, 6 assists and 2.5 sacks.  In total, over his 27 games with the Giants, the home-town Ferrara notched 26 tackles, 10 assists and 10.5 sacks for New York.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 94

Wearing jersey nubmer 94 for the Giants between the 1996 and 2000 NFL regular seasons, Cedric Jones played his entire NFL career with New York.  Taken with the number 5 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft by the Giants out of the University of Oklahoma, Jones played sparingly in his first few seasons wearing number 94 for Big Blue.  In his fourth NFL season, he took to the field quite a bit more than he had in previous seasons.  He started in all 16 regular season games for the Giants in 1999, recording 43 solo tackles, 17 assists, 7.5 sacks and 5 forced fumbles in his best NFL season.  In his final season with New York, the 2000 regular season, Jones again started in all 16 regular season games and was an integral part of the Big Blue defense which helped guide the team to Super Bowl XXXV.   

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 93

Number 93 isn't as popular a jersey number for the New York Giants as you might think.  There are only a handful of players who have worn the number with significant tenure.  Count among those players Jay Alford.  Selected by the New York Giants with the number 81 pick in the 2007 NFL draft out of Penn State, Alford would play for New York for two NFL seasons.  His best season was his second as a Giant, when he recorded 10 tackles, 5 assists, 2.5 sacks and started in 3 games for Big Blue.  He participated in the Giants' playoff games following both the 2007 and 2008 seasons, earning a Super Bowl ring with the team in the process.  

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Wednesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 92

Number 92.  Who else could it be but Michael Strahan?  Strahan, the man with the large personality and the skill to match it on the field, is one of the best New York Giant, and NFL, defenders of all-time.  No argument.  

The Giants selected Michael Strahan with the number 40 pick in the 1993 NFL draft out of Texas Southern University.  Strahan's first couple of seasons wearing number 92 in New York would not be especially remarkable.  Battling through injury, he would see just nine games a rookie, recording one sack.  In his second year, he picked up 4.5 sacks, but you could say that his overall performance that season was not especially notable.

It was in his third NFL season that number 92 really started to make a name for himself.  In that 1995 regular season for the Giants, Strahan recorded 7.5 sacks to go along with solo 48 tackles, three forced fumbles, two interceptions and a safety.  Those were numbers worthy of making the league stand up and take notice.

Two seasons later, in 1997, Strahan would have his true breakout season, being named to both the Pro Bowl and as an All-Pro.  Starting all 16 regular season games for New York, Strahan notched a whopping 14 sacks, establishing himself as one of, if not the, leading "sacker" in the league at the time.

In 1998, Strahan recorded 15 sacks, upping his previous total by one, and again becoming an All-Pro and Pro Bowl selection.

Following the 2000 regular season, Strahan helped guide the Giants defense to Super Bowl XXXV, where he would record 5 solo tackles, 1 assist and 1.5 sacks in New York's loss to the Baltimore Ravens.  

That loss must have motivated Strahan, because the following season may have been his finest yet.  Not only did he lead the NFL in sacks with 22.5, but he became the all-time single season sack leader in NFL history.  He was, of course, named to the Pro Bowl and as an All-Pro after that season.

Strahan would reach double-digits in sacks in three more regular seasons with the Giants, once again leading the league for the 2003 regular season with 18.5 sacks.

Number 92 would go out on top with the Giants, anchoring their defense as it defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, as Strahan recorded a sack, two tackles and an assist in his final game for Big Blue.

In total, over his New York Giant career, Strahan would put up the following numbers:

  • 141.5 sacks (All-Time Giants Leader)
  • 659 tackles 
  • 24 forced fumbles
  • 2 Super Bowl appearances
  • 1 Super Bowl Championship
Did you know.....................that Strahan grew up primarily in Germany?  

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Tuesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - Number 91

Wearing number 91 for the New York Giants between the 2005 and 2013 NFL seasons, Justin Tuck was one of the fiercest defenders in the league and in team history.  Selected with the number 74 pick in the 2005 NFL draft out of Notre Dame, Tuck was slotted in the backup role as a rookie due to two superstar defenders already playing defensive end:  Michael Strahan and Osi Umenyiora.

Tuck did see the field though as a rookie.  Playing in 14 regular season games, he notched 26 solo tackles and a sack.  He would also see field time in the Wild Card playoff game for the Giants following the 2005 regular season.

A lisfranc injury hampered Tuck's second season with New York, as he was limited to just six games. After receiving, and recovering from, the treatment for his injury, which included inserting two screws into his foot, Tuck was back at it for Big Blue in 2007.  Tuck started in two games for the Giants, registering 48 solo tackles and a hefty ten sacks.  With that regular season performance under his belt, Tuck was in the mix for the Giants during their playoff run to the Super Bowl following the 2007 regular season.  In Super Bowl XLII, Tuck made his name known world-wide, as he made five tackles, assisted on one more and garnered two sacks.

Now that Tuck had shown his skill on the largest stage possible, he was on his way to superstardom.  For the 2008 NFL season, Tuck started in all 16 regular season games for New York, and while doing so he accumulated 52 solo tackles, 15 assists, 12 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception returned for 41 yards.  Not bad for the first time starting a full season in the NFL.  Tuck was named an All-Pro and was a Pro Bowl selection following what just might have been his finest season.

The 2010 season was another strong one for Tuck, after which he was named to the Pro Bowl.  That season he racked up 48 solo tackles, 28 assists, 11.5 sacks, 5 fumble recoveries, and four passes defended.  With numbers like that, Tuck was now a member of the NFL defensive elite.

Tuck once again helped propel the Giants to the Super Bowl and a victory in XLVI against the Patriots.  In the big game, he was after the quarterback once more, sacking Tom Brady twice and picking up three total tackles.

In all, number 91 would play for the Giants over nine seasons, racking up 318 solo tackles and a very impressive 60.5 sacks which puts him in the top ten all-time for the Giants' career sack leaders, as of this writing.

Did you know..........that as of 2015, Justin Tuck was the only player to have multiple sacks in multiple Super Bowls?







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Monday

Mets to Retire Number 31 for Piazza

The New York Mets announced on their team website that they will be retiring jersey number 31 in honor of Mike Piazza. The Mets haven't had many opportunities to retire jersey numbers. Tom Seaver's number 41 is the most notable retired number for the orange and blue.

Their most famous catcher's number will be off-limits officially when it is retired in a pre-game ceremony on July 30, 2016, before the Mets play the Colorado Rockies.

With Piazza on his way to the Hall of Fame, it should come as no surprise that New York will be retiring number 31 in honor of, quite possibly, the greatest hitting catcher in MLB history.

Mike Piazza, notably, is also our pick as the best professional athlete to ever wear jersey number 31.



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 90

Selected by the New York Giants in the seventh round of the 1992 NFL draft out of Montana State University, Corey Widmer slowly worked his way into the starting lineup over his first few seasons in New York, wearing jersey number 90.

In his third season with the Giants, the big linebacker started in five of the team's 16 regular season games.  In doing so, he earned a sack and 22 tackles.

It was two seasons later, in 1996, that Widmer became a full-time starter in the Giants' defensive backfield.  He picked off two passes, recovered a fumble, had a sack, made 68 tackles and assisted on 35 more.

Widmer would produce in a similar fashion over the next few seasons, before winding up his career as a New York Giant following the 1999 season.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 89

The big tight end, drafted with the number 100 overall pick in the 1985 NFL draft out of Notre Dame, Mark Bavaro, is the best New York Giant to ever wear the jersey number 89.

Bavaro started in all 16 regular season games as a rookie for the Giants, but it was in his second season with New York that his presence was really felt.  In that second season, the 1986 regular season, Bavaro nabbed 66 passes for a very impressive 1,001 yards.  Any time a tight end surpasses 1,000 yards, it makes people take notice.

In the playoffs following the 1986 season, Bavaro caught two touchdown passes for the Giants, including one in Super Bowl XXI, to help the Giants earn their first Super Bowl Championship.

Over six seasons spent with New York, Bavaro caught 266 passes for 3,722 yards and 28 touchdowns.  During that time, he became one of the all-time fan favorites in Giants' history.  

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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 88

Number 88 was worn by Ike Hilliard for the New York Giants between the 1997 and 2004 NFL seasons.  Taken with the number seven overall draft pick out of the University of Florida, Hilliard played in a couple of games in his rookie season, eventually becoming a mainstay in 1998.

His third season as a member of the Giants would be Hilliard's most prolific.  He nabbed 72 passes for just under 1,000 yards (996) and three touchdowns in the regular season.

As a member of the New York squad which played in Super Bowl XXXV against the Baltimore Ravens, Hilliard hauled in three passes for 30 yards.

Over his eight year career with the Giants, Hilliard caught 368 regular season passes for 4,630 yards and 35 TDs.  At the time of his retirement, Hilliard was in the top five for all-time receptions by a New York Giant.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 87

The Giants have certainly had their share of excellent tight ends over the years.  Some of the best in the league in fact.  Add to the list of top-notch tight ends the name of Howard Cross.  Wearing number 87 for Big Blue between the seasons 1989 and 2001, Cross was a key member of some excellent Giant squads.

Cross was taken with the number 158 pick in the 1989 NFL draft out of Alabama.  As a rookie, Cross started in four of the 16 regular season games for the Giants.

In his second year with New York, the 1990 regular season, Cross produced just about as much during the regular season.  But it was in the playoffs and the Super Bowl where his presence was felt.  In Super Bowl XXV, a Giants victory over the Buffalo Bills, Cross caught four passes for 39 yards.

Cross would have great longevity with New York, becoming the only player to be a member of both the Super Bowl XXV and XXXV teams for the Giants.

During the regular season, over Cross' career, he caught 201 passes for 2,194 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Cross' 207 games as a New York Giant are near the top of the list for most games played with Big Blue.  

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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 86

Wearing number 86 for the New York Giants throughout his entire NFL career, wide receiver Lionel Manuel was a Giant on the field, if not in stature.  Manuel contributed immediately as a rookie in 1984, catching 33 passes for the Giants, totalling 619 yards and four touchdowns.

His second season in New York was more prolific, as he reeled in 49 passes for 859 yards and five touchdowns.  

Following the 1986 regular season, Manuel played in all three Giants playoff games.  He caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown in those playoffs.  In Super Bowl XXI, Manuel contributed with three receptions for 43 yards.  

Did you know.......that Manuel became a professional chef and restaurateur after his football career?


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 85

He may not have been a New York Giant for a very long time, but he certainly made an impact on the Giants' fanbase with one of the best catches in a clutch moment for New York.  David Tyree wore jersey number 85 for the Giants between the 2003 and 2007 seasons.

A New Jersey native, Tyree was selected in the sixth round of the 2003 NFL draft by the Giants out of Syracuse University.  He would play sparingly in his rookie season, catching 16 passes for 211 yards.

Over the next few seasons, Tyree filled in admirably when needed.  He was most needed however, during the Giants' Super Bowl game against the New England Patriots.  And he came through with one of the greatest receptions in New York Giant history.

With the Giants trailing the Patriots by a score of 14-10, and 1:15 remaining in the game, the Giants had the ball on third down.  Quarterback Eli Manning escaped the Patriots defenders and heaved the ball downfield, where it found David Tyree in tight coverage.  Tyree grasped the ball against his helmet, falling to the ground for a game-saving catch.  The Giants would, of course, go on to win that Super Bowl by a score of 17-14.


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 84

Wearing jersey number 84 for the Giants beginning with the 1983 season, Zeke Mowatt made a name for himself in New York, despite being undrafted out of Florida State in 1983.  Not only did Mowatt make the Giants, but he became a starter, getting the first string nod in 14 of 16 regular season games.

Mowatt had his finest regular season as a Giant in his second year with the team.  He hauled in 48 passes for 698 yards and six touchdowns.  Not bad for a tight end, and in particular one that went undrafted.

Following the 1986 regular season, as the Giants strode towards Super Bowl XXI, Mowatt became an integral part of the equation.  Mowatt caught two touchdowns in that playoff run, and in fact, caught the first touchdown pass in the Giants first Super Bowl win ever.

Mowatt would play for the Giants through the 1989 season before joining the New England Patriots for one season, and then wrapping up his NFL career with the Giants after playing with them in the 1991 season.

Over seven regular seasons with New York, Mowatt recorded 129 receptions for 1,698 yards and 12 touchdowns.   

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 83

Number 83 was worn by Earnest Gray between 1979 and 1984 for the New York Giants.  Gray was selected with the number 36 overall pick in the 1979 NFL draft.

Gray made his presence felt immediately as a rookie.  He started in 14 of 16 regular season games, hauling in 28 passes for 537 yards and four touchdowns.

The following regular season campaign would see his statistics mushroom.  Not only did he nearly double his receptions, but he more than doubled his touchdowns with ten total in 1980.

It was probably no coincidence that Gray was drafted in the same class as Phil Simms, and became one of Simms' favorite targets.  Simms and Gray would connect an astounding 78 times during the 1983 regular season.  In an era when the running game was much more of a focus, that reception total is really remarkable.

In six seasons as a member of the Giants, Gray caught 243 passes for 3,768 yards and 27 touchdowns.  

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Friday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 82

This pick could have gone to one of a few players, including Mario Manningham and Ray Rhodes.  But, considering the playoff impact and longevity, the selection for best New York Giant to ever wear jersey number 82 is Mark Ingram.

Ingram was taken with the number 28 overall pick in the 1987 NFL draft by the Giants out of Michigan State.  Although somewhat diminutive for a wide receiver at 5' 10", he had the skill to produce on the field for New York.

Ingram's production would increase in each of his first four consecutive seasons.  Between 1987 and 1991, his reception total would increase from two to 51.  1990 however, would see Ingram reach his highest receiving touchdown total, with five.

Following the 1990 season, the Giants marched through the playoffs en route to Super Bowl XXV.  Ingram was a part of that march, starting in three games and hauling in eleven passes for 168 yards.  And this play, made in Super Bowl XXV for a key first down, may be what most Giants fans recall about Mark Ingram.

In total, over six seasons with the Giants, Ingram caught 136 passes for 2,211 yards and 11 touchdowns.



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 81

He began his career as a Giant wearing jersey number 89, but he made his name as a Giant wearing jersey number 81.  Amani Toomer was selected by the Giants with the number 34 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft, after a stellar career at the University of Michigan.

In his first few years with New York, Toomer primarily returned punts.  His receiving duties would increase steadily however, until he became a mainstay at the wideout position.  In his fourth year with the Giants, Toomer pulled in 79 passes for 1,183 yards and six touchdowns.  (His 79 receptions broke the team record for receptions in a season).  Those were top tier wide receiver numbers.

Over the following four NFL seasons, Toomer would garner over 1,000 receiving yards in each season.  His finest year at the position, statistically, was 2002, when he hauled in 82 passes for 1,343 yards and eight touchdowns.

Toomer was a key piece of the puzzle which earned the Giants the Super Bowl Championship after the 2007 season.  During that Super Bowl game, Toomer led the Giants with six receptions for 84 yards.

In an NFL career spent entirely with the New York Giants, Toomer put up the following numbers:

  • 668 receptions
  • 9,497 receiving yards
  • 54 receiving touchdowns
  • 44 playoff receptions
  • 608 playoff receiving yards
  • 7 playoff receiving touchdowns
  • 1,090 punt return yards
  • 3 punt return touchdowns
Did you know......that at the time of his retirement, Toomer was number one on the Giants all-time receiving list for number of receptions, yards and touchdowns?



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 80

The sentimental pick for the best New York Giant to ever wear number 80 would be Phil McConkey.  BUT....I have to go with Jeremy Shockey here.  His offensive numbers bear him out as the best.  Plus, this play doesn't hurt his cause as the best.

Jeremy Shockey was selected with the number 14 overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft by the Giants out of the University of Miami.  He quickly became a starter at tight end for Big Blue, hauling in 74 passes for 894 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie.

From a reception standpoint, that would be the most prolific year for Shockey as a member of the Giants.  When healthy however, his touchdown numbers would increase by season.  He was limited in his second season and matched his touchdown total from his rookie campaign, albeit in about half as many regular season games.

His third year would see him pick up six TDs, and then for the next two seasons he scored seven TDs in each.

Shockey was injured at the end of the 2007 regular season suffering a season-ending fractured leg, unfortunately, after which the Giants went on their Cinderella run through the playoffs to defeat the favored New England Patriots for the Super Bowl Championship.

Prior to the start of the 2008 regular season, the Giants traded Shockey to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for two draft picks in the 2009 NFL draft.  The following season, 2009, saw Shockey contribute significantly to the Saints en route to their first Super Bowl Championship.

Nonetheless, in large part due to his physical, attacking play on offense, Shockey was a fan favorite of many Giants fans.  He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and as a rookie was a first team All-Pro selection with the Giants.

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 79

Not only is this guy the best New York Giant to ever wear the jersey number 79, but he's also the best NFL athlete to ever wear the jersey number 79.  Roosevelt "Rosey" Brown, played for the Giants between 1953 and 1965, earning a slew of accolades in the process.

The big offensive tackle helped protect his backfield en route to the Giants' NFL Championship in 1956.  During his time with New York, Brown went to nine Pro Bowls and was All-NFL an astounding eight times.  His excellence on the grid-iron was recognized formally when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975.  

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Wednesday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 78

Jerome Sally wore number 78 for the New York Giants, beginning with the 1982 NFL season, after a standout collegiate football career as a member of the Missouri Tigers.  Playing nose-tackle, Sally started one game and picked up a sack for the Giants as a rookie.

Sally's playing time increased in his second year with New York, as he started more than half of the Giants' regular season games.  He proved to be productive while on the field, notching 4.5 sacks and one fumble recovery in that sophomore season as a Giant.

His starting time would decrease, but Sally would still remain productive when on the field.  He continued to rack up sacks.  In all, he would garner 18.5 sacks over five regular seasons with New York, spanning the years 1982 through 1986.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 77

Number 77 was worn by Eric Dorsey for the New York Giants between the years of 1986 and 1992.  Dorsey was a member of the Giants for his entire NFL career.

The number 19 overall draft pick of the Giants in the 1986 NFL draft, out of Notre Dame, Dorsey suited up for all 16 games as a rookie, but did not breach the starting squad.  Nevertheless, Dorsey was credited with three playoff games following the 1986 season, and he racked up three sacks in that playoff run to the Giants' first Super Bowl Championship.

Not starting changed in his sophomore campaign in 1987, when Dorsey started in three of 12 contests, earning himself a sack in the process.

His third season as a Giant, in 1988, was his breakout campaign, when he started in all 16 regular season games, recovering two fumbles, and earning 3.5 sacks.

Injuries derailed his season in 1989, but he was back in healthy in 1990, starting and helping shore up the Giants defense which secured the team's second Super Bowl Championship following the 1990 NFL season.

The injury bug bit once again however, with arthroscopic knee surgery coming in 1991 and then a deteriorating hip revealed in 1993.  That led to an early retirement by Dorsey, ending his playing career, all spent wearing number 77 for the New York Giants in the NFL.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 76

Another of a number of linemen who played for both the New York Giants and the New York Jets, John "Jumbo" Elliott was selected with the number 36 overall pick in the 1988 NFL draft.  The tall (6' 7") offensive tackle started in five games as a rookie, and it wasn't long before he was stopping defensive ends, tackles and linebackers on a regular basis for Big Blue.

Elliott, who hails from Sachem High School on Long Island, New York, was a stand-out college football player for the Michigan Wolverines.  He was impressive enough on the O-Line at the top tier Big Ten school to be named first team All-American for both the  1985 and 1986 seasons.

It should have been no surprise then, that the Giants selected this big protector for Phil Simms, who could also open wide holes for the likes of Joe Morris.   Once selected, it wasn't long before Elliott had joined the starting offensive line corps for New York, getting the first team nod in five of his first 16 contests.

Suiting up at the left tackle position for New York, Elliott proved to be one of the best offensive lineman to take to the grid-iron for the Giants between the 1988 and 1995 NFL seasons, all while wearing jersey number 76.  His New York Giant accolades include not only protecting his offensive "skill" teammates along the way to the Championship in Super Bowl XXV, but also earning the Pro Bowl nod for the 1993 NFL season.

The impact that Elliott had on the offensive line and the Giants' rushing game can nicely be summarized by this quote from Wikipedia:
Elliott missed eight games to injury in the middle of the 1990 season, with the team averaging 149.9 rushing yards with him and 111.8 rushing yards without him.[11] 

For those of you keeping track, that's a difference of 38.1 rushing yards per game, which theoretically, could be attributed to Elliott's presence on the line!   

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Sunday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 75

A late round draft pick in 1975 by the Giants out of the University of Oregon, George Martin would establish himself as a force to be reckoned with on New York's defensive line.  Number 75 played his entire career for the Giants spanning the years 1975 to 1988.

Martin became known for scoring defensive touchdowns, which is not-so-common for a defensive lineman.  Over his NFL career with New York, he notched six non-offensive touchdowns.  He was also credited with a receiving touchdown in 1980.  As noted on wikipedia:
"Martin's 7 NFL TDs came on 3 interception returns, 2 fumble returns/recoveries, one lateral return following a blocked field goal, and one offensive pass reception (in 1980, lining up as a tight end). (In November 2006, Miami's All-Pro defensive end Jason Taylor broke Martin's career record by notching his 7th defensive touchdown after intercepting a Brad Johnson pass.)".  

During his time as a Giant, Martin racked up 7 touchdowns, 46 sacks (which only became an official statistic in 1982), and 15 fumbles returned.

The impact that Martin had as a New York Giant, particularly during their first Super Bowl Championship following the 1986 season, can be summed up by noting that of all the players who passed through the coaching career of Bill Parcells, Martin was chosen by Parcells to induct him into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  

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Saturday

Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 74

One of the several linemen to play for both the New York Jets and the New York Giants, Erik Howard was drafted in the second round of the 1986 NFL draft by the Giants out of Washington State University.  Playing primarily nose-tackle, Howard got into eight regular season games as a rookie, and would also participate in the playoffs en route to the Giants' Super Bowl Championship following the 1986 NFL regular season.

Howard's playing time would steadily increase over the next few seasons, before he became a full-time starter in 1989.  That season saw Howard reach a single-season high of 69 tackles to go along with 5.5 sacks.

In all, Howard played in 122 regular season games over nine years with the Giants, starting in 78 of them.  He had 30.5 sacks, 9 fumbles recovered and 343 total tackles during that time.   

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 73

A third-round selection by the New York Giants in the 1986 NFL draft, hailing from Oklahoma State University, John Washington wore number 73 for the team suiting up for just over six and a half regular seasons.  Playing primarily defensive end, Washington contributed to the Giants' run to two Super Bowl Championships (XXI and XXV).

The 1989 season saw Washington get the starting nod for the majority of the regular season contests at left defensive end.  He also started the bulk of the games in 1990 and 1991 (when he played nose-tackle), before he became a member of the Atlanta Falcons toward the tail-end of 1991.

In seven regular seasons with New York, Washington would play in 100 games, starting 40 of them.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 72

Sporting number 72 for the Giants between the years 2003 and 2012, Osi Umenyiora was one of the most impactful, and potentially under-rated, defensive linemen to ever take to the gridiron for New York.  

A second-round draft pick out of Troy University, Umenyiora became a starter in his second season with the Giants, getting the first string nod in seven of 16 contests.  In that sophomore campaign, Umenyiora notched seven sacks and returned four fumbles for 88 yards including a touchdown.  

In 2005, Osi had quite possibly his finest defensive regular season.  While starting all 16 games, Umenyiora picked up his largest single-season sack total with 14.5, to go along with 48 tackles and 22 assists.  He was named to the first team All-NFL for that effort.  

Over his stellar nine-year career with New York, Umenyiora put up some impressive regular season numbers:
  • 75 sacks
  • 261 tackles
  • 32 forced fumbles
  • 2 Super Bowl Championships
Did you know......that Umenyiora is fourth on the all-time Giants' sack leader list, just behind Leonard Marshall?  


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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 71

Dave Tollefson wore number 71 for the New York Giants between the seasons 2007 and 2011.  He was originally drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the seventh round of the 2006 NFL draft out of NW Missouri State.

Tollefson was a member of both the Packers and Raiders practice squads, after not sticking on the 53 man roster for either team in 2006 and entering 2007 with the Raiders.

In October of 2007, the Giants signed Tollefson from the Raiders practice squad.  Tollefson would make his NFL regular season debut with New York that season, seeing action in six games, and getting credit for two tackles and two assists.

While he was not a starter for the majority of his career with New York, he certainly made his presence felt with the team.  In five regular seasons as a Giant, Tollefson picked up 56 tackles and 25 assists.  He also had ten sacks and five passes defended.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 70

A second round draft pick by the New York Giants out of Louisiana State University (LSU), Leonard Marshall played primarily defensive end for New York between 1983 and 1992.  In his first year playing for the Giants, Marshall started in six games, garnering 39 tackles, half a sack and a safety.

His numbers would increase steadily over the next two NFL seasons.  In 1984 he started in 11 games, notching 60 tackles and 6.5 sacks.  He also forced two fumbles that season.  For the 1985 campaign, Marshall was a full-time starter at end, nearly reaching 100 tackles (he had 99), a whopping 15.5 sacks and a pick.

Marshall was, of course, a key cog in the defensive machine that rolled to the Super Bowl Championship against the Denver Broncos after the 1986 season.  He picked up three sacks in those playoffs.

Over a ten season span with the Giants, Marshall started in 123 of 149 games during the regular season, garnering 660 tackles, 79.5 sacks, and two interceptions with 9 forced fumbles.

Marshall, at the time of this writing, is third on the Giants' all-time sack list, behind only Michael Strahan and Lawrence Taylor.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 69

Rich Seubert wore jersey number 69 with the New York Giants for his entire NFL career, which spanned the 2001 through 2010 NFL seasons.  A hulking lineman who hails from the state of Wisconsin, and played his college football for the Western Illinois Leathernecks (who hold amongst their notable alumni:  Bryan Cox, Don Beebe and Rodney Harrison), Seubert was an undrafted free agent when he joined the Giants in 2001.

In his second year playing for New York, Seubert started all 16 games at left guard for Big Blue.  Seubert was a key piece of the offensive line for New York which protected Eli Manning en route to the Championship in Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots in February of 2008.  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 68

Number 68 was worn for the New York Giants by J.T. Turner during the years 1977 and 1983.  Beginning with his sophomore season as a member of the Giants, Turner started at right guard for nearly every game through the 1983 season.

Did you know.........that Turner is credited with a role in the film Trading Places?  

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 67

Wearing number 67 for the New York Giants between 2005 and 2011, Kareem McKenzie was a stalwart at right tackle for Big Blue.  A New Jersey native, he played his home games in his home state, both for the Giants and before that with the New York Jets.

One of the many New Jersey athletes to play at Penn State, McKenzie was a third round draft pick in 2001 by the New York Jets.  He played for gang green until 2004, after which he switched over to wear blue in the Meadowlands.

Suiting up for the Giants, McKenzie was key to New York's Super Bowl Championships in both XLII and XLVI.

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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 66

David Diehl played both the guard and tackle positions for the New York Giants between the years of 2003 and 2013.  He was a starter in every game for New York between the years 2003 and 2011.  A fifth round draft pick out of Illinois, the big offensive lineman would win two Super Bowls with New York and would be named to the Pro Bowl in 2009.  While he didn't play a "sexy" position like running back or wide receiver, Diehl was no less valuable to his team than a player at one of those "skill" positions.  Diehl played his entire NFL career with the Giants, all while wearing jersey number 66.



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 65

Bart Oates, who won two Super Bowl rings with the New York Giants, was the anchor in the middle of the offensive line for most of the 1980s, much in the way that Jim Burt anchored the defensive line.  Oates started almost every game at center for New York between the years 1985 and 1993.  Oates was a three time Pro Bowl selection for the Giants, in 1990, 1991 and 1993.



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Best New York Giants By The Numbers - 64

Jim Burt, playing nosetackle for the New York Giants between 1981 and 1988, is a fan favorite who was an integral part of the Giants squad which won Super Bowl XXI.  Wearing number 64 for New York as an anchor on the defensive line, Burt racked up 18 sacks in his career as a Giant.

Burt saw possibly his greatest season on the pro gridiron in 1986, for which he earned Pro Bowl status, and was front and center on the defensive squad that helped win Super Bowl XXI by a score of 39 to 20 against the Denver Broncos.



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