Bitter end against a true powerhouse
Second in a collection of eight memorable Patriots-Giants games
Dec. 30, 1990, at Foxborough
It was the merciful end to the one-year Rod Rust era and the Patriots’ 14th consecutive loss to close out a franchise-worst 1-15 record. The Giants had the NFC East title and a home playoff date secure, so there wasn’t much to gain by going all out (a wise strategy considering New York went on to win its second Super Bowl under Bill Parcells). However, it was an important game for the Giants in one respect - they still were reeling from the loss of Phil Simms to a broken foot in Week 15, and though he was 29 years old, No. 2 quarterback Jeff Hostetler had made only three previous starts in the NFL. While Hostetler proved to be a capable caretaker (12 of 23, 123 yards, 1 touchdown), the Giants continued to play to their obvious strengths: the league’s top defense and a relentless ground attack. New York ran 37 times for a season-high 213 yards (5.7 yards per carry), with Hostetler gaining 82. After falling behind, 10-0, in the first quarter, the Patriots fought back to tie it on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Tommy Hodson to Irving Fryar, and a 19-yard field goal by Jason Staurovsky. Matt Bahr’s 27-yard field goal before halftime was decisive.