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New York Giants beat Broncos for first Super Bowl title

On Jan. 25, 1987, the New York Giants captured their first-ever Super Bowl title when they defeated the Denver Broncos, 39-20, in Super Bowl XXI at the Rose Bowl.

Heading into the game, the Giants were nine-point favorites over the Broncos, who were also looking to win their first in franchise history.

The Giants owned a 14-2 record in the regular season, earning them a first-round bye. After beating the San Francisco 49ers in the divisional round and the Washington Redskins in the NFC championship game, the stage was set for the title match.

The Broncos began the scoring on the opening drive of the game when kicker Rich Karlis converted a 48-yard field goal attempt. The Giants answered when quarterback Phil Simms led the offense down the field with a 78-yard touchdown drive.

At the end of the first quarter, Broncos quarterback John Elway scored on a four-yard draw play to give Denver a 10-7 lead. The only score in the second quarter came when Giants defensive end sacked Elway in the end zone for a safety, cutting the Broncos’ lead to 10-9 at the half.

Once the two teams came out of the half, the Giants took it to the Broncos. Simms connected on his second touchdown pass of the game, a 13-yard strike to Mark Bavaro that gave the Giants the lead back at 16-10.

From that point forward, the Giants took off and the game was quickly out of control.

Simms finished with three touchdown passes while completing 22 of 25 attempts (88 percent), which earned him the Super Bowl MVP. Running backs Joe Morris and Ottis Anderson each rushed for a touchdown.

It was a remarkable win for the Giants and just the beginning for their fans. After years — decades, even — of subpar football, Big Blue was champion of the league for the first time since 1956. With many of the same players, they would win another Super Bowl four years later.

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