What the hell are you doing here?
Howell shockingly sent Summerall, who had not practiced all week owing to a knee problem, onto the field to try a 49-yard field goal through the swirling snow.
With 2:07 remaining, Conerly took the snap and smoothly spotted the ball on the white field. Summerall made his straight-ahead approach and got full extension from his leg; the ball sailed through the dark, damp night and through the uprights for a 13-10 lead.
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Teammates and coaches mobbed Summerall as he left the field, but the game wasn’t over yet. Jim Brown returned the kickoff to the Browns’ 45-yard line. A pass completion to Ray Renfro took them to the Giants’ 41, but a 19-yard sack dropped Cleveland back to its own 40. One last completion took them back to Giants territory, and Groza came on to try a 55-yard field goal with 25 seconds left. It fell well short. Because of Summerall’s unlikely clutch kick, the teams were tied for first and would meet in a playoff one week later to determine the Eastern champion.
Simms-McConkey Connection Puts New York on Top
It had been 30 years since the New York Giants had won the NFL championship, but 1986 seemed different. New York went 14-2 during the regular season and swept through the playoffs, outscoring the 49ers and the Redskins 66-3 to win a trip to Pasadena to play the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Coach Bill Parcells had been at Yankee Stadium in 1956 when the Giants had vanquished the Bears from start to finish to win the title. Now, with his Giants poised to repeat the feat, he would be fearless and gutsy in trying to win the game.
The Giants had beaten Denver at the Meadowlands in November on a last-minute field goal. There would be much less suspense in Super Bowl XXI. On offense, New York was led by little Joe Morris’s 1,516 rushing yards and the underappreciated Phil Simms’s 3,487 passing yards. But the core of the team, exemplified by Lawrence Taylor’s 20.5 sacks, was its aggressive defense, which gave up the second-fewest points in the NFL.
Sparkplug Phil McConkey led the team onto the field, waving a white towel to get the crowd behind the Giants.
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