American Football Wiki
1985 New York Giants season
Head Coach Bill Parcells
Home Field Giants Stadium
Record 10–6
Place 2nd NFC East
Playoff Finish Lost NFC Divisional Playoff
Previous Season Next Season
1984 1986

The 1985 New York Giants season was the 61st season for the club in the National Football League. The Giants entered the season looking to improve on their 9-7 record in 1984, which was enough to qualify the team for the playoffs as the second wild-card team, and to return to the playoffs for the second consecutive year under third-year head coach Bill Parcells. The Giants managed to do both, finishing with 10 victories for the first time since 1963 when the team won 11 games and finishing as the first wild-card team which earned the Giants a home playoff game at Giants Stadium. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers 17-3 in that game, avenging their loss to the 49ers in the previous year's divisional playoffs. However, it was as far as the Giants could get as they were defeated by the eventual Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears in the divisional round at Soldier Field 21-0.

At the time, the team set a record for most rushing yards in one season by a Giants team.


NFL Draft

Regular season

In a game against the Washington Redskins, Joe Theismann's career ended on November 18, 1985, when he suffered a gruesome comminuted compound fracture of his leg while being sacked by New York Giants linebackers Lawrence Taylor and Harry Carson during a Monday Night Football game telecast. The injury was voted the NFL's "Most Shocking Moment in History" by viewers in an ESPN poll, and the tackle was dubbed "The Hit That No One Who Saw It Can Ever Forget" by The Washington Post.[1]

At the time, the Redskins had been attempting to run a "flea-flicker" play. The Giants' defense, however, was not fooled, and they tried to blitz Theismann. Taylor sandwiched Theismann into Carson and inadvertently landed his hip on Theismann's lower right leg, fracturing both the tibia and the fibula.


Week Date Opponent Result Attendance
1 September 8 Philadelphia Eagles W 21–0
2 September 15 at Green Bay Packers L 23–20
3 September 22 St. Louis Cardinals W 27–17
4 September 29 at Philadelphia Eagles W 16–10
5 October 6 Dallas Cowboys L 30–29
6 October 13 at Cincinnati Bengals L 35–30
7 October 20 Washington Redskins W 17–3
8 October 27 at New Orleans Saints W 21–13
9 November 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers W 22–20
10 November 10 Los Angeles Rams W 24–19
11 November 18 at Washington Redskins L 23–21
12 November 24 at St. Louis Cardinals W 34–3
13 December 1 Cleveland Browns L 35–33
14 December 8 at Houston Oilers W 35–14
15 December 15 at Dallas Cowboys L 28–21
16 December 21 Pittsburgh Steelers W 28–10


NFC East
Dallas Cowboys 10 6 0 .625 357 333 L-1
New York Giants 10 6 0 .625 399 283 W-1
Washington Redskins 10 6 0 .625 297 312 W-3
Philadelphia Eagles 7 9 0 .438 286 310 W-1
St. Louis Cardinals 5 11 0 .313 278 414 L-2


1985 New York Giants

* Hall of Fame

Head Coach: Bill Parcells

To be listed, a player must have played at least one game for the team during this season.

RB George Adams

G Billy Ard

K Jess Atkinson

LB Carl Banks

TE Mark Bavaro

T/G/C Brad Benson

NT/DT Jim Burt

RB Rob Carpenter

LB Harry Carson

RB Maurice Carthon

DB Bill Currier

DB Tyrone Davis

DB Larry Flowers

RB Tony Galbreath

G/T/DE/DT Chris Godfrey

T/G/C Conrad Goode

K Ali Haji-Sheikh

DE/NT/DT Dee Hardison

TE Don Hasselbeck

DB Mark Haynes

LB Andy Headen

DB Kenny Hill

QB Jeff Hostetler

LB Byron Hunt

WR Bobby Johnson

LB Robbie Jones

G David Jordan

TE Vyto Kab

DB Terry Kinard

T/G Gordon King

P Sean Landeta

WR Lionel Manuel

DT Leonard Marshall

DE/TE George Martin

WR Phil McConkey

DE/NT Curtis McGriff

DE/DT Casey Merrill

RB Joe Morris

T Karl Nelson

C Bart Oates

S Elvis Patterson

LB Gary Reasons

WR Stacy Robinson

RB Lee Rouson

QB Jeff Rutledge

NT Jerome Sally

K Eric Schubert

QB Phil Simms

LB * Lawrence Taylor

DB Ted Watts

DB Herb Welch

WR Byron Williams

CB Perry Williams



NFC Wild Card

New York Giants 17, San Francisco 49ers 3
1 2 3 4 Total
49ers 0 3 0 0 3
Giants 3 7 7 0 17

at Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey

  • Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
  • Game weather: Template:Convert/°F, mostly cloudy
  • Game attendance: 75,842
  • TV announcers (CBS): Pat Summerall and John Madden

Even though the 49ers recorded 362 yards of total offense, with receiver Dwight Clark catching 8 passes for 120 yards, the Giants limited San Francisco to only one field goal. Meanwhile, New York running back Joe Morris rushed for 141 yards.

NFC Divisional Playoff

The Giants lost to the Chicago Bears 21-0 on Jan. 5, 1986 during the Divisional Round. The Chicago Bears went on to win the 1985 Super Bowl.

Awards and honors

  • Phil Simms, Pro Bowl MVP Pro Bowl MVP Award [2]


  1. Shapiro, Leonard. "The Hit That Changed a Career", Washington Post, 2005-11-18. Retrieved on 2008-06-30. 
  2. NFL 2001 Record and Fact Book, Workman Publishing Co, New York,NY, ISBN 0-7611-2480-2, p. 202