The New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers meet Sunday in the NFC Championship Game, the eighth time in the history of the two great franchises that they meet in the NFL playoffs. The 49ers have a 4-3 lead over the Giants in their playoff encounters. Let's take a stroll down memory lane at the first seven meetings.
Jan. 3, 1981 -- 49ers 38, Giants 24 (Candlestick Park)
The Giants lost this game, but I'm not sure anyone really cared. The season marked a turnaround in what had been a dark period in Giants history, as it was the organization's first playoff appearance since 1963. The Giants defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in the wild-card round before losing to the 49ers. Joe Montana went 20-of-31 for 304 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco won. This, however, was the beginning of a great decade of Giants football.
Dec. 29. 1984 -- 49ers 21, Giants 10 (Candlestick Park)
The 49ers jumped to a 14-0 first-quarter lead in this divisional round game and the Giants could never catch up. Montana torched the Giants for 309 yards passing and three touchdowns, although he did also throw three interceptions.
Dec. 29, 1985 -- Giants 17, 49ers 3 (Giants Stadium)
A year to the day that the 49ers beat the Giants, Bill Parcells team turned the tables on the 49ers, setting off a wild celebration at Giants Stadium. The Giants went to Chicago the next week and were blanked by the Bears, 21-0, but by this point it had become obvious that the Giants were a team to be reckoned with in the NFC.
Jan. 4, 1987 -- Giants 49, 49ers 3 (Giants Stadium)
An overwhelming victory -- referred to by Lawrence Taylor as "a good old-fashioned ass-whipping" -- that propelled the Giants to their first Super Bowl title. Jim Burt KO'd Joe Montana with a brutal hit, and I can still see Jerry Rice dropping a slant pass early in the game that might have gone for a San Francisco touchdown.
Jan. 20, 1991 -- Giants 15, San Francisco 13 (Candlestick Park)
This is the famous 'Leonard Marshall nearly breaks Joe Montana in half' game. The fact that the Giants defeated the 49ers and derailed their hopes of a third straight Super Bowl title are almost secondary to the fact that Marshall not only knocked Montana out of the game but very nearly blasted him into retirement.
A week later the Giants played the 'wide right' Super Bowl game against the Buffalo Bills, earning their second title.
Jan. 15, 1994 -- 49ers 44, Giants 3 (Candlestick Park)
A brutal loss for the Giants in the divisional round as they were overwhelmed by San Francisco. Phil Simms passed for just 124 yards and the Giants leading rusher was Rodney Hampton with seven carries for just 12 yards.
Related: More On The 2003 Disaster Game
Jan. 5, 2003 -- 49ers 39, Giants 38 (Candlestick Park)
The Trey Junkin Game. One of the most brutal losses in Giants history, losing the game despite holding a 38-14 lead midway through the third quarter. The 49ers scored 25 unanswered points and a botched snap by the veteran Junkin, just signed that week, cost the Giants a shot at a game-winning field goal.
Question is, what sort of history will be made this time?