New York Giants Thanksgiving Flashback: The Time LT Carried The Giants To A Win

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Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your day with family or friends, delicious food, and some great football. The New York Giants are not playing this year, so this article will take a look back at one of the Giants’ previous matchups on Thanksgiving from 1982.

Giants fans do not have much about their team to be thankful for this year. The Giants are 2-9 and looking at their third straight season with a top ten pick in the draft. Things may be bleak for the Gmen right now, but Giants fans must always remember that this is a proud, historically excellent football team. We can all be thankful for the Giants’ past Super Bowl victories and legendary players. Let’s be honest; the Giants’ history is like 90% of the reason we even support them at this point.

So let’s look back at one particular legend to be thankful for- Lawrence Taylor. Let’s flashback to 1982 when Lawrence Taylor single-handedly beat the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. This is undoubtedly the most legendary Thanksgiving Day moment in the history of the New York Giants.

Lawrence Taylor Unable To Start Or Play In The First Half

In the Giants’ 1982 Thanksgiving matchup with the Lions, Lawrence Taylor was unable to start. The TV broadcasters were under the impression that Taylor would be unable to play in the game at all. The 0-3 New York Giants desperately needed a win, and without Taylor, that would be an immensely difficult task.

Taylor sat the entire first quarter before coming into the game in the second quarter. When asked why he did not start, Taylor said, “I didn’t start because I had a knee injury the week before. I was [ticked off] at Bill [Parcells], it was Thanksgiving, national TV, so on and so forth.”

However, Lawrence did come into the game late in the second quarter. But it was LT’s dominant second half that makes this game such a legendary moment.

The Third Quarter

The Detroit Lions had a 6-0 lead at the start of the third quarter. Detroit had the ball on the first drive of the second half. Lions’ quarterback Gary Danielson dropped back to pass on this drive unknowing of the havoc Lawrence Taylor was about to wreak. Taylor put a vicious bull-rush on the Lions’ left tackle, pressuring Danielson into an ill-advised throw that ended up being intercepted by Harry Carson, LT’s Hall of Fame teammate.

The Giants’ offense had the ball in good field position after this turnover but was unable to do much with their possession. They barely moved the ball and settled for a field goal to make the score 6-3 in favor of Detroit. Lawrence Taylor caused the interception that led to the Giants’ field goal.

Detroit was now aware that LT was on the field and was still dominant despite his knee injury. In an attempt to limit Taylor’s impact on the game and keep him from abusing their quarterback any further, the Lions went for a run-first approach on their next possession.

Danielson handed the ball off to the Lions’ star running back Billy Sims. Sims took the handoff up the middle, thinking he was out of harm’s way. The Lions’ attempt to take Lawrence Taylor out of the game failed miserably. Rather than blindsiding the quarterback, LT set the edge and blindsided Sims on his rushing attempt, forcing a fumble recovered by the Giants.

The Giants’ offense was once again unable to find the end zone. LT’s second forced turnover of the game was enough for New York to set up for another field goal and tie the game 6-6.

Lawrence Taylor’s third-quarter dominance was not over, however. He ruined Detroit’s ensuing possession with an iconic one-handed sack. I’m sure everyone has seen this clip, as this is one of the most athletic and impressive sacks ever.

The Giants missed the field goal on their next possession, and the game was tied 6-6 heading into the 4th quarter.

The Fourth Quarter

The Detroit Lions put together a solid drive in the fourth quarter. They moved the ball down to the four yard-line. On third and goal, the Giants’ defense needed a stop, and once again, Lawrence Taylor delivered.

Taylor’s responsibility was to cover the running back, leaking out of the backfield. Lions’ quarterback Danielson attempted to throw to the running back at the goal line, but Lawrence Taylor jumped the route, intercepted the pass, and took it all the way back for a 97-yard pick-six.

That was the third turnover forced by Lawrence Taylor and the game-winning touchdown. The Giants won the game 13-6, all thanks to Lawrence Taylor.

Recap Lawrence Taylor’s Legendary Performance

The Giants would not have won this game without Lawrence Taylor. Taylor forced three turnovers with a quarterback hit, leading to an interception, a forced fumble, and a 97-yard pick-six. Those turnovers led to all 13 of the Giants’ points on the day.

It does not happen very often, but Lawrence Taylor single-handedly beat the Lions on Thanksgiving in 1982. LT truly is the greatest defensive player ever to play the game of football, and this game is a prime example of his insane abilities and impact for the Giants’ defense in the 1980s.