Super Bowl moment No. 48: Broncos get fooled again by Giants

New York Giants backup QB Jeff Rutledge's (No. 17) special-teams chicanery against the Denver Broncos helped decide Super Bowl XXI.  

Nate Fine/NFL

As we count down to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, it’s time to look back on the magical and memorable moments in the 49 previous Super Bowls. FOX Sports senior NFL writer Alex Marvez has ranked the 50 greatest moments in the big game’s big history, and every weekday from now until Feb. 7 we’ll unveil the latest addition to our countdown. Coming in at No. 48, the Broncos’ special-teams lapse swings the game in the Giants’ favor in Super Bowl XXI.

One would think the Denver Broncos would be prepared for special-teams chicanery after the New York Giants successfully used a fake punt against them during the regular season.


That wasn’t the case and it cost Denver dearly.

Facing a fourth-and-1 near midfield on the opening series of the third quarter, the Giants sent out backup quarterback Jeff Rutledge as part of the punt team. The Giants then shifted their formation and Rutledge stepped under center to run a sneak for a first down.

New York proceeded to drive for a touchdown to take a 16-10 lead and didn’t trail the rest of the game.

Phil Simms set a record by completing 22-of-25 passes, including 10 in a row in the second half. He passed for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

Bill Parcells won the first of two Super Bowls with New York Giants after they defeated the Denver Broncos, 39 -20.  

Watch highlights of Super Bowl XXI here.

Final score: New York 39, Denver 20