Of the New York Giants’ top five rushing performances in franchise history, Tiki Barber is responsible for three of them. It’s no accident Barber is the franchise’s record holder for career rushing yards with 10,449. And while his place atop the list of greatest Giants running backs may be up for debate, his five career 200-yard games certainly give him the edge.
For most of the franchise’s history, the Giants have employed an outstanding rushing attack that has often ranked among the league’s best. Unforgettable games have been had by Giants running backs for the duration of their 90-year existence, and more are very likely to be had in the coming years.
Here is a remembrance of the team’s top five rushing performances in franchise history:
5. Tiki Barber for 206 yards vs. Washington Redskins, Oct. 30, 2005
In a 36-0 rout of the Redskins, the Giants’ star running back put the team on his shoulders—quite literally—racking up a 206-yard outing on just 24 carries with one touchdown.
The big game came just days after the death of owner Wellington Mara. Following his lone touchdown of the afternoon, Barber took the ball to the sideline and handed it over to Mara’s grandson, Tim McDonnell.
Barber sliced and diced the Redskins at will, including a game-high 57-yard run that set up one of Jay Feely’s five field goals. At the time, the performance was the best of Barber’s career and the second best in franchise history. But the former second-round pick was only getting started as the season heated up.
4. Derrick Ward for 215 yards vs. Carolina Panthers, Dec. 21, 2008
In a pivotal matchup for homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs, the defending Super Bowl champs’ hopes were ignited by a 215-yard game from Derrick Ward—one of three threats in the New York backfield. Ward’s big game gave the Giants a 34-28 win during which he averaged a franchise record 14.3 yards per carry.
Jacobs took the brunt of the carries in the red-zone, scoring three touchdowns, but it was Ward who did most of the heavy lifting with three runs for over 10 yards on the game-clinching drive, including a 51 yarder.
The victory snapped a two-game slide that had been sparked by the Plaxico Burress incident when he shot himself in his own leg at a New York nightclub.
3. Gene Roberts for 218 yards vs. Chicago Cardinals, Nov. 12, 1950
The only performance to not happen in the last 10 years, Gene Roberts delivered a brutal blow to the Cardinals in a 51-21 thrashing.
Roberts racked up 218 yards over 26 carries with two touchdowns en route to a playoff meeting with the Cleveland Browns (as both teams were tied at 10-2 in the American Conference) to decide who would go to the 1950 NFL Championship. The Giants fell to the Browns, and Roberts would never play football again.
2. Tiki Barber for 220 yards vs. Kansas City Chiefs, Dec. 17, 2005
Barber’s previous 200-yard performance must have lit a fire under him, but he was far from finished, as the Chiefs soon learned.
With the offensive line in shambles, Barber did work anyway, racking up 220 yards over 29 carries with two touchdowns. The outing helped lift the Giants to a 27-17 win and a 10-4 record atop the NFC East.
He had runs of 41 and 55 yards, and extended his 100-yard game to five for the season.
1. Tiki Barber for 234 vs. Washington Redskins, Dec. 30, 2006
Having pummeled the Redskins the year before (see above), Barber wanted to give the division-rival Redskins a nice sendoff into the New Year. He did so by rushing 23 times for 234 yards and three touchdowns.
Barber had rushes of 50 and 55 yards which helped lead the G-Men to a major 34-28 victory and catapulted them into the playoffs for the second consecutive season. It was the first time the Giants had made back-to-back playoff appearances since the 1989-90 seasons.
With the performance, Barber capped off his franchise record-setting season with 1,860 yards. He also led the league with 2,390 yards from scrimmage and fumbles just once—the fewest total of his career.