By Geoffrey Morton – Big Blue United 7.10.14
Mark Ingram Sr. was drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft by the Giants, but in his six seasons with the team he enjoyed only limited success as a wide receiver. However, when he did step up and make an impact it was on the game’s biggest stage when his efforts were needed the most. Midway through the third quarter of Super Bowl XXV, the Giants faced a 12-10 deficit against the Bills and were looking to put points on the board before the game got away from them. On a crucial 3rd-and-13, Jeff Hostetler put the ball in Ingram’s hands and what happened next shocked the nation.
When Mark Ingram caught the ball, he was still almost 10 yards short of the first down, a first down the Giants sorely needed. Ingram quickly dodged a lunging cornerback and headed downfield, only to be wrapped up by a Bills linebacker. Or so everyone thought. The linebacker had the shifty receiver in his grasp only for the briefest of moments before Ingram pulled away and kept moving.
Ingram, now getting close to the first down marker, cut to the right and then immediately spun back to the left to evade two more would-be tacklers until finally a Buffalo player latched onto his foot. However, all the defender could do was hold on as Ingram hopped forward and fell across the first down line with Bills swarming him. In total, Mark Ingram had broken four tackles and fought a fifth long enough to gain a new set of downs for the Giants.
Mark Ingram’s jaw-dropping conversion on 3rd-and-13 led to a Giants touchdown which made the score 17-12 in Big Blue’s favor. Buffalo managed to regain the lead one more time, but ultimately the Bills fell short due to Scott Norwood’s infamous “wide right” field goal attempt. In the only Super Bowl to date to be decided by one point, Mark Ingram’s incredible effort made all the difference. Though his success in New York was fleeting, he has still solidified a place in Giants history with his superhuman effort on that crucial 3rd-and-13.