The 1986 New York Giants season was one of the most successful seasons in the professional football franchise's history. The Giants, who play in the National Football Conference (NFC) of the National Football League (NFL), won their fifth championship—and first Super Bowl—in franchise history during the season. Led by consensus league Most Valuable Player (MVP) linebacker Lawrence Taylor and Super Bowl MVP quarterback Phil Simms, the Giants posted a 14–2 record during the regular season, tied for the best record in the league with the defending Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears and the best in team history. The Giants improved on their 10–6 record from 1985, won their first division championship since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, and won Super Bowl XXI against the Denver Broncos.
In the playoffs the Giants, who were the top seed in the conference ahead of the Bears, defeated the San Francisco 49ers for the second consecutive year in the playoffs by a score of 49–3. They then disposed of their division rivals, the Washington Redskins, in the NFC Championship Game 17–0. In the Super Bowl, behind Simms' 88% pass completion percentage and their strong defense, the Giants overcame a 10–9 halftime deficit and scored thirty second half points while allowing only ten more and defeated the Broncos 39–20.
After making the playoffs in 1984 and 1985, the Giants entered the 1986 season as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. They began the season with 31–28 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, before winning five consecutive games. After losing 17–12 to the Seattle Seahawks in week seven, the Giants won their final nine regular season games. Following the regular season, coach Bill Parcells won the NFL Coach of the Year Award, and eight Giants were named to the Pro Bowl. The Giants' defense, nicknamed the Big Blue Wrecking Crew, finished second in the league in points and yards allowed.
The 1986 Giants had been ranked as one of the greatest NFL teams of all time by fans, and members of the media. It was this Giants team that popularized the practice of the "Gatorade shower", which entailed the players dousing members of the coaching staff with Gatorade near the end of a victorious game.