All Pro Defensive End, NY Football Giants – Super Bowl XXI
George Martin All Pro Defensive End, NY Football Giants – Super Bowl XXI
Martin missed only six games in his 14-year playing career (not counting games not played in because of strikes). He played college football at the University of Oregon in the then Pacific-8 Conference and was drafted by the Giants in the 11th round of the 1975 NFL Draft (262nd pick overall). He was a part of the 1986 Giant Team that won a franchise record 14 games. In January 1987, Martin was one of the team captains for the Super Bowl XXI champions; late in the second quarter, Martin sacked Denver QB John Elway in the end zone for a safety, cutting the Broncos’ lead to 10-9 where it held until halftime. They were the first two of twenty-six consecutive points scored by the Giants in the game
In November 1988, Martin became the NFL’s all-time leader in touchdowns scored by a defensive lineman (DL), with 5, when he returned an interception for 56 yards against the St. Louis Cardinals. (He had previously been tied at 4 with formerDallas Cowboy defensive tackle, Bob Lilly.) In the following championship season, Martin became the league’s career leader in TDs scored by a DL as a DL (at 6) when he returned an interception for 78 yards and 6 points in an early season home game against the same Broncos team they defeated in the Super Bowl, a feat which Giant head coach, Bill Parcells, has called the “greatest football play I’ve ever seen.”
Martin’s 7 NFL TDs came on 3 interception returns, 2 fumble returns/recoveries, one lateral return following a blocked field goal, and one offensive pass reception (in 1980, lining up as a tight). (In November 2006, Miami’s All-Pro defensive end Jason Taylor broke Martin’s career record by notching his 7th defensive touchdown after intercepting a Brad Johnson pass.)
In addition, Martin amassed over 90 quarterback sacks in his Giants career (his official NFL total is 46; the Giants credit him with 96), during which time he was generally regarded as one of the league’s most feared pass rushers. In 2004, he was inducted into the Sports Hall Of Fame of New Jersey. Martin is been a resident of Ringwood, New Jersey.