Winning the Super Bowl assures the New York Giants of a quarterback controversy next season, no doubt about it.
Who does Bill Parcells play?
Does Phil Simms get the job back or did Jeff Hostetler take over the starting job by leading the Giants to a 20-19 Super Bowl victory over the Bills?
For now, Parcells is avoiding the question with a pat answer: The one who plays better in training camp will be his quarterback.
Hostetler doesn’t even want to touch the question. His thoughts Sunday were on a remarkable season and a 20-of-32 passing performance that helped New York to its second NFL title in five years.
“Everybody wrote us off and we kept fighting away,” said Hostetler, the seven-year veteran who didn’t take a snap in his first four years in the league. “We stayed together and hung together. This is just a great win for us. I’ve heard so many guys say that I’d never be able to do it, and, thank God, it’s done and nobody can take it away.”
What Hostetler accomplished has to be in the miracle category.
He took over after Simms seriously sprained his right foot against the Bills on Dec. 15 and played flawlessly the rest of the season in leading the Giants to five straight wins, including playoff victories over Chicago, San Francisco and now Buffalo.
During that time, Hostetler, who had started just two games entering the season, did not throw an interception or turn the ball over. He was 45 of 76 for 510 yards and three TDs in the playoffs.
Not spectacular numbers, for sure. But in the Giants’ low-risk, don’t-make-an-error offense, perfect.
“In the last month we’ve had a chance to experiment with what he can do and we put some things in the offense,” Parcells said. “He was magnificent on those bootlegs.”
Hostetler did have some problems in the opening half of the Super Bowl, most of it caused by the Bills and a big rush which nailed him a couple of times--once for a safety.
“They knocked him around a little, but he’s a competitor,” Parcells said.
Hostetler still had a splitting headache after the game and said there was a point in the first half where he had trouble focusing. He overcame it and led New York on three masterful ball-control drives.
In winning, Hostetler becomes the first backup quarterback to start the Super Bowl and win.