On Sunday, February 5th, the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots at Super Bowl XLVI (46) in Indianapolis, Indiana by a score of 21-17. This victory was reminiscent of their Super Bowl win against Tom Brady and his team in Super Bowl XLIII (43) in 2006. The play that led to the Giants winning that Super Bowl was when New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was under pressure by the New England defense and eluded the rush. Manning threw the ball up to wide receiver David Tyree who made a dramatic catch on third down and five yards to go with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter. He went up in the air fully extended to catch the ball against his helmet and came down with possession of the football securing the ball with his other hand. This led to the Giants touchdown from Manning to wide receiver Plaxico Buress to seal the win. It is important to note that, the Manning to Tyree pass was voted the greatest play in Super Bowl history by ESPN. Here is the clip of that play.
Back to Indianapolis, the Giants came into this game well prepared. It was evident from the start of the game. The Giants defense forced a safety on Tom Brady and his offense on the first play of their opening possession. For those who are not familiar with the term safety. A safety can occur in a few instances but in this particular situation, Tom Brady was in his end zone when he threw the ball with no receiver in the area, therefore intentional grounding in the end zone was called and the Giants struck the scoreboard first gaining two points off the safety. The Giants then got the ball back and marched down the field. A big play that went in the favour of the Giants was a catch by wide receiver Victor Cruz who had the ball stripped away by the Patriots defense. It would have the Patriots ball but the defense had 12 men on the field and got penalised thus allowing the Giants drive to continue in the red zone. A few plays later, Giants quarterback Eli Manning connected with Cruz for a two yard touchdown pass bringing the score to 9-0.
The Patriots did not score in the first quarter. Their first points was a field goal by 29 yard field goal by their kicker Stephen Gostkowski. The Giants put together a few good drives in the second quarter but they did not manage to put any points on the board. Just before half time, Tom Brady and his offense put together a good drive and Patriot running back Danny Woodhead caught a four yard pass from Brady, giving the Patriots a one point lead at the half.
I'm sure everyone is well aware of the Super Bowl half time show featuring Madonna, LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, M.I.A and Cee Lo Green. I won't go in that but I will say that M.I.A flipping of her middle figure has caused some tensions with the NBC network and the NFL. It will be interesting to see how this pans out, both sides have offered apologies but the singer has not.
On the opening play of the second half, Brady connected with his rambunctious wide receiver Chad Ochocinco. Ochocinco has had a quiet season compared to his past seasons when he was a Cincinnati Bengal. The drive culminated with a 12 yard touchdown pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez. At this point, the Patriots had scored 17 unanswered points. The Giants would reply with scoring 6 points off two field goals by their kicker Lawrence Tynes.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady eluded the Giants defense and threw to his go to tight end Ron Gronkowski but was picked off by Giants middle linebacker Chase Blackburn on the 8 yard line. Gronkowski came into the game playing a less than limited role than he normally would have due to an ankle injury he was nursing. If he was 100% healthy, that catch should have been made. Both teams put together good drives throughout the fourth quarter but fell victim to not so happy results. Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker had a crucial third down pass go through his hands which would have continued the Patriots drive late in the fourth. Eli Manning and his offense went to work creating a nine play, 88 yard drive resulting in a 6 yard touchdown run from running back Ahmad Bradshaw with less than a minute to go. Brady is known for his consistency in the fourth quarter. Brady went to work with 57 seconds left on the clock, on first and second down of the final drive, passes to his receivers were incomplete. On third down, he was sacked by the Giants defense. On 4th and 16, he was able to find his wide receiver Deion Branch and convert it for a new set of downs. The game would come to an end, on a fourth down hail mary play. Brady flung the ball into the end zone but it was batted down resulting in the Giants winning Super Bowl 46.
Eli Manning won the Most Valuable Player award. This is second MVP award, and I believe this has sealed his reputation as an elite quarterback.