N.Y. Giants 21, New England 17
When: 6:30 PM ET, Sunday, February 5, 2012
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
Four years later, Eli Manning again got the best of Tom Brady on the NFL's biggest stage.
Manning drove the Giants 88 yards on nine plays, capped by Ahmad Bradshaw's 6-yard scoring run with 57 seconds to play, and the New York Giants squeaked out a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday night in Indianapolis.
In a setting eerily familiar from their Super Bowl matchup in 2008, when Manning threw the winning touchdown pass with 35 seconds to play, the Giants used a dramatic late drive to capture the fourth Super Bowl championship in franchise history.
Manning earned his second Super Bowl MVP and won his third straight head-to-head matchup with Brady, including a 24-20 victory in Week 9 that snapped New England's streak of 20 consecutive regular-season home victories.
The Patriots (15-4) had won 10 straight games since that loss, but again came up short against the Giants in their bid for a fourth Super Bowl title in 11 seasons.
With the Giants boxed in at their own 12-yard line with 3:46 to play, Manning and Mario Manningham connected on a spectacular 38-yard pass to midfield to set up the winning touchdown after New England's Wes Welker was unable to haul in a pass on the previous possesion.
It evoked memories of Manning's amazing pass to David Tyree in Super Bowl XLII that helped end New England's bid for a perfect 19-0 season.
The Patriots made a strategic decision to let Bradshaw score and preserve 57 seconds to give Brady a chance to produce another Super Bowl-winning drive.
Instead, Brady watched wideout Deion Branch and tight Aaron Hernandez drop passes before he was sacked by Justin Tuck on third down.
The two-time Super Bowl MVP kept New England's hopes flicking by hitting Branch for 19 yards on fourth-and-16, but his Hail Mary pass in the end zone was batted down.
Manning completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and one touchdown. Brady finished 27 of 41 for 276 yards with two TDs and one interception - the only turnover of the game.
New York (13-7) needed to win its final two games just to get in the postseason and extended its winning streak to six games.
The Giants scored the final 12 points of the game after the Patriots had ripped off 17 unanswered points to take a 17-9 lead on their first possession of the third quarter.
At one point, Brady completed 16 consecutive passes to snap the Super Bowl record of 13 held by Joe Montana with the San Francisco 49ers.
New York slowly chipped away at the lead, getting a pair of third-quarter field goals by Lawrence Tynes, of 38 and 33 yards, to pull within 17-15 entering the final 15 minutes.
The Giants' defense also imposed its will, holding Brady to 7 of 18 after he connected on 20 of his first 23 attempts.
The Patriots tied a Super Bowl record for the longest scoring drive, moving 96 yards on 14 plays to take a 10-9 lead into halftime.
Brady capped the lengthy march with a 4-yard toss to Danny Woodhead with only eight seconds left in the half as New England erased an early 9-0 deficit.
The Giants had the better of the play for much of the opening half, holding the ball for nearly 20 minutes.
The Patriots fell behind on their very first offensive play when Brady was called for intentional grounding from his own end zone when he threw deep downfield with Tuck bearing down on him.
It marked the first safety since Super Bowl XXV, when Giants quarterback Jeff Hostetler was sacked by Bruce Smith of the Buffalo Bills.
Manning drove the Giants 78 yards in nine plays on the subsequent possession, finishing the drive with a 2-yard scoring pass to Victor Cruz, who celebrated with his signature salsa dance.
The Patriots got on the board 72 seconds into the second quarter on a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski.
New England then went ahead behind a surgical performance by Brady, who completed all 10 passes for 98 yards on the record-tying drive.
Brady was 15 of 18 for 147 yards and a score while Manning went 13 of 17 for 120 yards and a TD in the first 30 minutes.
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