The New York Giants have defeated the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl that many will want to forget. The 21-17 scoreline is perhaps more indicative of poor defensive efforts from both teams than any real initiative on the part of the offense.
The Giants took the lead early in the first quarter with a safety on Patriots QB Tom Brady. In the following drive Giants QB Eli Manning found superstar wide receiver Victor Cruz for the first touchdown of the game. The Patriots struggled to find their form in the first half as the Giants defense put pressure on Brady forcing him out of the pocket. This said, there Brady set Super Bowl records last night with consecutive pass completetions. With a field goal behind them and only a few minutes left till half time Brady led the Patriots down the field and hit Woodhead in the endzone for a 4 yard TD. Manning opted to take a knee after the kickoff and brought the half to a close. 10-9 Patriots.
The Patriots hit their stride in the third quarter. Tight end Aaron Hernandez caught a 14 yard pass from Brady and walked into the endzone to bring their lead to two scores. The Giants were unable to convert on a number of crucial third down situations and Manning, stuff whose third down record has been decent throughout the post-season, looked frustrated. Laurence Tynes added two field goals to the Giants’ tally bringing the G-Men to within a field goal of taking the league. 17-15 Patriots.
Things went from bad to worse for both teams in the fourth quarter as Brady’s receivers seemed unable to hold on to passes. An interception and a phenomenal pass to Mario Manningham led the Giants to midfield. With just over a minute left Ahmad Bradshaw strolled into the endzone to give the Giants the lead.
This was it, Tom Brady with 57 seconds and one timeout to win the game. Giants’ pressure kept him on the move and a costly pass to the middle left less than 30 seconds on the clock. In the final play Brady threw it up to avoid the sack but the Giants’ defence held strong and they emerged victorious.
The victory is perhaps most sweet for Eli Manning who compared himself to Tom Brady in the pre-season – something which caused laughs throughout the league as Eli was coming off record low season. However Manning has certainly given the critics something to talk about as he wins his second Super Bowl. While Peyton Manning, Eli’s Brother, is lauded as one of the best QBs in the NFL he has only one Super Bowl ring to his name.