New York Giants win Super Bowl XLII
|Super Bowl XLII|
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New York Giants win Super Bowl XLII
New England Patriots attempt to make history as the NFL’s first unbeaten team since 1972 evaporated in 2:59 seconds as the New York Giants rallied to score a late touchdown with 35 seconds left to upset the Patriots 17-14. As a result the Patriots stocks spiraled down pass the Chicago Bears and San Francisco 49ers Championship teams of ‘84’ & ‘85’ respectively since those teams also posted 18-1 records but was deemed as more dominant and also won their last (Super Bowl) game. The New York Giants Super Bowl win also left the ‘72’ Miami Dolphins as the only undefeated team in NFL history.
The Giants deserve a lot of credit for their Super Bowl winning performance as New England was aware of fact that Steve Spagnuolo the Giants defensive coordinator, was going to bring heat on their quarterback Tom Brady but the Patriots still had no answer for the Giants relentless pass rush and disguised blitzes by Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora.
The Giants defense was the X factor in the game as they kept their team within striking distance of the most potent offense in the history of the NFL. Giants coach Tom Coughlin could not have asked for a better script to his team Super Bowl win, as his defense had control of Brady and the New England offense while his offense showed that they can move the ball after their opening drive took over 9 minute off the clock and ended with a three point lead on a field goal.
New England responded well to the Giants opening drive and scored with a 1 yard touchdown run by Laurence Maroney to take a 7-3 lead into half time. At this point of the game New England undefeated run seemed ripe for the picking, and although Bill Belichick and his Patriots were very good at making adjustments during games, it was quite obvious that the Patriots were struggling and having major problems with the physical play of the Giants. However the big question was whether or not, Eli Manning and the Giants could capitalize on their advantage.
As the second half started the Giants defense adjusted further and shut down the run with their run blitzes which put the ball in Tom Brady’s hands as the Giants went for the jugular. After several change of possessions, Giants woke up offensively as Eli Manning threw a perfect 12 yard TD pass to David Tyree to take a 10-7 lead. Although the thought of an upset loomed large there was over 11 minutes left in the game and what was certain is that Tom Brady as he has done so many times in the past would try to bring the Patriots back. This he did as he drove his team down the field and connected with his All Pro receiver Randy Moss in the end zone for a 9 yard TD pass that gave the Patriots a 14-10 lead with under 3 minutes remaining in the game.
The last three minutes was the game in a nutshell as the New York Giants turned in one of the most memorable scoring drives in Super Bowl history. On the drive, the Giants barley converted on a 4th down and 1 with Ahmad Bradshaw on a running-play, and on a 3rd down and 11 yards, Manning hit Steve Smith to the sidelines for a first down and stop the clock in the process. For excitement you can also add Manning being caught twice from behind trying to scramble away from Patriots defenders.
Then came the big play of the game with the ball on their own 43 yard line the Giants was on a 3rd down and 5 yards play when Manning broke free of two Patriots defenders to deliver a 32 yard pass to David Tyree who made a circus type catch in mid air with a Patriot defender draped all over him and held on to the ball. The Tyree reception set up a 17 yard touchdown strike from Manning to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left to give the Giants the 17-14 win.
Brady and the Patriots got the ball back with one last gasp with 33 ticks on the clock, the ball on their own 21 yard line, and with all three of their time outs left. That was to no avail as the Giants defense kept up the pressure and sacked Brady and forced New England to turn the ball over on downs with 1 second left. Eli Manning was voted as the Super Bowl MVP which marked the first time that brothers have won the Super Bowl MVP and also in consecutive NFL seasons.