by Joe Fortenbaugh
February 05, 02012
INDIANAPOLIS—In a rematch of their thrilling 17-14 Super Bowl win over the New England Patriots in 2008, the New York Giants once again came out victorious after quarterback Eli Manning led another game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter.
When the dust settled at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday night, the Giants had bested the Patriots for the second time this season with an exhilarating 21-17 victory that is sure to go down as one of the top Super Bowl showdowns of all time.
In the words of the great Yogi Berra, “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
Manning—who was named the MVP of Super Bowl XLVI—was brilliant, completing 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown in a game that now gives him two Vince Lombardi Trophies, one more than older brother Peyton has won in his 14 professional seasons.
The game had an eerie feel to it entering the fourth quarter with New England leading 17-15. After throwing an interception to open the quarter, Brady and the Patriots were forced to punt with just under four minutes remaining after a wide-open Wes Welker drop followed by an incomplete pass to Deion Branch put the Giants in position to win the game.
With 3:46 left on the clock and the opportunity to win another Super Bowl staring him right in the eyes, Manning didn’t flinch.
The 31-year-old from Ole Miss completed five of six passes—including a 38-yard shot down the left sideline to Mario Manningham—for 74 yards to put Big Blue in position to win Super Bowl XLVI. Running back Ahmad Bradshaw finished the job with a 6-yard run to put New York in front for good.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady finished the night with 27 completions on 46 attempts for 276 yards and two touchdowns. But the future Hall of Famer took a costly safety on New England’s first offensive play from scrimmage and threw a bad interception early in the fourth quarter that proved to be two critical mistakes in a physical game that left little room for error.
Eli Manning said he was an elite quarterback before the season started. Many of us laughed and criticized the statement.
Looks like Eli—and the rest of his teammates—are the ones laughing now.
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