Stat worth noting: The Giants became the eighth NFL franchise to win three or more Super Bowls.
Stat worth noting II: The Giants defense limited the explosive New England offense to an average of only four yards per play.
Turning point: This Super Bowl classic wasn't over till the very end. Plaxico Burress toasted Ellis Hobbs for the game-winning 13-yard touchdown catch with 35 seconds to play. It looked like the Pats were going to prevail when they took the lead with 2:42 to play, but Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning led his troops down the field 83 yards for the biggest victory he or his mates will ever experience. Burress left a flat-footed Hobbs in his wake, securing Manning's perfect toss in the left side of the end zone.
Play to remember: At the start of the fourth quarter with the Giants offense in dire need of a big play, rookie tight end Kevin Boss stepped up in a big way. Boss ran a waggle pattern to Eli Manning's right, collected the ball and shook off a tackle attempt of Pats safety Rodney Harrison for a 45-yard gain. That set up David Tyree's go-ahead TD catch with 11:05 to play.
Play to forget: Trailing 7-3, the Giants faced a third-and-five from the Pats 14-yard line early in the second quarter. Eli Manning's pass to rookie Steve Smith was right on the money, but Smith was unable to come up with the pass at the Pats 10 and the ball popped right into the hands of New England CB Ellis Hobbs, who returned it 23 yards. While the Pats didn't translate the turnover into points, it cost the Giants at least three points.
By the Numbers
0 – People who picked the Giants to win the Super Bowl before the season
2 – Touchdown passes by Eli Manning in the fourth quarter
9:59 - Length in time of New York's game-opening field goal drive
87.3 – QB rating for Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning, the second time in two games that he finished with a higher rating than Tom Brady
"I'll tell you what, it's the greatest victory in the history of this franchise, without question. I just want to say to all you Giants fans who have supported us for more than 30 years at Giants Stadium, for all these years in Yankee Stadium and some of you even back to the Polo Grounds, this is for you." – Giants owner John Mara
"This is the greatest feeling in professional sports. For us to come out here and win a world championship tonight, nobody gave us a shot. Can somebody give our defense some credit? Those guys were out there playing phenomenal. We just hung in there all game and kept executing, never got down on ourselves. It came down to one play and we made it." – Giants WR Plaxico Burress
"I heard someone say the Giants got a false sense of confidence from the first time we played them. No, we got confident." – Giants DE Michael Strahan
"You don't see me smiling too often on the field, but this is an unbelievable feeling." – Giants RG Chris Snee
"It doesn't feel real at all. I still want to pinch myself in this chair. I felt lost, I felt like Jim Valvano. I didn't know where to go." – Giants TE Kevin Boss
"It's a beautiful thing how everything worked out. Having a one-year deal, coming into the situation I did with the type of players I played with, it's just a beautiful thing how it worked out." – Giants LB Kawika Mitchell
"It is really something that I will never forget, just for the season and everything that has happened up to this point, the positives and the negatives. I think a lot of people didn't want us to win this game. We will come back, don't worry about that, we will come back. It hurts because there is not a next week, so we will look forward to minicamp." – Patriots WR Randy Moss
"I don't know if it's really set in or not. It is what it is, and there's really nothing you can do." – Patriots WR Wes Welker
What went right
Needless to say, holding the mighty Pats offense to only 14 points was the key to this victory. The Giants continually bent but didn't break. The pass rush was incredible, keyed by Justin Tuck and his six tackles, two sacks and forced fumble. Tom Brady felt pressure like he hasn't all season, and, as a result, New England tasted defeat for the first time this year.
Eli Manning was absolutely fantastic in the second half. He led the Giants to two scoring drives, capping both with scoring strikes. His signature play, however, had to be when he escaped a tremendous pass rush and fired a bomb to David Tyree, who made the catch of the year for a 32-yard gain.
The Giants did a great job of keeping Randy Moss in check. Sure Moss caught what looked to be the game-winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter but besides that he only caught four other passes for 56 yards.
Ahmad Bradshaw was able to recover a second-quarter fumble by Eli Manning, who was trying to hand the ball to Bradshaw. The Giants rookie back was able to outfight Pats LB Pierre Woods for the free ball at the Giants 30.
What went wrong
Big Blue wasn't able to get its ground game going as much as they would have liked. Ahmad Bradshaw (45) and Brandon Jacobs (42) combined for only 87 yards on the ground. However, it was obviously enough as the Giants emerged victorious.
The Giants only scored touchdowns on two of their four trips inside the green zone. Yes, we know we're nitpicking here, and no, we're not counting Eli Manning's last-play victorious kneel-down in the equation. They settled for a field goal on their first drive and then lost the ball on an INT in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Giants LB Chase Blackburn didn't get off the field fast enough before a New England punt on a fourth-and-two. Pats coach Bill Belichick wisely challenged the ‘non-call' and had it reversed when video replay showed that Blackburn was still a stride or two away from the sideline when the Pats snapped the ball. The five-yard penalty gave the Pats a first down.
Guys like Jeremy Shockey, Derrick Ward and Mathias Kiwanuka weren't on the field to fully enjoy the win.
Redemption: Giants 17, Patriots 14
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