Eli’s Giants win the Superbowl

Eli Manning of New York Giants

The New York Giants got the better of the New England Patriots in a Super Bowl for the second time in the space of four years thanks to a nerve-jangling 21-17 victory at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Just as he had done in Arizona in Super Bowl XLII in 2008, quarterback Eli Manning was the hero for the Giants, showing nerves of steel to engineer a game-winning drive late in the fourth quarter under extreme pressure.

He marched the men from the Big Apple 88 yards down the field for Ahmad Bradshaw to go in from six yards out; his score came with 57 seconds remaining, giving the Patriots just enough time to respond.

Tom Brady did complete a fourth down to keep New England’s hopes alive but, with the final play of the game, his heave into the end zone fell incomplete.

“To play against a great team like the Patriots and have a finish like that, one that goes down in history, is a marvellous feeling,” Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said at the presentation ceremony.

“When we got in at half time I said, ‘we can play better than this guys, we’re better than this’ Everybody agreed, we got energised again and then came out with conviction. The rest is history.”

The feeling of a heart-breaking defeat at the death against the Giants is nothing new to Brady and co – in 2008 a miraculous catch by David Tyree had paved the way for the Giants to score a touchdown with 35 seconds to play, gaining them a 17-14 victory that denied their opponents a perfect season.

This time around it was Mario Manningham who came up with the highlight-reel play when his team needed it the most, his stunning sideline grab for 38 yards seeing him beat two defenders to a deep throw over his shoulders.

Although the touchdown left time on the clock there was to be no further twist in the tale, the Giants’ defense standing firm at the death to clinch a fourth Super Bowl triumph and an eighth NFL championship overall.

New England had at one stage led 17-9 after two long touchdown drives either side of the half-time interval.

The Giants had found themselves 9-0 ahead at the end of the first quarter, Brady’s first attempted pass being flagged for intentional grounding to give away a safety before Manning found Victor Cruz with a two-yarder.

However, the Pats’ response was emphatic. After a slow start their offense caught fire in the second quarter, Stephen Gostkowski’s field goal making it 9-3 before Danny Woodhead got on the end of a pass from Brady for a four-yard touchdown.

Tom Brady reflects on his teams defeat

The 96-yard scoring drive tied the Super Bowl record and saw Brady complete 10 straight passes. He was almost perfect the next time he got the ball too, going 79 yards straight after the break to find the end zone again.

A 12-yarder to tight end Aaron Hernandez opened up an eight-point cushion for New England, though that would prove to be their last moment of joy.

A pair of field goals from Lawrence Tynes cut the gap to two and then, with just under four minutes to play, Manning had the ball back in his hands with a chance to become a hero again.

His throw to Manningham, one that stood after being challenged by New England coach Bill Belichick, sparked a drive that ended with Bradshaw being allowed to cruise into the end zone untouched, even if he did at one stage consider stopping at the one-yard line to help eat out the clock.

It did not matter that he had ignored instructions as his almost accidental score proved to be enough, meaning in the house that big brother Peyton had helped build, Eli was crowned king.

He completed 30 of his 40 pass attempts for 296 yards and two touchdowns, statistics that were easily good enough to see the quarterback named Super Bowl MVP for a second time.

Start spreading the news, the Giants of New York are on top of the world again.