Manning never lost faith in his team

Manning celebrates with team mate Justin Tuck

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning insisted he never lost faith as his team came from behind to earn a last-minute 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.

The Patriots overcame an early deficit to storm back to lead 17-9 early in the second half.

New York though fought back to within two points as it went to the wire, though, and the defining moment came in bizarre circumstances as Ahmad Bradshaw accidentally strolled in with just over a minute remaining.

“I’m proud of our team, we stayed positive, we were moving the ball well but we just couldn’t get touchdowns,” said Manning.

The Giants limited one of the NFL’s top offences to 349 yards and Brady to 276 yards passing.

“He (Brady) was just going to dink and dunk and short pass, we knew that,” said defensive end Osi Umenyiora.

“We knew they were going to get those passes off but at the end of the day, we knew if we stood together and stayed strong we were going to come out with a victory.

“I think our coverage made him hold the ball a little bit longer, and we feel very confident up front that if we get a little extra time, we are going to be able to get to anybody.”

Umenyiora added: “I knew as soon as we beat Atlanta (in the play-off opener), I was like, ‘man, we’re going to win the Super Bowl,’ but I kept it to myself.

“I knew it was going to happen. When things happen like that, there’s just no stopping it. There was no way we weren’t going to win.”

Mario Manningham, who hauled in a brilliant 38-yard pass close to the sideline during the game-winning drive,

“I knew I was in, I knew I had a little bit of room to work on the sidelines and I knew I was going to have to freeze my feet when the ball touched my fingertips,” he said.

“I just froze my feet and fell, wherever I caught the ball at.”

In the celebrations that followed, Manningham’s grab was quickly compared to David Tyree’s grab four years ago when he pinned the ball to his helmet with one hand on the final drive that helped New York to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots.

“It was a different catch, it was just a catch,” said Manningham told reporters. “I didn’t catch it like this or catch it like that. I didn’t catch it against my head.

“It was just a catch. We work on that all the time, sideline catches. We work on our feet all the time.”