Countdown of the 20 Greatest Super Bowl’s: #7 Super Bowl XLVI
#7 Super Bowl XLVI: New York Giants vs. New England Patriots
New York Giants – 21
New England Patriots – 17
Lucas Oil Stadium
February 5, 2012
MVP: Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
Key Play: With four minutes left in the game, Wes Welker dropped a pass from Tom Brady that ultimately led to the Patriots having to punt the ball back to the Giants, giving the Giants the opportunity for their game winning drive.
Last year’s Super Bowl and #7 on our 20 Greatest Super Bowl’s Countdown featured a rematch between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. It was just four years earlier at Super Bowl XLII that Eli Manning and the Giants stunned the football world by ending the Patriots perfect season and winning the Super Bowl. On February 5, 2012 NBC broke the record for the most watched television program in history with 111.3 million US viewers. Those 111.3 million viewers were not disappointed.
The rematch may not have been quite as suspenseful as their first Super Bowl match up, but Super Bowl XLVI had it’s own share of suspense. The Giants seemed to stun Tom Brady and the Patriots by going up 9-0 after a safety and Manning’s two yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz. However, the Patriots would quickly battle back before halftime going up 10-9.
The Patriots kep the momentum going into the second half with a 79-yard touchdown drive capped off by a Brady 12-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez. On the Giants next two drives, Lawrence Tynes kicked back-to-back field goals to make the game 17-15 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
The game stayed at 17-15 with just four minutes left, when Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker dropped a key second down pass from Tom Brady that would have given the Patriots the first down and allowed to them to continue to run the clock down. Instead, the Patriots failed to convert on third down and the Giants got the ball back with 3:46 left in the game and one timeout.
On the Giants first play of the drive, Manning completed a 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham. The Giants would then get down to the Patriots 18-yard line by the two minute warning.
With just over a minute remaining in the game and the Giants down 17-15, the Patriots let Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw run into the end zone freely so they would have more time for a comeback attempt. Bradshaw seemed to realize this a moment too late as he tried to stop just short of the goal line to keep the clock running, but his momentum carried him into the end zone.
After the Giants failed on the two point conversion, Tom Brady and the Patriots had 57 seconds to drive down the field and try to overcome the 21-17 deficit. Super Bowl XLVI came down to a final hail mary pass from Tom Brady that was knocked down by Giants defenders in the end zone as time expired. The New York Giants had once again defeated the New England Patriots in the final seconds of the Super Bowl.
Super Bowl XLVI will go down as one of the greatest games in Super Bowl history. The game was one of the most compelling on field performances in Super Bowl history and it had plenty of drama resulting from the Giants and Patriots previous Super Bowl match up.