Eli Manning and the New York Giants are Super Bowl Champions once more. Eli Manning connected with Mario Manningham on a 38 yard strike that sparked another fourth quarter comeback drive for the Giants against the New England Patriots. Trailing 17-15 late in the fourth quarter, Manning engineered a drive that took the Giants inside the Patriots five yard line, before the drive was capped off by a touchdown run by Ahmad Bradshaw.
Eli Manning collected his second Super Bowl MVP trophy after going 30-40 for 296 yards and a touchdown pass. Manning also set a Super Bowl record completing all nine of his passes to start the game. In a losing effort, Patriots Quaterback Tom Brady completed 16 passes in a row at one point, breaking Joe Montana’s record for most consecutive completions in a Super Bowl. Brady engineered a drive at the end of the first half where he went 10-10 for 98 yards and a touchdown that gave the Patriots a 10-9 lead at halftime.
The Giants jumped out to an early 9-0 lead on the Patriots following an intentional grounding penalty that resulted in a safety and an early 2-0 lead. Later in that quarter, Eli Manning found New Jersey native Victor Cruz for a five yard touchdown reception which increased the Giants lead to 9-0. The Patriots added a field goal early in the second quarter to cut the Giants lead to 9-3. That score held until Brady orchestrated his 10-10 drive capped off by a touchdown pass to former Jet Danny Woodhead and provided the 10-9 halftime margin.
The beginning of the second half featured more Tom Brady and the Patriot’s offense. Brady lead a second consecutive touchdown drive that ended with a 12-yard touchdown reception by tight end Aaron Hernandez. Hernandez saw an increased role in the offense due to a limited Rob Gronkowski, who was the Patriots leading receiver in both yards and touchdowns during the regular season. The second touchdown drive left the Giants trailing 17-9.
Eli Manning continued to stay patient in leading the Giants to two field goals to pull the Giants within two points of the Patriots at 17-15. The Giants vaunted pass rush struggled to get to Tom Brady early in the game, however they were able to breakthrough in the second half and get pressure on Tom Brady and getting two huge stops that allowed the Giants back into the game. Justin Tuck, who finished the night with 3.0 tackles and 2.0 sacks led the Giants on defense. Chase Blackburn also intercepted Tom Brady on a huge play down near the Giants end zone. Blackburn had been a school teacher through November after retiring from football before the Giants signed him late in the season.
The two weeks leading up to Super Bowl 46 featured many comparisons to Super Bowl 42 where Eli Manning threw a pass that stuck to David Tyree’s helmet that helped propel the Giants to a stunning victory over the previously unbeaten Patriots and ruin the Patriots bid at a perfect season. Super Bowl 46 once again came down to Eli Manning making a big pass play that led to a final Touchdown drive and the New York Giants fourth Super Bowl victory as a franchise. The Super Bowl victory was the second for the coach/quarterback combination of Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning.
Outstanding performances were turned in by both quarterbacks as well as Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks, who caught ten passes for 109 yards to lead the way for all receivers. The New York Giants were able to capitalize on a Tom Brady intentional grounding, interception, and several dropped passes by Patriots receivers. The Giants also benefitted from a bit of good fortune as four Giant fumbles were all recovered again by the Giants and avoided turnovers to the Patriots.
Super Bowl Spectacle: The incredible football game is of course only part of the spectacle that is the Super Bowl. Madonna performed along with appearances by C Lo Green, LMFAO, MIA, and Nicki Minaj. The performance featured a small trip and recovery from Madonna in a set list that included Vogue, Like a Prayer, and Hey Mr. DJ. Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert performed America the Beautiful and Kelly Clarkson performed the National anthem for the big stage.
Highly anticipated Super Bowl commercials proved entertaining. Early Twitter and Facebook feedback had M&M’s, Seinfeld, Ferris Bueller, and Doritos as most well received commercials.