Seven years ago on this day, the New York Giants upset the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium. It was the second time in four years that the Giants had accomplished that remarkable feat.
While these Patriots weren’t chasing perfection, as they had in 2007, they still held the best record in the AFC, finishing the regular season at 13-3. The Giants won the NFC East, but with a record of just 9-7, many wrote them off.
The Giants set the tone early in the game when they forced an intentional grounding penalty by Tom Brady in the end zone for a safety and a 2-0 lead.
On the very next drive, Eli Manning found Victor Cruz for a two-yard touchdown pass to make it 9-0. But the Patriots fought back, and in the second quarter, a 29-yard Stephen Gostkowski field goal made it 9-3.
Later, still down 9-3 with 15 seconds left in the half, Tom Brady threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead, which gave them a 10-9 lead going into halftime.
The Patriots came out hot right out of the gates in the second half, scoring on their first possession. Brady threw his second touchdown of the game, this one to tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Both offenses stalled after that, but the Giants would convert two Lawrence Tynes field goal attempts, one from 38 yards and the other from 33 yards, to bring the score to 17-15 entering the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Patriots had their chances to put the game out of reach. Brady attempted to throw deep to Rob Gronkowski but was intercepted by Chase Blackburn.
On a second-down play late in the game, Brady’s pass to a wide-open Wes Welker was incomplete. Had Welker caught the ball, it would have been a first down and more time would have been chewed up, lessening the Giants’ chances of a comeback. Instead, the Patriots drive stalled and they were forced to punt.
The Giants opened up what would be their final drive with a spectacular 38-yard catch on the sideline by Mario Manningham. Manning would construct a very efficient drive, completing five of his six pass attempts for 74 yards.
With 1:04 left to play, the Patriots let running back Ahmad Bradshaw score, in hopes that they could construct a drive of their own, but Big Blue held their own, batted down one final hail mary and won Super Bowl XLVI, 21-17.
Manning, who went 30-for-40 with 296 yards and a touchdown, was named the Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career.