New York quarterback Eli Manning sailed a lob pass to the left side of the end zone, where receiver Plaxico Burress hauled it in for a 13-yard touchdown, resulting in a 17-14 lead with 35 seconds remaining. The Giants converted two third downs and a fourth down on their 12-play, 83-yard drive.
Stat of the day
The Giants were the third-biggest underdog (12 points) to win a Super Bowl. The New York Jets were 17-point underdogs to the Baltimore Colts going into Super Bowl III and won 16-7. The St. Louis Rams were a 14-point favorite over New England before Super Bowl XXXVI, but the Patriots won 20-17.
It got lost amid all of the fourth-quarter heroics, but what New York did the very first time it had the ball should not be underestimated. The Giants took the opening kickoff and bled nine minutes, 59 seconds off the clock in marching 63 yards in 16 plays to a field goal, setting the tempo and building confidence. It was the most time-consuming drive in Super Bowl history.
New England might not have been in such a desperate position in the final seconds had it gotten a 49-yard field goal from Stephen Gostkowski midway through the third quarter. But Gostkowski never got a chance to kick it, as coach Bill Belichick — with his team leading 7-3 at the time — opted to go for it on fourth-and-13 at the 31, and Tom Brady’s pass was incomplete.
Did you see that
As the Giants threw a Hail Mary pass into the end zone on the final play of the first half, one of the Patriots’ safeties was star wide receiver Randy Moss. The 6-foot-4 Moss helped defend the play, which resulted in an incompletion. The New England receiver most notable for playing both ways, 15th-year veteran Troy Brown, was inactive for the game.
"I think we made this too close. We were in the red zone three times in the beginning. We dominated the whole game. I don’t care what they say. They were holding on and expecting us to crack. They beat us (in the regular season) because we cracked, and this time, the Giants came through. We are a tough team in a tough city, and that’s what we represent." — Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer