The rematch of the 2008 Super Bowl did. Not. Disappoint. Much like the game four years ago, Super Bowl XLVI had a heartstopping finish that came down to the very end. This time around, it came down to the final play. But let's back up first.
The game started out rather sloppy for the Patriots, and the Giants were first on the scoreboard when Tom Brady was called for intentional grounding while throwing from the endzone, meaning a safety was called. New York went up 2-0 and added to their lead later in the first with a touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz.
The Pats finally got on the scoreboard with just over 13 minutes in the 2nd quarter with a field goal. The two teams held fast for the most part of the quarter, and New England took control of the ball on the four yard line with just over four minutes in the first half. Tom Brady and company then put together a 14-play, 96 yard drive and scored the go-ahead touchdown with eight ticks remaining. Patriots led 10-9 at half.
The Patriots struck first in the 2nd half on their first possession with an 8-play, 79 yard drive for a touchdown and looked to be in good position to take control of the game. They led 17-9 and were rolling, with Tom Brady completing 16 straight passes from the late second quarter to early third.
The Giants didn't quit. Eli Manning and the G-Men put together a drive on the ensuing possession and got a field goal out of it to cut the lead to 17-12. The defense held the Patriots to a three and out and again, the Giants took the ball down the field and put a field goal through the uprights. 17-15. Fourth Quarter. I'll just skip to the good part.
After forcing a Patriots punt with 3:53 to go, the Giants took the ball and on their first play, Eli Manning threw a bomb down the left sideline to Mario Manningham for a brilliant reception for 38 yards that was reminiscent of David Tyree's Immaculate Reception from four years ago. That put the Giants at the 50 and they did what they needed to do to get within the 10 with just under a minute to go. At that point, the Patriots let them score a touchdown in order to get the ball back with time to go down the field. Weird.
The Patriots put together a great effort on their final drive but came up short as the hail-mary to the endzone fell to the turf, making the Giants the Super Bowl XLVI champions. I have to go change my shorts.
Eli Manning MVP.
For more on the Patriots and their Super Bowl run, check out SB Nation's Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit as well as SB Nation Boston. For more on the Giants and their Super Bowl appearance, visit Giants blog Big Blue View and SB Nation New York. For all news and information regarding Super Bowl XLVI, please stay tuned to SB Nation's dedicated Super Bowl hub.