We didn't know if we'd even have a football season this year as the NFL lockout dominated the offseason a little under a year ago. Today, the lockout is a distant thought as the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI by a final score of 21-17.
This wasn't the best possible showing these two teams could have put on, perhaps because Rob Gronkowski wasn't much of a factor and we did not have more touchdowns scored early on in the game. Both teams played competitive and kept it close in the fourth quarter though, and that always makes it possible for there to be an entertaining finish.
The Patriots had a two-point lead late in the fourth quarter, and the Giants had already burned two timeouts. That is when star receiver Wes Welker had a misconnection with Tom Brady on a play they probably connect on 95 percent of the time. The Giants got the ball back with just under four minutes to go, and that's when the magic started. Nothing can compare to the David Tyree catch, but the connection between Manning and Mario Manningham down the left sideline for 38 yards with two defenders draped on him was simply marvelous. From there, the Giants continued marching into field goal range, and both teams had a tough decision. For the Giants, they didn't want to leave any time for the Patriots. For the Patriots, they knew it'd be a chip shot field goal for the Giants.
When Ahmad Bradshaw got a carry from six yards out, the Patriots were clearly letting him in. Bradshaw clearly hesitated at the one-yard line, looking like he was going to go down. He did...but he rolled his own momentum into the end zone, as if to say, "screw it, I'm not leaving it to chance [the field goal]." That gave Brady another crack with under a minute to go and one timeout. Brady got into range for a Hail Mary attempt, and when I first saw the huge pile and two Patriots in front of it, I thought New England was going to win. The football landed just in front of Gronkowski though, and the Giants came away victorious.
The Giants now have two Super Bowl victories under the reign of Manning and head coach Tom Coughlin, while the Brady legacy has fallen in two consecutive attempts. Congrats Giants fans...but don't get too excited, because next season belongs to the Cleveland Browns.