The New York Giants and New England Patriots played a very strategic contest that turned on three key miscues.In the first half, Kevin Boothe of the Giants was called for a holding penalty on a play in which the Giants earned a first down on a third and short. That penalty led to a punt and killed a promising drive. At that point, the Giants were leading 9-3 and dominating the half with ball control.
As a result, Tom Brady led the Patriots on a 96 yard touchdown drive that ended with 8 seconds remaining in the half. New England went into the half up 10-9 despite hardly having the ball on offense.
The Patriots also got the ball to start the second half. That drive saw Tom Brady at his best, utilizing slant routes in order to move the ball down the field. A touchdown bumped up the New England lead to 17-9. The Giants, who had played so well for 26 minutes of the first half now saw themselves in a dire predicament.
Deep in their own territory, trailing 17-15 after two field goals, the Giants faced a third and long. Rob Ninkovich of the Patriots rushed offsides turned a failed drive into a third and short. The Giants converted and were able to march down, changing field possession.
On the Patriots' second to last drive, Wes Welker dropped a sure catch that was thrown slightly behind him. That would have given the Patriots a chance for at least three if not seven. Instead, the Patriots set the Giants up for a remarkable finish. Eli Manning through a perfect pass to Mario Manningham, who made an outstanding catch.
As the Giants got close to the end zone, the Patriots misplayed the clock. With first down and a little over a minute to go, the Patriots should have let the Giants score to save time and their two timeouts. Instead, Ahmad Bradshaw was tackled and the Patriots called a timeout. On the next play, New England allowed Bradshaw score a TD. The Patriots had given up a few seconds, but more importantly, a precious timeout.
Three Giants' fumbles that were all recovered by New York also contributed to Patriots loss. A failed hail mary sealed the Patriots' fate. They've now lost their last two Super Bowls, both to the Giants.
New York won 21-17 and Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl MVP.