It was a huge upset Sunday (February 3) for Tom Brady’s Patriots who were beaten out by Eli Manning’s Giants in a last minute effort to take the NFL championship in a 17-14 win.
While the New England Patriots were out to make NFL history by capping off a perfect season with a Super Bowl XLII win, the New York Giants had other things in mind.
The Giants recorded one of the biggest upsets in the history of the NFL’s Super Bowl history by MVP Eli Manning closing it out with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play.
“It’s the greatest feeling in professional sports,” Burress said after the game. “For us to come out here and win a world championship tonight — nobody gave us a shot.”
The last ditch effort came after Tom Brady took the lead with two minutes to play by throwing a seven-yard touchdown pass to Randy Moss, which gave the Patriots a 14-10.
But Manning, who received much criticism for inconsistency in the regular season, drove the Giants 83 yards in two minutes. One of the drive’s highlights was a scrambling 32-yard pass to David Tyree, who snatched the ball out of the air while the defensive back was right on top of him, but not before Manning dodged a sack barely to get off the pass. The completion took the Giants to the Patriots’ 24-yard-line with 1:15 to play.
“It was just a great catch by David Tyree,” Manning said. “I found a way to get loose and just really threw it up. He made an unbelievable catch and saved the game.”
Just four plays later, Manning found Burress for the game winning TD.
While the excitement took place during the closing minutes, Sunday’s heroes were the Giants’ defense, who held the Patriots to one touchdown throughout most of the game and recording four sacks on Tom Brady, a season high.
“We knew we had to get to Tom Brady,” said Giants defensive end Michael Strahan.
Brady, although upset, complimented the Giants on a good day of play. “You’ve got to hand it to them. They made more plays than we did,” Brady said. “I had a feeling it was going to come down to us with time for a few plays. We just didn’t get it done.”
The Giants won three playoff games on the road to make it to the Super Bowl, matching the feat of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005.
“The guys on this team and the run we’ve made, it’s hard to believe — it really is,” Manning said. “We had a great fight and the defense played outstanding. The drive at the end there were so many clutch plays by so many guys.
“It is an unbelievable game and an unbelievable feeling,” he continued.