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Giants Super Bowl Champions After Beating Patriots 21-17 (VIDEO)

BARRY WILNER   02/ 5/12 11:48 PM ET  AP

INDIANAPOLIS — Take that, Brady. You too, Peyton.

Eli Manning is the big man in the NFL after one-upping Tom Brady and leading the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl – in older brother Peyton's house, at that.

Just as Manning did four years ago when the Giants ruined New England's perfect season, he guided them 88 yards to the decisive touchdown, which the Patriots didn't contest as Ahmad Bradshaw ran 6 yards with 57 seconds left.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick reasoned the Giants would run the clock down and kick a short field goal, so he gambled by allowing the six points.

The gamble failed.

And now Manning not only has stamped himself as the elite quarterback he claimed to be when the season began – in the same class as Brady – he's beaten the Patriots in two thrilling Super Bowls. The Giants (13-7), who stood 7-7 in mid-December, now own the football world, and Manning owns two Super Bowl MVP awards, the same number as Brady.

It was a classic I-can-top-that showdown with the outcome in doubt until the very last pass fell to the turf. Manning finished 30 for 40 for 296 yards and one touchdown, while Brady was 27 for 41 for 276 yards with two TDs and one interception.

"It's been a wild game, a wild season," Manning said. "This isn't about one person. It's about one team, a team coming together."

Manning led six comeback victories during the season and set an NFL record with 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He showed that brilliance in the clutch on the winning drive. He completed five passes, including a sensational 38-yard sideline catch by Mario Manningham to open the drive.

On second down at the Patriots 6 and with only one timeout remaining, Belichick had his defense stand up as Bradshaw took the handoff. Bradshaw thought about stopping short of the end zone, then tumbled in untouched.

"I was yelling to him, `Don't score, don't score,'" Manning said. "He tried to stop, but he fell into the end zone."

Brady couldn't answer in the final 57 seconds, although his desperation pass into the end zone on the final play fell just beyond the grasp of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. New England (15-4), winner of 10 straight since a loss to the Giants in November, was done.

Brady headed off with his head bowed, holding his helmet.

"Certainly it wasn't one play that was the reason we lost," Brady said. "Everybody feels they could do a little more. I'd rather come to this game and lose then not get here."

All around him was the wild celebration by the Giants, NFL champions for the eighth – and perhaps most unlikely – time.

"Great toughness, great faith, and great plays by a number of guys today," Manning said, deflecting some of the attention. Still, he one-upped Brady. And Peyton, the Indianapolis Colts quarterback who has one ring of his own but didn't play this season as he recovered from neck surgery.

"It just feels good to win a Super Bowl. It doesn't matter where you are," Manning said.

Brady was impressed.

"Certainly Eli has had a great season. He made some great throws in the fourth quarter, and they deserved to win," Brady said.

It was the fifth trip to a Super Bowl for Brady and Belichick, tying the record. And it looked like a successful one when they stormed back from a 9-0 deficit and led 17-9 in the third quarter. But the Giants, who reached New England territory on every possession except a kneeldown at the end of the first half, got field goals of 38 and 33 yards from Lawrence Tynes. And it looked like Tynes, who kicked them into the Super Bowl four years ago at Green Bay and again this year at San Francisco, both in overtime, would get called on again.

Then Belichick, known to try just about anything in a game, took a risk that didn't pay off.

The Giants are the first Super Bowl winner that was outscored during the regular season. They were 6-2 after that 24-20 victory at New England, then lost four straight and five of six.

Coach Tom Coughlin insisted "the prize" was still within reach. Now the Giants are holding tight to that Vince Lombardi Trophy.

"What I was concerned with was these guys making their own history," Coughlin said. "This is such a wonderful thing, these guys carving their own history."

It was the Giants' fourth Super Bowl championship and eighth NFL title overall. They became the first team to finish the regular season 9-7 and win the Super Bowl.

New England had the ball for all of one play in the first 11 1-2 minutes, and that play was an utter failure, a rare poor decision by Brady. After Steve Weatherford's punt was downed at the New England 6, Brady dropped to pass in the end zone and had time. With everyone covered and Giants defensive end Justin Tuck finally coming free to provide pressure, Brady heaved the ball downfield while still in the pocket.

Only problem: No Patriots receivers were anywhere near the pass. The Giants were awarded a safety for Brady's grounding in the end zone.

Manning, meanwhile, couldn't have been more on target early, hitting six receivers in the first period, completing his first nine throws, a Super Bowl record. He also was aided by Ahmad Bradshaw, who hardly looked like a running back with a bad foot. Bradshaw broke a 24-yard run, and New England made another critical mistake by having 12 men on the field on a third-and-3 on which the Giants fumbled.

Instead, New York got a first down at the 6, and two plays later Victor Cruz beat James Ihedigbo on a slant to make it 9-0, prompting Cruz to break into his signature salsa move.

Manning's first incompletion didn't come until 1:19 into the second quarter.

At that point, it was 9-3 after Stephen Gostkowski's 29-yard field goal. The Patriots got to the Giants' 11, but All-Pro DE Jason Pierre-Paul blocked a third-down pass.

Soon after, when the Patriots had a three-and-out and Pierre-Paul blocked another throw, Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien had a quick discussion. Then O'Brien, soon to take over as Penn State coach, went over to the struggling Brady.

The talk must have helped. On the final series of the opening half, Brady was masterful. Starting at his 4, and ignoring the last time the Patriots began a series in the shadow of the end zone, he was vintage Brady.

With New York's vaunted pass rush disappearing, Brady went 10-for-10 for 98 yards, capping the drive that included two Patriots penalties with Woodhead's 4-yard TD reception with 8 seconds to go in the half. Hernandez and Woodhead each had four catches on the drive that, stunningly, put New England ahead despite being outplayed for so much of the first 30 minutes.

Brady kept firing – and hitting – in the third quarter, with five more completions. The Giants didn't come within shouting distance of the record-setting quarterback. He capped a 79-yard drive to open the second half with a 12-yard TD to Hernandez, but then the game turned. Again.

Consecutive field goals by Lawrence Tynes of 38 and 33 yards brought New York within 17-15. Brady then threw deep for his tight end after weaving away from two pass rushers. His throw was short, and Chase Blackburn picked it off early in the fourth quarter.

Although the Giants moved into New England territory again, as they did on every drive to that point, they bogged down and punted.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots walks across the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl

    New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch waits on the field during warmups before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Fans watches warmups on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Fans of the New England Patriots are seen prior to the game against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants is seen on the field during warmups before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants warms up prior to playing the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants shakes hands with team owner Robert Kraft of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Rob Gronkowski #87 of the New England Patriots runs on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants works out on the field with his teammates during warmups before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (L) greets his head coach Bill Belichick on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Actor Donnie Wahlbergl is seen on the field during warmups before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots works with his receivers on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    A fan takes a picture of the field prior to Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Head coach Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots (R) greets head coach Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants (L) on the field before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Members of the New York Giants are seen on the field during warmups before the New York Giants take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    New York Giants fans celebrate before the New England Patriots take on the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Members of the New York Giants take the field during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Country singers Miranda Lambert and husband Blake Shelton perform "America the Beautiful" before the start of Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants looks to hand off the ball against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants reacts to a first down during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tight end Bear Pascoe #86 of the New York Giants runs with the ball after a catch Eli Manning #10 in the first quarter against Devin McCourty #32 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is pressured in the endzone by Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants in the first quarter resulting in a safety during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Pregame Show

    Katy Perry attends the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Pregame Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots is pressured in the endzone by Justin Tuck #91 of the New York Giants in the first quarter resulting in a safety during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass as he is pressured by Gerard Warren #98 of the New England Patriots during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants celebrates after Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants caught a two yard touchdown pass in first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Ahmad Bradshaw #44 of the New York Giants runs past Patrick Chung #25 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Referee John Parry signals a safety after an intentional grounding call against Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Quarterback Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants is sacked for a loss on third down by Mark Anderson #95 and Rob Ninkovich #50 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates with his teammates after catching a two yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning #10 in the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Receiver Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants fights off two New England Patriots defenders during the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants hauls in a two-yard touchdown against James Ihedigbo #44 of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Hakeem Nicks #88 celebrates with Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants after a two yard touchdown pass in first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Sterling Moore #29 of the New England Patriots celebrates a play against the New York Giants in the first half during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Ahmad Bradshaw (L) of the New York Giant

    Ahmad Bradshaw (L) of the New York Giants is stopped in his tracks by Brandon Spikes (R) of the New England Patriots in the first quarter during Super Bowl XLVI on February 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Sterling Moore #29 of the New England Patriots celebrates a play against the New York Giants in the first half during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Tight end Aaron Hernandez #81 of the New England Patriots of the New England Patriots fights off the tackle of Deon Grant #34 of the New York Giants in the first half during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots catches a three yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady #12 in the second quarter against Michael Boley #59 and Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots catches a three yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady #12 in the second quarter against Kenny Phillips #21 of the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Hakeem Nicks (C) of the New York Giants

    Hakeem Nicks (C) of the New York Giants is brought down during Super Bowl XLVI against the New England Patriots on February 5, 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Super Bowl XLVI

    Runningback Danny Woodhead #39 of the New England Patriots celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady #12 after catching a three yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady #12 in the second quarter against the New York Giants during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs with Redfoo and Sky Blu of LMFAO during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

    Singer Madonna performs with Redfoo of LMFAO during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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