Monday, December 9, 2013
By Mike Lowe firstname.lastname@example.org
INDIANAPOLIS — Three times. Not once, not twice.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning speaks during a news conference Monday after Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown, was on hand to collect his Most Valuable Player award.
The Associated Press
The New York Giants have ripped the hearts out of the New England Patriots the last three times the teams have played, including wins in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI.
The latter, of course, came Sunday night when the Giants rallied in the final minutes, aided by a remarkable catch by a wide receiver, to beat the Patriots 21-17 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The fact that each of the wins has followed the same pattern is, perhaps, unexplainable. At least it is to Giants Coach Tom Coughlin.
"I don't know if you can explain it, to be honest with you," Coughlin said at a Monday morning news conference. "I don't know if there is any explanation for it. The games are highly competitive. Very, very skilled teams. Outstanding quarterbacks on both teams. Great defense, to be honest with you. ...
"Just highly competitive, highly physical football games that are designed, and established, and work out exactly the way you would want."
The winning touchdown, a 6-yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw with 57 seconds left to play, was set up by a stunning 38-yard completion from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham, who somehow managed to drag both feet inbounds after catching the ball along the left sideline and being pushed out of bounds by the Patriots.
"An exceptional football play," Coughlin said, "which these young men are capable of making."
Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards and a touchdown, was on hand Monday to collect his Super Bowl MVP award, and a new car. He joined a very impressive short list of multiple MVP winners: Joe Montana (XVI, XIX, XXIV), Bart Starr (I, II), Terry Bradshaw (XIII, XIV) and Tom Brady (XXXVI, XXXVIII).
Manning provided a little comic relief when he was recounting a conversation with older brother Peyton. They were talking about Eli's 2-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz in the first quarter.
"He asked me if I saw the middle linebacker running out there," Manning said. "I didn't."
That prompted a lot of laughter.
Manning knows he was fortunate because Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo ran past the play, the ball sailing behind him to Cruz.
"Luckily he never looked back," said Manning, who admitted he was faked out by Mayo on the play. " And I threw it right off his shoulder and Victor did a good job of concentrating and making the catch."
Manning was then asked when the last time was that he held bragging rights over Peyton, who has one Super Bowl title and one Super Bowl MVP award, compared to Eli's two.
"This isn't about bragging rights," he said. "This is a lot bigger. This is about a team, an organization, being named world champions. And that was the ultimate goal.
"That's the only thing that's important, the team finding a way to get a victory. That's the only thing I care about, and Peyton and I both know that's what the goal is every year. It's not about anything else."
COMING UP: The Super Bowl heads to New Orleans next year, on Feb. 3.
After that, it's to New Jersey, the game being played in the Meadowlands on Feb. 2, 2014 -- the first Super Bowl in a northern outdoor stadium with no roof.
And then the Super Bowl returns to Arizona, to be played in University of Phoenix Stadium on Feb. 1, 2015.
THIS WAS the fourth time in Super Bowl history that a game was decided by a touchdown in the final minute. Three have come in the last four years, including New York's 17-14 win over the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The other two were San Francisco's 20-16 win over Cincinnati in Super Bowl XXIII, on a 10-yard pass from Montana to John Taylor; and Pittsburgh's 27-23 win over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, on a 6-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes.
BRADY SET two Super Bowl passing records. He completed 16 consecutive passes (to surpass Montana's 13) and now has 1,266 career passing yards in the Super Bowl (passing Kurt Warner's 1,156).
THE SAFETY scored by the Giants for the game's first two points when Brady was called for intentional grounding in the end zone – all Brady would say about the play is, "The referee made the call" – was the sixth in Super Bowl history and just the second to be the first points of the game.
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: email@example.com