A Giant Win in Super Bowl Rematch

As anyone who lives in the metropolitan New York area must know by now, The New York Football Giants won Super Bowl 46 in a nail biting 21-17 finish.  This is their second Super Bowl title in four years, and both times the Giants beat the New England Patriots, who have not won a Super Bowl since 2004.

The Patriots entered this year’s playoffs as the number one seed in the AFC, finishing out their season with a 13-3 record, and guaranteeing two home playoff games. Unlike the Patriots, the Giants barely made the playoffs with a 9-7 record. In a win-or-go-home situation in the final regular season game, the Giants triumphed over their division rival, the Dallas Cowboys, to lock up the fourth seed in the National Football Conference (NFC).

After a first round bye, the Patriots then stomped the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional round and squeaked past the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship, to secure their spot in the Super Bowl. The Giants, however, faced a more difficult task. They had to beat the 10-6 Atlanta Falcons, the 15-1 Green Bay Packers and the 13-3 San Francisco 49ers—all teams with better records – and win two of those games on the road. The Giants are now the first ever team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record.

The similarities between Super Bowl 46 and Super Bowl 42 go beyond the fact that the same two teams were playing. Giants quarterback Eli Manning drove the Giants down the field in a closing minutes game winning drive in both games. In 2007, wide receiver David Tyree made arguably the best catch in Super Bowl history, which put the Giants on the Patriots 24 yard line. A few plays later, Plaxico Burress caught the game winning touchdown with 38 seconds left in the game. This year, Mario Manningham caught a clutch side line pass to move the Giants to midfield. With 57 seconds left, Ahmad Bradshaw had a six yard touchdown run to put the Giants ahead.

In both Super Bowls, the Giants defense stopped all Patriot hopes of following up Manning’s game winning drives with a drive of their own. This year, defensive end Justin Tuck had the key play when he sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, leaving them in a fourth and 16.  Though the Patriots did convert that first down, they just did not have enough time, as the Giants safeties knocked down Brady’s Hail Mary as time expired.

This is the Giants fourth Super Bowl win and eighth championship title. Eli Manning won Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career, inviting comparisons to his brother Peyton as to which Manning is the better Manning QB, a discussion that would have seemed hard to imagine just a few years ago. For 15 members of the team, this was their second Super Bowl win, as it was for head coach Tom Coughlin. Coughlin is the oldest coach, at 65 years and 158 days, to win a Super Bowl. After their win, the Giants celebrated with a tickertape parade in New York City, followed by a rally for fans at MetLife Stadium.

The end of the Super Bowl means the end of football for now. Mini camps will start up again in April, and most of the attention before that will be on the NFL draft. Big prospects include quarterbacks Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck.