The US National Football League's New York Giants upset the previously undefeated New England Patriots, 17-14, to win Super Bowl 42. VOA Sports Editor Parke Brewer was at the NFL championship game in the Phoenix, Arizona suburb of Glendale and has a report.
This was one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history. The New England Patriots, who were 12 point favorites, had won all 16 of their regular season games and both of their playoff games. They were trying to become only the second-ever undefeated Super Bowl champion. Instead, the New York Giants, who did not even win their division this season and lost to the Patriots in the final game of the regular season, prevailed, 17-14.
While each team scored on their first possession of the ball, the low-scoring game remained only 7-3 in favor of New England into the fourth quarter. When these two teams played in the final game of the regular season, the Patriots had beaten the Giants, 38-35, so this was a far different contest.
The Giants took a 10-7 advantage about four minutes into the fourth quarter after a short touchdown pass of five yards from quarterback Eli Manning to David Tyree.
New England retook the lead at 14-10 with only two minutes 42 seconds left on a six-yard touchdown throw from quarterback Tom Brady to his star receiver Randy Moss.
But Manning, playing in his first Super Bowl, survived the pressure of the moment and the pressure of New England's defense to make one long spectacular pass to Tyree to get his team in position to win. And, with 35 seconds on the clock, he tossed the winning touchdown pass of 13 yards to Plaxico Burress.
In all, Manning completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and was named the game's most valuable player.
"It feels great," Manning said. "You know there's no other feeling. It's just unbelievable, just the fight on this team. I'm so proud of our players, our coaches, everybody, for always believing, having faith in each other, having faith in our team, that no matter what's thrown at us we can find a way to win We had no doubts. We believed the whole time and, you know, we made it happen."
Last year, Eli's older brother, Peyton Manning - also a quarterback - led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl title.
New York Coach Tom Coughlin says huge credit goes to his defense that contained an unbeaten Patriots team that had averaged more than 35 points per game, during the regular season.
"Anytime you have a team that's 18-0, stop and think about it," Coughlin said. "And, in this league, it's just an incredible accomplishment for them. But our team, we've been building momentum and building momentum. And, if you're going to have a chance to win, you're going to have to play great defense and we certainly did."
New England quarterback Tom Brady, who had had a spectacular season and was aiming for his fourth Super Bowl title in seven years, was clearly disappointed he was unable to lead his team to a perfect season.
"It (the loss) doesn't take away from the 18 wins we had," Brady said. "Those were all great, and we enjoyed those, but the one we wanted the most just eluded us this season. We'll be working extremely hard to come back next year and try to figure out the problems from this game, so we can move forward."
With the New York Giants prevailing over heavily favored New England, 17-14, the 1972 Miami Dolphins remain the NFL's only undefeated Super Bowl champion.