Super Bowl 2012 Highlights: Mario Manningham's Grab Reminiscent of Helmet Catch

Austin GreenCorrespondent IFebruary 6, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 05:  Mario Manningham #82 of the New York Giants makes a catch on the sidelines against Sterling Moore #29 of the New England Patriots for a gain of 38 yards in the fourth quarter during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Mario Manningham made the defining play of Super Bowl 46, evoking memories of David Tyree's famed "Helmet Catch" in the process.

With just under four minutes left in the game, Manningham burned Patriots' cornerback Sterling Moore and raced down the sidelines. As Eli Manning delivered a gorgeous pass, Manningham reeled it in with unwavering focus.

He stared the ball down over his right shoulder and got both feet inbounds, despite knowing that he was about to get laid out by Patriots' safety Patrick Chung. It was an incredible display of balance, awareness, concentration and athleticism.

While the play can't touch Tyree's Helmet Catch on the insanity scale, it still produced a resounding "WHOAAAAA" from every non-Patriots fan on the planet. It was also equally as important.

Like Tyree's legendary reception in 2008, Manningham's grab sparked a game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. Trailing 15-17, the Giants marched 88 yards in nine plays before Ahmad Bradshaw ran in the game-winning touchdown with 57 seconds left.

Eli and the Giants made some solid plays to close out the game, but none of them would have been possible without Manningham's spectacular reception. He downplayed the grab in the post-game press conference, but it will go down as one of the best catches in Super Bowl history.

The play also served as a microcosm of the game as a whole. While Tom Brady' receivers dropped crucial fourth quarter passes, Eli Manning's made all the necessary plays.

Manningham finished the game with five catches for 73 yards. The numbers themselves are fairly pedestrian, but he carved his place into Super Bowl history with his unforgettable catch.