With one timeout remaining and just less than four minutes left to play the Giants began their game winning drive on their own 12 yard line. Understanding their need to score at least three points Eli Manning immediately took to the air, completing four of five passes to bring New York to the Patriots 18 yard line.
Well within field goal range, they then set out to take time off the clock.
With Tom Brady’s history of dramatic comebacks, the Giants would not give the Patriot offense very much time with the football.
If New York had continued attacking through the air, they would have risked incomplete passes and stopping of the clock. However, by running the ball the Giants were able to get in the end zone while also forcing the Patriots to use their second timeout.
Thus when the Patriots got the ball back with 57 seconds remaining they were a one-dimensional offense. Even for Tom Brady, that proved to be too much.
The choice to manage the clock down the stretch, and not just focus on the need for points, allowed the Giants to win Super Bowl XLVI.