Down 17-15 with under four minutes to play starting on their own 12 yard line, Manning threw a pass to Mario Manningham for 38 yards. The wide receiver made a spectacular catch, miraculously keeping his feet in bounds.
This play led to the Giants' eventual game-winning touchdown and yet another nail-biting finish to the Super Bowl. Among the people on the Giants sideline was David Tyree, the hero of Super Bowl XLII.
Nearly everyone, especially Brady and Belichick, remembers the amazing play where Manning escaped the sack with time winding down and chucked the ball down the field, where Tyree jumped up and caught the ball on his helmet and came down with it. This led to the Giants' eventual touchdown that won them Super Bowl XLII.
So which one was the more amazing, more spectacular catch? Was it Manningham's toe drag out of bounds, or Tyree's heads up play?
Taking a look at both games, both plays and both situations, the award goes to Mario Manningham.
Mario Manningham's catch came in a very important situation for the Giants. The Giants had just gotten the ball back, they were deep in their zone and they needed to move the ball both quickly and effectively.
The pass to Manningham was the first play from scrimmage. It set the tone for the entire drive and gave the Giants the push they needed, and the cushion they needed to drive down the field in plenty of time to set up the play they wanted.
Tyree's catch came in a very clutch situation also, with the same ramifications on the line, but it was not as impressive for a few reasons.
The first is that Tyree's catch was in the middle of the field, whereas Manningham's was on the sideline. Tyree did not have to worry about keeping his feet in bounds, he just had to worry about keeping the ball in his hands. Manningham had to do that, keep his feet in bounds and control the ball as he was hitting the ground.
Second was that Tyree had "help," with his catch and Manningham didn't. Manningham had to control the ball and break two defenders in order to make his play.
Tyree only had to deal with one defender, who actually helped him make the play. Tyree reached up and grab the ball, and as he was going down the ball was placed on his helmet by both him and the man who was defending him.
Both were extremely athletic plays, worthy of being regarded as two of the best in Super Bowl history. However, Manningham's required a bit more athleticism and skill than Tyree's, which is why his was better.
After that catch Tyree was cut from the Giants due to an injury, and there is talk that Manningham may not come back next season.
I hope they do not do the same with Manningham and I hope they keep him for next year, because without him the Giants would not be Super Bowl Champions.