Not only were there historical implications, with New England looking to go down as the greatest team in NFL history, but the ending was epic and had fans on the edge of their seats (and couches) with history unfolding in front of their eyes.
The Giants were a resilient bunch late in the game to pull off the upset and secure its place as the second most exciting finish. Eli Manning, of course, drove his team downfield with 2:42 left after Randy Moss helped the undefeated Patriots take a 14-10 lead.
Similar to the Patriots-Panthers game in ’03, there wasn’t much scoring early, as both teams could only muster points on their first possessions of the game.
The AFC representatives only led 7-3 at the half on the strength of a Laurence Maroney score, but it was the quest for an undefeated season that kept things intriguing – until late in the fourth quarter when both teams marched up and down the field.
Down 10-7 after David Tyree put New York on top, Tom Brady engineered an 80-yard touchdown drive, after the Giants defensive line shut him down during the first three and a half quarters. Moss’ six-yard TD catch crushed the hearts of those anti-Patriots supporters, seemingly sealing the deal. The Patriots looked destined for perfection, but the student (Eli) beat the master (Brady).
Eli, taking a page out of Peyton’s book, calmly marched his offense down the field in the final two minutes. He eluded three Patriot defenders to set up Tyree’s unbelievable one-handed-to-helmet catch before Plaxico Burress’ game-winning score.
21 points were tallied in the final frame to make it an epic finish, with the Giants winning 17-14 in arguably the second greatest upset in Super Bowl history.