Eli Manning, the fourth-quarter magician, did it again.
Manning led the Giants on a 9-play, 88-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI, propelling the Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots.
The Giants defense swatted away a last-second hail mary to secure their second Super Bowl title in four years.
"To play against the great team like the Patriots, and have a finish like that that goes down as one of the best in history, that's quite a feeling," Giants Coach Tom Coughlin said.
The fourth quarter has long been Manning's specialty. Four years ago, he orchestrated a game-winning drive to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl. This year, he threw an NFL-record 15 fourth-quarter touchdowns, and led the Giants to a franchise record six fourth-quarter comeback wins in the regular season.
Manning completed five of six passes for 74 yards on the final drive, including a spectacular catch by Mario Manningham for 38 yards. Ahmad Bradshaw finished the drive with a six-yard touchdown run when the Patriots defense appeared to let him score with 57 seconds remaining to give Brady a final chance.
"We knew big plays were going to come, and we just had to take advantage of them," Manningham said.
Manning finished 27 for 41 for 296 yards and one touchdown. He was named the game's MVP.
"It just feels good to win a Super Bowl," he said.
Manning's fourth-quarter heroics were necessary because Brady was near perfect for two drives -- one to close the first half, one to start the second -- earlier in the game.
At the close of the first half, Brady capped a 96-yard touchdown drive with a 4-yard pass to Danny Woodhead. That drive tied the longest drive in Super Bowl history and gave the Patriots a 1-point halftime lead. At the start of the second, he finished the 79-yard drive with a 12-yard pass to tight end Aaron Hernandez.
He completed all 11 passses on the first drive, and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the second drive. Through the third quarter, he had completed 21 of 26 passes for 212 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Giants added two field goals in the third quarter to cut the Patriots lead to 2 -- and set up the last-minute drama.
Hakeem Nicks, who led the Giants' receivers in the postseason, had a team-high 10 catches for 109 yards, while Victor Cruz had four for 25, including a short touchdown.
"I feel good, man," Nicks said. "Blessed to be part of this team, blessed to be in this situation."