Best Super Bowls of all-time – #2 – Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants vrs. New England Patriots

The New England Patriots finished the 2007 season as the first team to go undefeated in the regular season since the Miami Dolphins in 1972.  They were the first team to win all 16 games since the NFL season was expanded to 16 games in 1978.  They had easily beaten the Jacksonville Jaguars and the San Diego Chargers at home in their two playoff games.  On the other side the New York Giants earned a wild card berth in the NFC with their 10-6 record.  They beat Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Green Bay all on the road to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.  They were all that was standing in the way of perfection for the New England Patriots.

Super Bowl XLII – New York Giants vrs. New England Patriots – February 3, 2008, broadcast on FOX, announced by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman

Maroney scored the first TD of the game in the 1st quarter

The Giants took the ball after the opening kickoff and decided that the best defense against the Patriots offense was keeping them off of the field.  They embarked on a 16 play drive that took almost a full ten minutes off of the 1st quarter clock.  The Giants marched 77 yards before the Patriots finally stopped them and Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes came on to kick a 32 yard field goal and give the Giants an early 3-0 lead.  The Patriots responded quickly, aided by a 43 yard kick return for running back Laurence Maroney to their own 44 yard line.  Maroney started the drive off with two runs for 15 total yards.  Brady then followed up by hitting 3 consecutive passes.  The Giants defense held the Pats to a 3rd and 10 but linebacker Antonio Pierce interfered with tight end Ben Watson on the 3rd down pass in the end zone to give the Pats 1st and goal from the 1.  Maroney went in from a yard out two plays later to give the Pats a 7-0 lead.  Those were the only two drives of the 1st quarter.  Early in the 2nd quarter the Giants moved down the field when quarterback Eli Manning hit receiver Amani Toomer with a 38 yard pass completion on 3rd and 7 to move the ball to the New England 19 yard line.  Three plays later Manning was intercepted by cornerback Ellis Hobbs to end the drive and the scoring threat for the Giants.  The teams traded punts for most of the remainder of the first half.  Tom Brady tried to rally the Pats offense at the end of the half and he hit consecutive 18 yard passes to Randy Moss and Donte Stallworth.  At the Giants 44 ayrd line Brady was sacked for the 3rd time in the half, this time defensive end Justin Tuck forced a fumble and fellow defensive end Osi Umenyiora recovered to end the Pats’ threat.  The halftime score was 7-3.

The Pats took the ball first in the 2nd half and went on a drive that was extended by a shrewd Belichick challenge on a 4th down and 2 punt play when he saw that the Giants had 12 men on the field.  The challenge gave the Pats a first down and they advanced the ball to the Giants 25 yard line.  Brady was sacked once again, this time by defensive end Michael Strahan and gave the Pats a 4th and 13 from the Giants 31 yard line.  Belichick decided to forego the long field goal attempt and go for it.  Brady’s pass to receiver Jabar Gaffney was wide and the Pats turned it over on downs.  The 3rd quarter ended with neither team scoring and the Super Bowl went into the final quarter with a score of 7-3 New England.

Tyree made a miraculous catch to keep the Giants' final drive alive

Manning started off the 4th quarter with a big 45 yard pass to tight end Kevin Boss.  Four plays later Manning hit receiver Steve Smith with a big 17 yard completion on 3rd down to keep the drive alive.  Manning ended the 7 play drive by finding receiver David Tyree from 5 yards out for the Giants’ 1st TD of the game and a 10-7 4th quarter lead.  The two teams traded punts until the Pats took over at their own 20 with 7:54 left to go in the game.  Brady quickly took the Pats down the field with a 5 yard pass to receiver Wes Welker and a 10 yard completion to Moss.  Maroney took the ball down to their own 44 yard line with a 9 yard run.  Brady continued to work methodically, finding Welker for 13 more yards and then finding running back Kevin Faulk for 4.  He once again hit Welker with a 10 yard completion, giving the Pats 1st and 10 from the Giants 29 yard line.  Brady hit Moss for 11 yards and then Faulk for 12 giving the Pats a 1st and goal from the Giants’ 6 yard line.  After missing on his first two throws Brady hit Moss on 3rd and goal after Giants cornerback Corey Webster slipped.  The Patriots took the 14-10 lead with 2:42 left to play.

Burress scores the game winning touchdown

Manning had one last chance and needed to get into the end zone.  The Giants’ drive started from their own 17 yard line.  Manning hit his first two passes to Toomer for 20 yards but the Giants were quickly faced with a 4th and 1.  Big Giants running back Brandon Jacobs gained two yards on 4th down to keep the Giants alive.  With 1:15 remaining Manning threw a pass right into the hands of Pats’ cornerback Asante Samuel but Samuel couldn’t hold on to the ball and the Giants were still alive.  On the next play, a 3rd and 5 from the Giants’ 44 yard line, the Pats had Manning dead in the backfield.  Manning turned around to allude linebacker Adalius Thomas but went right into the hands of defensive ends Jarvis Green and Richard Seymour.  Manning broke out of their grasps and flung the ball downfield to Tyree who leaped over safety Rodney Harrison and grabbed the ball with one hand and held it against his helmet as he went to the ground.  He never lost control of the ball and came down with the 32 yard pass completion.  3 plays later, on 3rd down and 11, Manning found receiver Steve Smith to once again keep the drive going for the Giants.  That gave the Giants a 1st and 10 from the Patriots 13 yard line.  Manning found receiver Plaxico Burress wide open in the end zone on the next play for the touchdown to put the Giants ahead 17-14 with :35 to go in the game.  Brady and the Pats had one last-ditch effort to score and salvage their perfect season but defensive tackle Jay Alford sacked Brady on 2nd down and 10 and Brady missed on his last two pass attempts.  The perfect season was dead and the Giants were Super Bowl champions.

Final Score: New York Giants 17, New England Patriots 14

The Patriots seemed destined for a 19-0 season but the Giants weren’t about to be a footnote in history.  It’s hard to quantify the biggest upset in NFL history but this might have been the most historic as the Giants ruined the undefeated season.  The two teams combined for 73 points just a month earlier when they met in the regular season but after only combining for 10 points in the first 3 quarters of this game they treated us to a 3 touchdown 4th quarter filled with drama and great moments.  Of all of the catches in Super Bowl history Tyree’s probably ranks as the best.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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