By: Emily Yao
Photos courtesy of: Getty Images and Associated Press
Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite times of the year. However, this year it was even more exciting for me since I am a New York Giants fan, and I was able to cheer for them against the New England Patriots. I had hoped that the outcome of the game would be just like the one in Super Bowl XLII: a last-minute touchdown by the Giants, leading to a Superbowl victory for them. Fortunately, my wish came true.
While the underdogs were victorious again, both the Giants and Patriots had multiple noteworthy moments. I was able to narrow these down to the most crucial plays of the game.
1. Mario Manningham’s catch
This play reminded me of Giants’ retired wide receiver David Tyree’s helmet catch at Super Bowl XLII: his seemingly unreal catch on his helmet in the final minutes helped the Giants score the winning touchdown in their final drive. Like Tyree, wide receiver Mario Manningham miraculously completed the 38-yard catch with two defenders on him. It was the play that helped move the Giants down the field and ultimately led to the touchdown that brought them on top of the leader board.
2. Tom Brady’s record-tying drive and pass completion record
The Patriots were able to set one Super Bowl record and tie another, an impressive feat. First, even though they were off to a shaky start, the Patriots were able to pull off a great final drive in the last minutes of the second quarter. By completing 10 passes, ending with a touchdown by Patriots’ running back Danny Woodhead, their 96-yard drive was the third drive of such distance in Super Bowl history. This gave them a 10-9 lead going into the second half.
In addition, Brady broke the record for the most consecutive pass completions. Previously held by San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Joe Montana with 13 in 1990, the record is now held by Brady with 16 straight completions. The 16th catch was a touchdown pass to Patriots’ tight end Aaron Hernandez, giving them a 17-9 lead in the third quarter.
3. Chase Blackburn’s interception
Giants’ linebacker Chase Blackburn was able to jump up and surpass Brady’s Hail Mary pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski, stealing the ball for an interception. It was the only interception of the night and proved to be significant for New York. The play allowed the Giants to take away the two-point lead from the Patriots in the fourth quarter.