New York Giants at New England Patriots
Although not on the field for four games due to injury, running back Ahmad Bradshaw was the team's leading rusher with yards and 9 touchdowns. He was also a reliable weapon in the passing game, hauling in 34 receptions for yards and two touchdowns.
Brandon Jacobs also made contributions on the ground, rushing for yards and 7 touchdowns. Pierre-Paul racked up 86 combined tackles and ranked fourth in the NFL with The Giants secondary was led by Corey Webster , who intercepted a career-high 6 passes. Defensive backs Kenny Phillips and Aaron Ross added four interceptions each, while safety Antrel Rolle picked off two passes and led the team in combined tackles with The Giants joined the Arizona Cardinals and Los Angeles Rams as the only other team to advance to the Super Bowl with fewer than ten victories since the NFL expanded to a game season in , and the only one of those three to win the Super Bowl they had advanced to.
They have won six consecutive playoff games away from their home stadium, dating back to their victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Wild Card round. That includes their Super Bowl XLII victory over these same Patriots, although that game was played at a neutral site and the Giants were the designated "away" team for the game.
The Giants are the first team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after having been outscored by their opponents in the regular season points scored, points allowed. New England lost 2 consecutive games to the Steelers and Giants in week 8 and 9 respectively, before rallying to win their remaining eight games. Back at the helm of the offense was year quarterback Tom Brady , who earned his 7th Pro Bowl selection.
Starting every game of the season, Brady completed Brady also added yards and three scores on the ground. His main weapon in the passing game was Pro Bowl receiver Wes Welker , who led the NFL with receptions 22 receptions ahead of second place for 1, yards and 9 touchdowns. New England also had two of the best tight ends in the NFL: Pro Bowler Rob Gronkowski , who set new tight end records for receiving 1, yards and touchdown catches 17 ; and Aaron Hernandez , who caught 79 passes for yards and 7 touchdowns, while also rushing for 45 yards.
Another big element of the passing game was veteran receiver Deion Branch , who caught 51 passes for yards and 5 scores. Receivers Chad Ochocinco , Tiquan Underwood , Julian Edelman , and Matthew Slater made minor contributions to the passing attack; the latter two also served as emergency defensive backs.
New England had several key contributors in the ground game. Their main rusher was BenJarvus Green-Ellis , who rushed for yards and 11 touchdowns. Running back Stevan Ridley added yards and a 5. Danny Woodhead contributed yards with a 4. The Patriots' defensive line featured two Pro Bowl selections: Vince Wilfork , who generated 3. Defensive End Mark Anderson was also a major force on the line, earning 10 sacks and two forced fumbles of his own.
Behind them, Rob Ninkovich excelled at linebacker, gaining 74 tackles, 6. In the secondary, cornerback Kyle Arrington had a breakout season. After recording just one interception in his first three years, Arrington picked off 7 passes in to lead the NFL in that category, while also making 88 tackles. Linebacker Jerod Mayo led the team in tackles with Belichick tied Tom Landry for second most appearances as a head coach in the Super Bowl, behind only Don Shula 's six.
The Patriots and Giants faced each other in New England during the regular season; the Giants won that game, 24— The Giants defeated the No. Eli Manning threw for yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions, while the Giants defense shut down the Falcons, the only Atlanta points coming from a safety given up by Manning's intentional grounding penalty in his end zone. The Giants then moved on to face the No. The Giants never trailed in the game, winning 37— One of the key plays in the game was a Hail Mary pass by Manning to Hakeem Nicks , giving New York a 20—10 lead at the end of the first half.
As they did to MVP Tom Brady the Patriots' record-breaking offense , the Giants generated significant pressure on Packers quarterback and season MVP Aaron Rodgers , sacking him four times and disrupting his talented receiving corps.
This was the first time in NFL history a 15—1 team failed to make it past the divisional round in the playoffs. The Giants then faced the No. After a series of defensive standoffs in the fourth quarter, the game went into overtime.
Both teams continued to struggle on offense, until New York linebacker Jacquian Williams stripped the ball from San Francisco wide receiver Kyle Williams after a punt return. The Giants recovered the ball at the 49ers yard line, setting up a yard field goal attempt by Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes. Unlike Cundiff earlier that day, Tynes' kick was successful, giving the Giants a 20—17 victory.
In the divisional round, the Patriots defeated the Denver Broncos 45— The Patriots dominated the game throughout, setting new franchise postseason records for total yards , points 45 , and margin of victory Tom Brady completed 18 of 25 passes for yards and a postseason record five touchdowns in the first half.
The Patriots defense had a breakout performance: Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow was held to just 9 of 26 completions and was sacked five times. Brady was out-dueled by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco , who threw for more yards and touchdowns on the same number of completions and attempts.
Nevertheless, New England managed to take a 23—20 lead in the fourth quarter on a 1-yard run by Brady. But the Patriots managed to hold them there, with cornerback Sterling Moore breaking up two consecutive Ravens pass attempts in the red zone, including one in the end zone. Facing fourth down, Baltimore attempted a yard field goal by kicker Billy Cundiff that would tie the game and possibly bring it to overtime.
Cundiff missed the kick wide left, allowing the Patriots to advance to the Super Bowl. The Patriots, as the designated home team, had a choice of wearing their home navy blue jerseys or their white away jerseys. Briefly, there was speculation that the Patriots might wear the white away jerseys in order to switch the jerseys from Super Bowl XLII , where the Patriots wore dark blue and the Giants wore white.
Also, the Giants were 4—0 in playoff games in their white away jerseys since the season. Hospitality experts speculated that "Indianapolis will have seen the most severe hotel price gouging in Super Bowl history. The room shortage and high prices caused some attendees to plan to stay in Chicago, miles away, and ride buses to events. When I got to the team, it was always Red Sox-Yankees. Michele Tafoya was the sideline reporter. Bob Costas and Dan Patrick who also presided over the trophy presentation ceremony hosted the pregame, halftime, and postgame coverage for NBC with Football Night in America analysts Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison and special guest analysts who were seated next to Costas during the pre-game festivities , Aaron Rodgers and Hines Ward.
As part of "Operation Fake Sweep", Immigration and Customs Enforcement , along with the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York , seized and shut down sixteen websites that had provided access to pirated Internet television feeds of NFL games on February 2, in an action similar to the crackdown they had implemented the previous year.
For the first time, domains in the. With the Giants' Super Bowl win, they became the first team to win Super Bowls on 4 different networks. There has also been some conjecture regarding the possible plagiarism of Australian band John Butler Trio 's song "Zebra" by Yogurt giant Dannon. Spokesman for the band, Tom McNamara, commented that the band was currently exploring their proprietary rights with regards to the similarity of the tune to the band's hit single.
Bob Papa called the game for the Giants with Carl Banks as his analyst and Howard Cross as sideline reporter, while Gil Santos was at the microphone for the Patriots with Gino Cappelletti as analyst and Scott Zolak as sideline reporter. Santos and Cappelletti returned for their sixth Super Bowl as broadcast team for the Patriots while Papa and Banks called their third and second Super Bowls, respectively, for the Giants.
This was the first Super Bowl broadcast for the Giants not to feature longtime analyst Dick Lynch , who had retired from the team's radio booth following the season and died in The Indiana University Marching Hundred performed during the pre-game show.
Husband-and-wife country musicians Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert performed " America the Beautiful " as part of the ceremonies. The coin toss ceremony featured the recent inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Curtis Martin , one of the inductees, was originally selected to toss the coin,  but in what NESN described as "a rather awkward scene", referee John Parry ended up flipping the coin himself while Martin stood beside and watched. Word had leaked as early as October that Madonna would be the performer for the Super Bowl halftime show ,  with M.
The gesture was given when she appeared to sing "I don't give a shit", although it was hard to hear clearly if the expletive was said, stopped short, or cut off, as the censor unsuccessfully tried to blur the screen to cover the gesture.
It broke the record for the most viewed Super Bowl halftime show ever, defeating Michael Jackson's previous record, with million viewers throughout the world. The Patriots won the coin toss and deferred.
New York opened the game with a drive to the Patriots yard line, threatening to score first. After giving up a yard reception to Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks , New England's defense stepped up to prevent a score: On third down, New England defensive end Mark Anderson sacked Manning, pushing the Giants out of field goal range and forcing a Giants' punt. New York got a boost from punter Steve Weatherford , whose yard kick pinned the Pats back at their own 6-yard line.
On the Patriots first offensive play, Tom Brady attempted a play action pass , but a heavy rush from Giants defensive lineman Justin Tuck forced a deep throw into the middle of the field, with no receiver anywhere near it.
Brady was flagged for intentional grounding , and since he was in the end zone when he threw the pass the play resulted in a safety ,  giving New York a 2—0 lead. After receiving the free kick, New York drove 78 yards in 9 plays—including a key yard run by Ahmad Bradshaw—and increased their lead to 9—0 on Manning's 2-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Victor Cruz.
New York managed to stop the drive at their own yard line, but Stephen Gostkowski kicked a yard field goal for New England's first score early in the second quarter. The Giants punted on the next drive, then held the Patriots to a three-and-out. When New York's next drive stalled, Weatherford's yard punt gave the Patriots possession on their 4-yard line.
Brady, however, completed eight consecutive passes for 71 yards, and threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to running back Danny Woodhead , giving the Patriots a 10—9 halftime lead, the same halftime deficit the Giants faced against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI.
The drive went for 14 plays and covered 96 yards, tying the record for the longest drive in Super Bowl history. New England took the second half kickoff and started out strong: Brady completed a yard pass to Chad Johnson his only reception of the postseason , and two rushes by Green-Ellis gained 25 yards to the New York yard line. Brady eventually finished the 8-play, yard drive with a yard touchdown pass to second-year tight end Aaron Hernandez , increasing New England's lead to 17—9.
Starting the following drive from their own yard line after Jerrel Jernigan 's yard kickoff return, New York responded with a drive to Patriots' yard line where Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes converted a yard field goal, cutting the score to 17— On the next drive, New York forced a three-and-out—including a Justin Tuck sack of Brady on third down—and Will Blackmon returned Zoltan Mesko 's yard punt 10 yards to the Patriots' yard line.
New York subsequently drove back into scoring range on a drive that utilized several different players, including a yard reception by seldom used tight end Bear Pascoe to reach the New England 9-yard line. On third down, however, a sack by New England's Anderson and Rob Ninkovich forced New York to settle for another Tynes field goal, making the score 17—15 with 35 seconds left in the third quarter.
On the second play of the fourth quarter, the first turnover of the game occurred when Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn picked off a deep Brady pass at the New York 8-yard line. New York then drove to the Patriots' yard line, but were stopped there and had to punt. New England took the ball back at their own eight-yard line with less than ten minutes in the fourth quarter.
However, Brady's pass was high and Welker was unable to reel it in while falling to the ground, crucially preventing a huge gain. The Giants took possession from their own yard line with 3: On the first play, in what would end up being one of the key plays of the game,  Manning completed a deep pass along the left sideline to Manningham for a yard gain to midfield. New England coach Bill Belichick challenged the catch, but the call on the field stood and it cost him his team's first timeout.
Two more completions from Manning to Manningham gained another 18 yards. Manning then completed a yard pass to Nicks on the New England yard line at the two-minute warning.
Two plays later, New England called their second timeout with 1: With the Patriots down to their last timeout and ahead by two points, 17—15, the possibility existed that the Giants would run a play to stop short of the goal line, which would have forced the Patriots to use that timeout to stop the clock on any of the last two plays.
The Giants could run the clock down, allow Tynes—who had not missed under 30 yards in four years—to kick a winning field goal, and give the Patriots only about 20 seconds of play left to score again. This also meant that the Patriots could call a defensive play where they would purposely allow the Giants to score a touchdown, which despite giving up the lead would allow the Patriots to get the ball back still with that timeout and with more time remaining.
New England chose to let New York score, opening its defense to let Bradshaw enter the end zone with the ball. In what Sports Illustrated later called "perhaps the strangest play in Super Bowl history", Bradshaw attempted to stop on the 1-yard line upon realizing what the Patriots were doing, but his forward momentum caused him to fall into the end zone for a touchdown.
The game's final drive began on the New England yard line. Brady's first two passes fell incomplete and then he was sacked by Tuck on third down, leaving the Patriots 16 yards from a first down and forcing them to use their final timeout. Facing heavy pressure in the pocket, Brady eluded linebacker Michael Boley and then threw a bullet to Deion Branch. Branch caught the ball and ran out of bounds at the yard line for a first down.
An yard completion from Brady to Hernandez advanced the ball to the Pats' 44, followed by a twelve-men on the field penalty against the Giants, which moved the ball to the Patriots' 49 with 9 seconds left. This game was the first since Super Bowl IX in the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Minnesota Vikings 16—6 that neither team scored at least 20 points.
The telecast of the game on Fox broke the then-record for the most watched Super Bowl in history with an average of As always, the league considered several potential host cities before choosing the Phoenix area. Aside from the obvious climatic concerns, it was also difficult to find a suitable stadium.
Proposed renovations to the s-vintage Giants Stadium were still being disputed amongst the various parties. The city of New York and the New York Jets failed to secure a deal to build a new West Side Stadium which, according to the initial plans, would have been built with a roof. DC's winter weather, although still potentially problematic, is milder than New York's climate.
In the end, the process boiled down to three finalists: However, this game was later moved to Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida , when it became clear that the new stadium in New York City would not be built in time for the February game.
The kickoff for the game took place at 4: This was the first Super Bowl played on a retractable natural-grass field surface; the University of Phoenix Stadium's removable surface is unique among American sports venues.
During the regular season, the home team decides 90 minutes before kickoff whether the roof will be open or closed, and an open roof must remain open unless weather conditions get worse. However, as a neutral site, the NFL controls the option to open or close without any restrictions. It features the shape of the state of Arizona in red and two horizontal white stripes in the middle to represent the vertical lines on University of Phoenix Stadium.
The turquoise Roman numerals represent the Native American culture of Arizona. The New York Giants began the season with low expectations after star running back Tiki Barber retired. The Giants had lost in the NFC Wild Card round in each of the previous two seasons and had not won a playoff game in seven years. While generally regarded as a solid quarterback, Manning had been unable to achieve the same level of success as fellow draftees Philip Rivers for whom he was traded and Ben Roethlisberger , the latter of whom had already won a Super Bowl Super Bowl XL.
By the season, many sports writers were starting to question if Eli would ever live up to the expectations that accompanied being selected with the first overall pick in a draft. The criticism of Manning intensified as the Giants lost the first two games of the regular season. The Giants recovered, though, notching six consecutive wins and finishing the year with a 10—6 record. The Giants were able to secure a wild card bid in the playoffs, despite the loss of running back Derrick Ward , defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka , and four-time Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey to injury.
In the final game of the regular season, the Giants played at home against the undefeated New England Patriots. Although the Giants had already earned a playoff spot and had nothing to gain by winning the game, coach Tom Coughlin decided to play his starters throughout the game.
New York, clearly playing to win against the league's best team, narrowly lost 38— But the effort seemed to rejuvenate the Giants and prepare them for a difficult playoff run. Manning led his team to three road playoff wins in Tampa, Dallas and Green Bay respectively, without throwing a single interception.
The Giants' three playoff wins gave them an NFL record 10 consecutive wins on the road. They finished the season with a franchise-low 77 penalties, after setting a franchise record two years before with Manning finished the season with 3, yards, 23 touchdowns, and 20 interceptions.
His primary target, Plaxico Burress , caught 70 passes for 1, yards and 12 touchdowns. Amani Toomer , the Giants all-time leading receiver and one of only two players remaining from their last Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XXXV , was also a reliable target with 59 receptions for yards, while Shockey contributed 57 receptions for yards and 3 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending injury in week He finished the season with 1, yards and an average of five yards per carry, while also catching 23 passes despite starting only nine games.
The Giants had a defensive line that was led by defensive ends Osi Umenyiora the lone Pro Bowl representative on the team, the fewest a Super Bowl team has ever had , Michael Strahan , and Justin Tuck. Umenyiora led the defense with 13 sacks and five forced fumbles. Strahan, another veteran from the Giants' last Super Bowl appearance in , had nine sacks, giving him a career total of Tuck recorded ten sacks and 48 solo tackles.
In the secondary, cornerback Sam Madison and safety Gibril Wilson led the team with four interceptions each. McQuarters had no interceptions during the season, but played effectively in the playoffs, with interceptions in each of the Giants first three postseason games.
This was also the last game for Giants athletic trainer John Johnson who had been with the team for 60 years. The Giants became only the fourth team to win the Super Bowl without playing a single home game in the preceding playoffs. However, Green Bay had to win two games, Kansas City three, and Pittsburgh and the Giants, four, in order to accomplish this. However, the Packers accomplished this feat as a sixth seed, while the Giants accomplished this as a fifth seed.
In addition, Green Bay beat the top three-seeded teams on the road, while New York defeated the fourth, first, and second seeds on the road.
The Patriots were not only competing for a fourth Super Bowl title since the season; they were aiming to become the first team in NFL history to achieve a 19—0 record. Their perfect 16—0 record in the regular season was the first since the league moved to a 16 game regular season in It was also only the fourth undefeated and untied regular season in NFL history.
New England set NFL records with points scored an average of Some experts have suggested that the Patriots' 16—0 record is the culmination of a larger trend towards better records for top NFL teams since the league realignment in His passer rating of One often-cited reason for Brady's improved numbers was the acquisition of receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
With the Patriots, though, Moss caught 98 receptions for 1, yards and an NFL record 23 touchdowns, and was selected a first-team All Pro. The Patriots also gave the Miami Dolphins second- and seventh-round picks for Welker; Welker tied for the league lead with receptions for 1, yards and 8 touchdowns and was named a second-team All Pro.
Welker and Moss both earned votes for Offensive Player of the Year. Running back Laurence Maroney was the Patriots' top rusher with yards and six touchdowns, while Sammy Morris added yards and three touchdowns Morris ended up on injured reserve midway through the season, and thus could not play in the Super Bowl. Longtime Patriot Kevin Faulk had yards and was also a reliable receiver out of the backfield, catching 47 passes for yards and a touchdown.
The Patriots defensive line was led by nose tackle Vince Wilfork , who was selected to his first Pro Bowl ; he was also fined four times during the season for unnecessary roughness. Outside linebacker Mike Vrabel had, statistically, the best season of his career.
He led the team in sacks with a career-high Adalius Thomas , an off-season signing from the Ravens , recorded six sacks. Junior Seau , who had been selected to the Pro Bowl 12 times during his career but had never won a Super Bowl, returned for his 18th season and got 74 tackles with 3.
Tedy Bruschi recorded 92 tackles and two sacks. The Patriots secondary featured another player selected to the Pro Bowl, cornerback Asante Samuel , who led the team with six interceptions.
The Giants became the first NFC team third overall to advance to the Super Bowl by winning three playoff games on the road. After beating the fourth-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24—14, the Giants upset the top-seeded Dallas Cowboys 21—17, when McQuarters intercepted a pass from Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo in the end zone as time expired. The field goal was the longest by a visiting kicker in Lambeau Field postseason history.
This turned out to be the final game Brett Favre played for the Packers. First, Brady set the NFL record for completion percentage in a single game Although Brady threw three interceptions in the game, the Patriots defense forced two turnovers and limited San Diego to four field goals, while Maroney rushed for yards and a touchdown for the second game in a row.
New England was heavily favored to win the game and become the first NFL team to go through a game regular season and postseason undefeated. Had the Patriots won, they would also have joined the Miami Dolphins as the only teams ever to win the NFL league championship with an undefeated and untied record.
However, others predicted that the Giants could accomplish a win. New York's record of 10 consecutive road wins included five teams favored to beat them. The Giants achieved playoff victories against the Cowboys who had defeated New York twice in the regular season and Packers who had beaten the Giants in week 2.
The Patriots and Giants had played against each other in the last week of the regular season. Technically, the game had little significance, since both teams had already clinched their respective spots in the playoffs. But due to the Patriots' quest for an undefeated season, this game was one of the most heavily watched games in league history.
As they were favored to do, the Patriots won the game to finish the regular season undefeated. Still, the game was close and competitive, with both teams playing their starters for all 60 minutes. New England won, 38—35, by overcoming a point deficit in the third quarter, the largest deficit the Patriots had faced all season.
I don't know any better way to be prepared for the playoffs than to go against a team that was 15—0. This would be the third time in the Giants' four Super Bowl appearances in which the team played its eventual AFC opponent during that year's regular season.
For the third consecutive year, the arrival dates for the teams were staggered, with the Patriots arriving on Sunday, January 27 corresponding to the traditional day that teams arrive for the game with the two-week break and the Giants waiting to arrive until Monday, January The game was telecast in the United States on the Fox network in p high definition resolution.
This Super Bowl featured nine hours of game-related coverage prior to kickoff on game day. Fox News started the coverage on the Fox network at 9: Official pre-game coverage began at 2: Jillian Reynolds served as Weather and Entertainment Reporter for the pre-game show.
Additionally, Frank Caliendo appeared in various comedic skits and Ryan Seacrest provided coverage of celebrity arrivals to the game site. The official game broadcast began at 6: ET, with kickoff at 6: NFL Network provided extensive post-game coverage. Four of those five games had featured the Patriots. The telecast was the most watched Super Bowl in history with an average of It was also the second now fifth most watched TV program of all time in the United States.
Following the game, Fox aired a special episode of House entitled " Frozen "; however, the episode's premiere was delayed in the New York metropolitan area by an hour due to a local newscast. The scheduled date for Super Bowl XLII was two days before Super Tuesday Tuesday, February 5 , the date in which 24 states held their presidential primaries , state conventions or caucuses. As such, some presidential hopefuls had considered purchasing Super Bowl ads. An adviser to Republican presidential candidate John McCain said that the football audience is "a very ripe and timely target.
However, advertisers are usually offered discounted rates below the official one. Audi took the opportunity to pay homage to the decapitated horse's head scene from The Godfather using the front of a Rolls-Royce ,  while Hyundai, initially hesitant to air their spots,  eventually gave the green light to their first Super Bowl commercials since Throughout the NFL and United Way's history, the two organizations have aired commercials highlighting how they work together bettering communities around the US.
This year the United Way launched a youth fitness campaign through mobile donations with a second spot  running during the first half of the Super Bowl. The commercial featured the voice of Tom Brady, and was the first national text message donating campaign to launch from mGive and Mobile Accord. Following up on its Super Bowl XLI ad, which was one of several fan-created ads that year, the Doritos brand used its spot to air a brief performance by Kina Grannis , winner of an online contest that included a recording contract with Interscope Records.
All but the G2 ad were done in-house. Other returnees included GoDaddy. The NFL itself ran an ad following the third quarter's completion, featuring the winner of a fan vote in an online contest. The idea was to emphasize the personalities of NFL players. Eels attempted to run  a one-second edit  of their seven-second ad  to promote the compilation Useless Trinkets , but were denied by the National Football League.
Lead singer E reported:. In the end we were told that the NFL would have to find 29 other advertisers to buy 1 second spots to fill a standard 30 second advertising slot and that they do not sell advertising time by the second.
They also noted that a rapid fire 30 second segment of thirty 1 second commercials could cause people with certain medical conditions to have seizures and that it was against network regulations.
PETA had an ad ready claiming that "Vegetarians have better sex. Reebok made a series of commercials with the only NFL team with a perfect season, the Miami Dolphins. One features the '72 Dolphins players at a cookout and party at their house in "Perfectville" waiting to see what will happen in the game. Enjoy it for one more year. Overall, the game was available to an estimated potential audience of one billion viewers within countries and territories.
The game was also subsequently available on the BBC's on demand service, iPlayer. Sky Sports broadcast the game in both standard and high definition using Fox's feed and announcers. The camera provided millions of Internet users from around the world a chance to peer in on pre- and post-game activities, watching thousands of spectators file into and out of the stadium on Sunday, February 3. On radio, Westwood One had the national broadcast rights to the game in the United States and Canada; Marv Albert and Boomer Esiason served as the announcing team for that network.
Sirius Satellite Radio carried twelve feeds in eight languages in the United States. The following language feeds were offered:. The New York Giants: It was a 5 disc set that featured the full broadcasts of the last game of the regular season and all four playoff games.
On August 16, both the NFL and Fox confirmed that Idol host Seacrest would serve as emcee for the pre-game show, with Alicia Keys as the primary performer; as she sang a medley of her songs, including Navy precision flying team, the Blue Angels.
As is always the case, several big names were mentioned as possible performers for the halftime show before a final choice Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was announced.
The halftime entertainer selection process in late was not unusual: According to the entertainment publication Variety , a wish list of potential halftime performers was developed by the NFL. According to Rolling Stone , the engagement was actually offered to the Eagles by the NFL, but the offer was turned down. Then, on December 2, , it was officially announced that the halftime entertainment would be provided by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Bridgestone served as the halftime show sponsor. After the game, New York City erupted in celebration, with the sounds of cheers and honking horns echoing through city streets. Crowds of elated New Yorkers, surprised by their team's unexpected victory, packed Second Avenue in Manhattan , stalling traffic around Manhattan.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg , witnessing the first New York sports team championship victory as mayor, praised the hometown team's upset victory, saying; "New York has come back many times in the past, and Big Blue proved tonight that you should never, ever, count us out. Following the parade, the Giants held two victory rallies: After scoring a combined 73 points in their regular season meeting, the teams scored a mere 10 points by the end of the third quarter, with the Patriots leading 7—3.
The Patriots' record-setting offense gave up five sacks and one lost fumble, while the Giants' offense managed only five first downs in the second and third quarters. Yet in the fourth quarter, quarterback Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes, including the winning drive that culminated with a yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds remaining.
After calling tails to win the coin toss , the Giants started the game with the longest drive in Super Bowl history,  a play, yard march that consumed 9 minutes, 59 seconds and featured four third-down conversions, the most ever on a Super Bowl opening drive. But New England halted the drive at their own yard line, forcing the Giants to settle for a yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes that gave New York a 3—0 lead. New England then responded with its own scoring drive, as Laurence Maroney returned the kickoff 43 yards to the Patriots' yard line, after which he rushed twice for 15 yards.
Quarterback Tom Brady then completed three passes for 23 yards, but after two incomplete passes, New England was faced with 3rd-and on the Giants' yard line. However, on that play, New York linebacker Antonio Pierce committed pass interference by striking the helmet of tight end Benjamin Watson in the end zone, giving New England 1st-and-goal at the 1. This set up a Maroney 1-yard touchdown run two plays later, the first play of the second quarter, for a 7—3 lead.
The two teams each only had one drive in the entire opening quarter, a Super Bowl record. On the Giants first drive of the second quarter, on 3rd-and-7, wide receiver Amani Toomer caught in a deep pass from Manning along the left sideline while dragging his feet in-bounds for a yard gain, moving the ball to the Patriots' yard line. But three plays later, Manning threw a pass that bounced out of the arms of rookie receiver Steve Smith and into the hands of cornerback Ellis Hobbs for an interception.
The Patriots' ensuing drive resulted in a three-and-out as on 3rd-and-1 James Butler and Michael Strahan tackled Maroney for a two-yard loss and New England was forced to punt. Then on the Giants' next drive, rookie running back Ahmad Bradshaw fumbled a hand-off from Manning and it looked as though Patriots' linebacker Pierre Woods had recovered the ball at the Giants' But after the officials picked through the pile, it was determined that Bradshaw had made the recovery.