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Giants edge Patriots in Super Bowl thriller

By Paul Gittings, CNN
updated 11:12 PM EST, Sun February 5, 2012
Giants quarterback Eli Manning with the Vince Lombardi trophy after their 21-17 win over the Patriots. Giants quarterback Eli Manning with the Vince Lombardi trophy after their 21-17 win over the Patriots.
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Manning MVP
Cruz strikes first
Super Bowl super fan
Super Bowl hits Indianapolis
Woodhead crosses
Madonna hits the high notes
Hernandez touchdown
Bradshaw's glory
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI
  • Giants beat New England Patriots 21-17 in Indianapolis
  • Winning touchdown from Ahmad Bradshaw
  • Fourth Super Bowl triumph for the Giants as Eli Manning named MVP

(CNN) -- The New York Giants beat the New England Patriots 21-17 to win Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis Sunday after a dramatic finish.

Trailing 15-17 deep into the fourth quarter, Giants quarterback Eli Manning found Ahmad Bradshaw for what proved to be the winning touchdown.

It still left the Patriots with one final chance to move ahead but their star quarterback Tom Brady saw his final 'Hail Mary' pass go uncaught.

It was the fourth Super Bowl triumph for the Giants, repeating their 2008 success over Brady's Patriots.

Manning was named MVP for a superb performance, capped by his coolness under pressure in their final winning drive, his 38-yard pass to Mario Marringham laying the foundations for victory.

"It just feels good to win a Super Bowl no matter where you are or what stadium it is," Manning said.

It just feels good to win a Super Bowl no matter where you are or what stadium it is
Eli Manning

The Giants had made the more confident start and had the first score of the night as Brady made an incomplete pass from his own endzone and referee John Parry awarded a safety and two points to the team from New York.

Super Bowl XLVI as it happened

It got better for the Giants soon afterwards as Manning connected with Victor Cruz for the opening touchdown. Lawrence Tynes added the extra point and they were ahead 9-0.

The Patriots responded with a field goal from Stephen Gostkowski and were slowly working their way back into the game.

It culminated in Brady being instrumental in a 96-yard drive, tied for the longest in Super Bowl history, as he finally found the excellent Danny Woodhead for a touchdown. Gostkowski made no mistake for the extra point and the Patriots were 10-9 to the good at the half.

After the halftime entertainment supplied by Madonna, it was the Patriots who were calling the tune and Brady continued in superlative form as he set up Aaron Hernandez to run in seven yards for their second touchdown.

It had been a 79-yard drive and on the way Brady made it 14 straight completions, breaking a Super Bowl record held by Joe Montana.

We came out energized in the second half and the rest is history.
Tom Coughlin

Tynes, brought up in Scotland and one of several international players in Super Bowl XLVI, kept the Giants within range as he responded with a 38-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 17-12.

Brady was sacked on the next Patriots drive, the Giants regained possession and Tynes converted again for a 33-yard field goal.

So at 17-15 heading into the final quarter, it was anyone's game in keeping with the pre-match predictions of a close contest.

But it was Manning who kept his nerve under pressure as the Giants claimed the biggest prize in the NFL after trailing at halftime and looking second best to the earlier brilliance of Brady.

"At halftime I said we can play better than this. They agreed," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. "We came out energized in the second half and the rest is history."

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