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Giant plays: Super Bowl moments that will live in infamy--or not

February 05, 2012|RedEye

The biggest football game in the world often comes down to a few memorable moments. Either on or off the field.

David Tyree's helmet catch. Janet Jackson's nipple. Santonio Holmes' tip-toe score. William 'The Refrigerator' Perry's 1-yard scoring run.

All etched into our collective consciousness.

Super Bowl XLVI, featuring the New York Giants and New England Patriots, could only hope to produce such a moment.

With that said, RedEye was on the lookout for the big moments from Sunday's game in Indianapolis. Here's what stood out to us.

FIRST QUARTER

For all the talk about Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's experience, poise and skill, it was his complete breakdown in the end zone on New England's first possession that resulted in New York's first score when he was called for a safety. A safety.

SCORE: Giants 2, Patriots 0.

If you watched NBC's pregame show—all five hours of it—you got sick of hearing about Victor Cruz and his salsa dancing touchdown celebration. Well, as it turns out, they shoved it down viewers' throats for good reason. Cruz caught a perfect Eli Manning pass with 3:29 left in the first quarter to put the Giants up 9-0.

SCORE: Giants 9, Patriots 0.

SECOND QUARTER

It might not be on the level of the David Tyree helmet catch of the 2008 Super Bowl, but Hakeem Nicks' leaping, 18-yard catch over the middle in the early moments of the second quarter was indicative of the Giants' passing game. Manning and his arsenal of receivers can strike all over the field and there's seemingly no catch they can't make.

The Pats go from goal line to goal line to take the lead. And who was the star of the drive? Not Brady. Not Rob Gronkowski, but Danny Woodhead? Woodhead, the same guy who scored no touchdowns in the regular season or playoffs up until now, but he gave New England a 10-9 lead when he caught a 4-yard pass to cap a 96-yard drive.

SCORE: Patriots 10, Giants 9.

THIRD QUARTER

In what could turn out to be a turning point in the game, Aaron Hernandez makes his sixth catch count as he scores from 12 yards out. At this point, Brady and Co. have had back-to-back drives of 96 and 79 yards. That's how you control the game.

SCORE: Patriots 17, Giants 9.

In what seemed like a quiet third quarter, one of the biggest moments was Patrick Chung's teeth-rattling hit on Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks along the sideline halfway through the period. Nicks was shaken up, but he returned to the game. Look for it on the highlight reels today.

FOURTH QUARTER

With the game in the balance—3:40ish left—and the Giants down by 2, a double-covered Mario Manningham makes a miracle, 38-yard catch along the sidelines that puts New York on the 50-yard line and in prime position to take the lead in the waning moments.

It's been an aerial show for most of the game, but Ahmad Bradshaw scores a touchdown with less than a minute left to put the Giants up by four. What makes it memorable is that Bradshaw backed off at the goal line and appeared to attempt to go down in order to use more time on the clock, but he eventually fell into the end zone to give New York the lead.

SCORE: Giants 21, Patriots 17

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