Tom Brady threw a 4-yard scoring pass to Danny Woodhead with eight seconds left in the second quarter to give New England its first lead in the National Football League’s championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The Patriots trailed 9-0 after the first quarter.
The game is a rematch of the Super Bowl played four years ago, when the Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 as 12-point underdogs to spoil New England’s chance for a 19-0 season.
The Patriots (14-4) entered today’s game with a 10-game winning streak and as 3-point favorites, according to oddsmakers. The Giants (12-7), who won 24-20 in New England on Nov. 6, have won five games in a row.
Both teams are seeking a fourth Super Bowl title.
The Giants took a 2-0 lead with nine minutes left in the first quarter when Brady was flagged for intentional grounding in the end zone on New England’s first offensive play. Brady was in the pocket and being pressured by the Giants’ Justin Tuck when he threw a pass toward midfield when there were no receivers downfield.
New York pushed its lead to 9-0 with 3:29 left in the opening quarter as Victor Cruz caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning, making a juggling grab on a quick slant.
The Patriots then pulled within 9-3 on a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 13:52 left in the second quarter. New England ended the half with a 14-play drive that started at its 4-yard line, matching the longest scoring drive in Super Bowl history.
This is the first Super Bowl to feature opposing quarterbacks who’d previously won the Super Bowl MVP.
New England’s Brady, whose five Super Bowl starts are tied with John Elway for the most by a quarterback, is seeking to join Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only quarterbacks to win four championships in the Super Bowl era. Brady has completed 15 of 18 passes for 147 yards.
New York’s Manning is seeking to join Brady and Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers as the only active quarterbacks with multiple championships. Manning has connected on 13 of 17 passes for 120 yards.
Giants coach Tom Coughlin could become the oldest coach to win a Super Bowl at 65. The Patriots’ Bill Belichick can join Chuck Noll as the only coach with four Super Bowl victories.
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