Super Bowl XLII NY Giants vs. New England February 3, 2008
Even though no one wanted to admit (I did) that they wanted to see the Patriots go undefeated. You had wanted to see someone other than the ’72 Dolphins be the only team to finish a season undefeated. Popping champagne every time the last undefeated team loses and not that they all did it, but Mercury Morris in particular acted like if someone did it now, it wouldn’t be as special as theirs. Oh really Merc. Last I checked 19-0 was better than 17-0. How could you rationalize that your undefeated season was better than another if it happened?
You got a pre-cursor to this Super Bowl in the last week of the regular season. Both the Giants and Patriots were asked if they would be resting their starters. The Giants had nothing to play for. Their spot in the playoffs was already etched in stone. The Patriots were not hiding the fact that they were going for the perfect season. Both went after each other for the best game of the regular season that went in favor of the Patriots 38-35. A perfect 16-0 regular season. They still needed to win three more games to be considered the best team of all time. 19-0 was the goal for the Patriots.
The Giants went through the playoffs winning all three of their games on the road. At Tampa Bay, Dallas & Green Bay. Pretty formidable venues when it’s playoff time. They were underdogs in every single game mind you. No one even gave them a fighters chance when they got to Phoenix to play the Patriots in the Super Bowl. When wide receiver Plaxico Burress predicted victory and the score of 23-17 in favor of the Giants. The sports world was shocked. Normally predictions before a Super Bowl by a player is a sign of a blowout. Or that player who made the prediction will have his worst game ever. Well, not really.
Defense was the name, not offense for this matchup. When they first met, it was a race to the finish line with both offenses scoring 35 or more points. Your halftime score was 7-3 in favor of the Patriots. A lone rushing TD by Laurence Maroney of the Patriots was the only scoring in sight. Tom Brady was getting pressure from the Giants defensive line, which the Giants hardly blitzed the entire game. Four man front was all they needed to get pressure on the quarterback. David Tyree caught the Giants first TD pass from Eli Manning to start the fourth quarter. Brady and the Pats would answer with a TD pass to his favorite or one of his favorite targets wide receiver Randy Moss for a 6 yard connection that took up over five minutes in the fourth.
Just over two and a half minutes left for Eli to get the Giants the victory. Down 14-10, Manning was connecting to anyone and everyone that was wearing a Giants uniform. The moment came when it seemed Eli was going to be sacked, but wiggled his way out of the pocket and threw a prayer that was answered by David Tyree (pictured above). Safety Rodney Harrison who will soon be in the Hall of Fame normally makes plays on the ball, but failed to get away from Tyree’s head. Soon after Eli found Plaxico who made true on his prediction of victory catching the winning touchdown. 17-14 Giants pull off the greatest upset in Super Bowl history. Yes, bigger than Super Bowl 3 Jets vs. Colts. Perfection no more as the Patriots finish short of it. The Giants came close in Week 17, but perfected their game plan when it mattered.