Super Bowl XLVI
Super Bowl XLVI proved to be a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, as the NFC champion New York Giants squared off against the AFC champion New England Patriots. Both teams entered the contest with something to prove. For Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the team would be able to get its revenge for its stunning loss four years earlier … ruining New England's otherwise perfect 2007 season. The Giants, led by head coach Tom Coughlin and quarterback Eli Manning, sought to prove themself worthy to be participating in the game, given the team's 9-7 regular season record … the lowest winning record in Super Bowl history. (In comparison, the Patriots had mounted a 13-3 regular season record).
Super Bowl XLVI was held on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. It marked the first time that a Super Bowl was held in the Hoosier State. The venue also held some meaning for Manning, as it was home turf for his older brother, Payton Manning, and his Indianapolis Colts. Despite New York's lackluster performance during the regular season, the team took a quick 2-0 lead after Brady was called for intentional grounding, then drove 78 yards in nine plays for another seven points and a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. By halftime, however, the Patriots had taken a 10-9 lead. By the third quarter, the Pats made the score 17-9, following a 21-yard pass from Brady to Chad Ochocinco, two rushes by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and a 12-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez. Two consecutive New York field goals narrowed the gap, making it 17-15 late in the third quarter. With only 57 seconds left in the game, running back Ahmad Bradshaw sealed the deal for the Giants with a six-yard game-winning touchdown, and a final score of 21-17. Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, was named the game's MVP to become the third consecutive quarterback to snag the honor (following Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees). The game also set a record as the most-watched program in television history with an estimated average audience of 111.3 million viewers in the United States, and an estimated worldwide audience of 166.8 million people.