Giants upset Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII

Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 19 of 34 passes, with two touchdowns and one interception.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 19 of 34 passes, with two touchdowns and one interception.
The Giants celebrate their game-winning touchdown with less than a minute on the clock.
The Giants celebrate their game-winning touchdown with less than a minute on the clock.

The New York Giants won Super Bowl XLII with a last-minute touchdown, upsetting the New England Patriots' hopes of becoming the first team since 1972 to complete a National Football League season undefeated.

The Giants beat the Patriots 17-14 in Sunday night's championship game, giving New York its first NFL title since 1991.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named the game's Most Valuable Player -- a year after his brother, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, took the same honor.

''There's something about this team,'' Eli Manning told The Associated Press. ''The way we win games, and performed in the playoffs in the stretch. We had total confidence in ourselves. The players believed in each other.''

The heavily favored Patriots, who have won three of the last seven Super Bowls, went undefeated in the regular season and playoffs.

A win Sunday would have made them the first team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins to go undefeated.

"It was good enough for 18 wins. It's just the most important one we ended up losing," said Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, who twice previously has taken Super Bowl MVP honors. "I'm sure we're all going to wake up tomorrow more disappointed."

The Giants drew first blood with a first-quarter field goal, and their vaunted defense went on to sack Brady five times during the course of the game.

New England came back with a one-yard touchdown run by Laurence Maroney early in the second quarter and led 7-3 at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Giants hit the end zone early in the fourth to make it 10-7. A 6-yard touchdown pass from Brady to wide receiver Randy Moss with 2:42 left put the Patriots back on top -- and the pressure on Manning.

With just under a minute remaining, Manning wriggled free of what looked like a certain sack to throw a 32-yard pass to David Tyree, putting the Giants on New England's 24-yard line.

Four plays later, Manning connected with wide receiver Plaxico Burress on a 13-yard pass to reclaim the lead and win the game.

''It's the greatest feeling in professional sports,'' Burress said after the game as he was overcome by emotion.

Taking over with 35 seconds remaining, Brady was sacked once and threw three incomplete passes on the Patriots' final possession.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick crossed the field and shook the hand of Giants coach Tom Coughlin with a second left on the clock, then went to the locker room and missed Manning's final kneeldown.

Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer, who had six catches for 84 yards, credited his team's physical play for the win.

"They tried to just bully us around," Toomer said. "We're a more physical team than them, and it showed today. We punched them in the mouth, and they didn't want anymore."

Last year's Super Bowl was the highest-rated TV show in the U.S. for 2007, with more than 93 million people tuning in, according to Nielsen. This year, with two teams from huge markets competing down to the wire, that number might have been surpassed.

Companies spent millions of dollars to get their marketing message to this massive audience.

The average cost for a 30-second spot during this year's Super Bowl was $2.7 million, according to Fox, the News Corp.-owned network that broadcast the game. That's up slightly from last year, when the going rate was $2.6 million, and more than double the 1997 price of $1.2 million.

Copyright 2008 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.