The game started off in odd fashion - with the AFC winning the coin toss for the first time in 15 years. The Patriots elected to defer, giving the ball to Eli Manning and the Giants offense. New York started moving the ball quickly, only to stall out and punt the ball to the Patriots after a 10 play, 35 yard drive.
The Patriots immediately put the first points on the board. Unfortunately for them, it was due to an intentional grounding in the end zone by Tom Brady - giving the Giants two points on the safety.
Following the free-kick, the Giants would drive 78 yards in 9 plays, culminating with a 2-yard pass from Manning to Victor Cruz. Following the extra point, the Giants would lead 9-0.
The Patriots would finally put points on the board for themselves on the next drive. Ending the first quarter and opening the second, Brady would direct a 10 play, 60 yard drive leading to a Stephen Gostkowski field goal. The two teams would then trade punts.
After an additional New York punt, the Patriots would put their offense together, driving 96 yards on 14 plays. The drive would end with a 4 yard touchdown pass from Brady to Danny Woodhead, leaving just eight second on the clock. After a kneel down by the Giants, the Patriots would take a 10-9 lead into the half.
The Patriots would take the opening drive of the second half 79 yards four an Aaron Hernandez 8 yard touchdown reception, extending the New England lead to 17-9.
The Giants would respond with a field goal on their next two drives. The first would be a 10 play, 45 yard drive, followed by a New England three-and-out punt. The second field goal would come on a 9 play, 33 yard drive, with 40 second left in the third quarter.
Starting the fourth quarter, the Patriots were looking to extend their 17-15 lead. On the second play of the period, however, Brady would throw a 35 yard pass to Rob Gronkowski, only to see linebacker Chade Blackburn intercept the ball at the Giants' eight yard line.
The Giants would drive 51 yards after the interception, only to have to punt the ball following a questionable non-call for pass interference.
The Patriots took control of the ball, looking to kill the clock and win the game. However, the Giants defense were able to hold on, allowing the Patriots 48 yards on 11 plays and 5:38 off the play clock, but forcing a punt.
The Giants would then open the next drive with a 38 yard pass down the sideline to Mario Manningham, who somehow kept his feet in bounds and managed to hold on to the ball all the way through falling out of bounds. The Giants would eventually score the touchdown for the lead, but left :57 seconds on the clock when Ahmad Bradshaw could not stop before the goal line as the Patriots let him score.
With just under a minute to play, and one timeout, Brady came out looking to drive the Patriots 80 yards. Suddenly, it looked like the New England receiving corps forgot how to catch, dropping the ball on the first two plays of the drive. On the next play, Justin Tuck came up the middle to tally the sack on Brady, forcing the Patriots into a 4th-and-16 play after burning their last time out.
Brady would drop back, and once again feel the pressure. Somehow avoiding Jason Pierre-Paul, Brady was able to find Deion Branch for the first down. He was then able to spike the ball to stop the clock, the threw a deep ball on second down that fell incomplete, only to gain yardage on a 12-men on the field penalty against New York.
After an incomplete pass on the replayed second down, Brady was faced with the ball on the New England 49 yard line, and only five seconds to play. The Hail Mary would fall incomplete, and the Giants would be crowned Super Bowl Champions - once again beating the Patriots as they did in Super Bowl XLII.