By BARRY WILNER
AP Pro Football Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Take that, Brady. You too, Peyton.
Eli Manning is the big man in the NFL after one-upping Tom Brady
and leading the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the New
England Patriots in Sunday's Super Bowl - in older brother Peyton's
house, at that.
Just as Manning did four years ago when the Giants ruined New
England's perfect season, he guided them 88 yards to the decisive
touchdown, which the Patriots didn't contest as Ahmad Bradshaw ran
6 yards with 57 seconds left.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick reasoned the Giants would run the
clock down and kick a short field goal, so he gambled by allowing
the six points.
The gamble failed.
And now Manning not only has stamped himself as the elite
quarterback he claimed to be when the season began - in the same
class as Brady - he's beaten the Patriots in two thrilling Super
Bowls. The Giants (13-7), who stood 7-7 in mid-December, now own
the football world, and Manning owns two Super Bowl MVP awards, the
same number as Brady.
"It's been a wild game, a wild season," Manning said.
Manning led six comeback victories during the season and set an
NFL record with 15 fourth-quarter touchdown passes. He showed that
brilliance in the clutch on the winning drive. He completed five
passes, including a sensational 38-yard sideline catch by Mario
Manningham to open the drive.
On second down at the Patriots 6 and with only one timeout
remaining, Belichick had his defense stand up as Bradshaw took the
handoff. Bradshaw thought about stopping short of the end zone,
then tumbled in untouched.
Brady couldn't answer in the final 57 seconds, although his
desperation pass into the end zone on the final play fell just
beyond the grasp of All-Pro tight end Rob Gronkowski. New England
(15-4), winner of 10 straight since a loss to the Giants in
November, was done.
Brady headed off with his head bowed, holding his helmet, while
around him was the wild celebration by the Giants, NFL champions
for the eighth - and perhaps most unlikely - time.