INDIANAPOLIS — After a night’s sleep later — or perhaps no sleep at all — Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning walked through some of the game’s top moments, including the game’s go-ahead touchdown that spurred the New York Giants to a 21-17 victory over the Patriots.
“Right as I broke the huddle, I kinda had a feeling under the circumstances they were gonna let us score,” Manning said. “And it’s a tough situation right there as you’re thinking about what to do. I think you have to score a touchdown right there. That’s the goal; that’s the ultimate goal is to score a touchdown. As a quarterback, I have great confidence in Lawrence Tynes and kicking field goals. And obviously he’s kicked game winners for us, but you just don’t want to leave anything to chance in that situation. We could have kneeled it and run out the clock and kicked a field goal with 10 seconds left. But if we get a bad snap, or if they block it, or something fluky happens and you miss that field goal, you feel terrible. So in that situation, as I was handing the ball off [to Ahmad Bradshaw], I saw their defensive line was just standing up and not rushing.
“I was just yelling ‘don’t score, don’t score,’ ” Manning continued. “Obviously he heard me, he thought about it. You know it’s tough for a running back to see a big hole right there going for a touchdown. I think something almost had to pop in his head like something’s up, this is little bit too good to be true. I’m yelling and he obviously heard me, and he thought about it kinda going down. But I think he didn’t quite know what to do, but he got a touchdown and I’m glad he did.”
On his 38-yard pass to Mario Manningham that put the Giants only yards away from field goal position, Manning said it was a “muscle” throw.
“I’m not good at ranking my throws. Obviously it’s a Super Bowl and a tight throw. I didn’t have any questions. I felt the safety was inside. I wasn’t worried about whether it would be an interception or a dangerous throw of the ball when it was released. I saw a window and I felt confident about it. Didn’t think much about it. Just saw where Mario was and I knew the timing. A lot of those throws are muscle movements. You don’t think about how far to throw it or what to do. You see the receiver, you step up and make the throw. And hopefully you put it in a good spot where he can catch it and he made a great play.”
After the game, Eli Manning spent some time with his brother Peyton.
“He was just proud of me,” he said. “He was proud of the team. And a quarterback like Peyton is, he knows the game well, and he asks questions a lot of people want to ask. Like the touchdown to Victor Cruz. He asked if I saw the middle linebacker [Jerod Mayo] running out there and I didn’t. He can see there and tell that it looked liked it was single high, some kind of jab to my right a little bit before running left and looking up Victor. You know, under center, they’re bringing blitz, it is tough to see that. But luckily [Mayo] never looked back at me [as I] threw it right off his shoulder a little bit and Victor did a good job of concentrating and making the catch.
“And then he talked about the throw to Manningham. He was mad. He said everybody kept talking about what great a catch it was. He said it was a pretty good throw, also. So, it’s the brother looking out for me.”