One of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history complete with the some of the greatest plays, was orchestrated by Eli Manning and the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII, February 3, 2008 against the New England Patriots.
The heavily favored Patriots did not lose a game all year and were in control 7-3 at halftime over the NFC wild card Giants. However, the tenacious Giants were not giving in and scored early in the fourth quarter to take a 10-7 lead. New England’s Tom Brady countered and hit Randy Moss in the end zone for a Patriots 14-10 lead with 2:42 remaining.
That set the stage for Eli Manning to do the unthinkable, drive his team 83 yards in under 3 minutes against a Patriot team that didn’t know what is was like to lose all season. Manning was patient moving the ball up the field in steady fashion, hitting the clutch pass when he had to.
Then the moment of truth came, 3rd and 5 on their own 44 with 1:15 showing on the clock. Manning took the snap and fell back in the pocket with Patriots closing in on him fast. With one Patriot grabbing his shoulder and another pulling his shirt, Manning was able to amble away and give himself just enough time to throw a bullet in the direction of David Tyree. Manning did his part in getting the pass off, the rest of the play belonged to Tyree, who leaped up miraculously to catch the ball and fell backward pinning the ball against his helmet so not to drop it. All this was happening while Patriots Rodney Harrison was in Tyree’s face and punching at the ball to loosen it from his grip and the helmet. His attempt failed and the play stood to be known as “The Helmet Catch” which was good for 32 yards. Another spectacular clutch catch on the sidelines by rookie Steve Smith once again kept the Giants drive alive and Manning finished it with a lob to Plaxico Burress in the end zone.
One of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history which included one of the greatest catches, “The Helmet Catch”.