Super Bowl XLII — Patriots and Giants

By Ron Griffitts
Contributing Columnist

Super Bowl XLII took place on Feb. 3, 2008, in Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, Ariz. between the New England Patriots 16-0, still coached by Bill Belichick, appearing in their fourth Super Bowl in seven years, and the New York Giants 13-6 coached by Tom Coughlin.

Belichick’s offensive coordinator was Josh McDaniels and his defensive coordinator was Dean Pees.

The Pats were again led by quarterback Tom Brady having one of his best seasons as he passed for 4,806 yards and 50 touchdowns, and running back Laurence Maroney (835 yards, 6 TDs), receivers Randy Moss (1,493 yards, 23 TDs) and Wes Welker (1,175 yards, 8 TDs).

New England was led on defense by Tedy Bruschi (92 combined tackles, 2 sacks), Mike Vrabel (12.5 sacks) and Asante Samuel with 6 interceptions.

The Patriots were only the second team in NFL history to go into the Super Bowl with an undefeated record as the other team was the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

Tom Coughlin’s offensive coordinator was Kevin Gilfride and his defensive coordinator was Steve Spagnuolo. The offense was led by quarterback Eli Manning, the brother of the previous year’s Super Bowl winning quarterback Peyton Manning, who threw for 3,336 yards and 23 touchdowns.

The Giants’ running backs were Brandon Jacobs (1,009 yards, 4 TDs) and Derrick Ward (602 yards, 3 TDs), their receivers were Plaxico Burress (1,025 yards, 12 TDs) and Adam Toomer (760, 3 TDs) and their place kicker was Lawrence Tynes who made 23 of 27 field goal attempts.

They were led on defense by Antonio Pierce (102 combined tackles), Gibril Wilson (92 combined tackles, 4 interceptions), Jim Moran (4 interceptions), Osi Umvenyiora (13 sacks), Justin Tuck (10 sacks) and Micheal Strahan playing in the last of his 15 seasons in the NFL (9 sacks).

There was extra tension in the air as the Patriots tried to stay undefeated.

The Giants were a wild card team used to close games as they bested Dallas 21-17 and Green Bay 23-20 to get to the Super Bowl.

The only scoring in the first quarter was a 32-yard Lawrence Tyne field goal and New York led 3-0 after one quarter.

In the second quarter, Tom Brady rallied the Patriots down the field for a touchdown with Lawrence Maroney running it in from the 1-yard line and the score was 7-3 Patriots at the half.

There was no scoring in the third quarter but on the opening drive of the fourth quarter, Eli Manning directed the Giants 80 yards for a touchdown with a 45-yard pass play to Kevin Boss being the big play of the drive and a 5-yard completion to David Tyree being the scoring play and the Giants go up 10-7.

With 2:45 left in the game, Brady, using a series of short and midrange passes, led the Patriots 80 yards for a score culminating in a 6-yard TD pass to Randy Moss and the Patriots went ahead 14-10 with 2:39 left in the game.

Starting at their own 17-yard line, Eli Manning engineered his team down the field with a 32-yard completion to David Tyree being the big play and the Giants had third and 11 at the Patriots’ 25-yard line with 45 seconds left on the clock

Manning calmly completed a 12-yard pass to Steve Smith for the first down and on the next play threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress and the Giants led 17-14.

The Patriots got the ball back with 29 seconds left in the game but could not make progress down field and the Giants won 17-14.

Eli Manning received the game MVP and the Giants and Patriots would return to the Super Bowl in 2012.

The Patriots won their first three Super Bowls by three points each and in this one they lost by three points.

Statistics for this article were from football-reference.com.

Ron Griffitts a contributing columnist for The Daily Advocate.