Manning Crowned Super Bowl MVP Again

(AP Photo)

Feb. 5, 2012

Photo Gallery | Rebels in the Super Bowl

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Former Ole Miss Rebel 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," said Manning, who is just the fifth player in NFL history to win multiple Super Bowl MVPs.

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.

Manning becomes the 14th former Ole Miss player to win the Super Bowl and third to capture the championship twice. He was joined in this year's game by another Rebel in Patriots' running back BenJarvus  Green-Ellis, who led New England on the ground with 44 yards on 10 carries.

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