The 42nd edition of the Super Bowl delivered one of the greatest games in the traditional football showdown’s history.
On Feb. 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, the New York Giants upset the New England Patriots 17-14. The Patriots were 12-point favorites after becoming the first team to complete a perfect regular season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
The Giants consumed a Super Bowl record nine minutes and 59 seconds on their opening drive and settled for a field goal. New England responded with running back Laurence Maroney’s 1-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter.
The exciting fourth quarter brought a Super Bowl record three lead changes. David Tyree put the Giants up with his 3-yard touchdown catch at the beginning of the quarter. But New England answered when wide receiver Randy Moss made a 6-yard touchdown catch with 2:42 left to play.
Down 14-10, the Giants mounted a game-winning drive. They got the ball on their own 17-yard line with 2:39 left and marched 83 yards in 12 plays. In what became the cover photo for Sports Illustrated, Tyree made the “helmet catch” on third down. It was a leaping one-handed catch in which he pinned the football with his right hand to the crown of his helmet for a 32-yard first down conversion. After a second first-down conversion by Steve Smith on third and 11, wide receiver Plaxico Burress scored the winning touchdown on a 13-yard reception with 35 seconds left.
“It came down to one play and we made it,” Burress said.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning, who completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception, was named Super Bowl MVP. Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who retired following the victory, had two tackles and one sack.