Super Bowl 46
Super Bowl XLVI was played between theNational Football Conference (NFC) champion New York Giants and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion New England Patriots to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the2011 season. The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 21–17. The game was played on February 5, 2012, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, the first time that the Super Bowl was played in the state of Indiana.
In addition to winning their fourth Super Bowl in team history, the Giants set a new record for the lowest regular season record (9–7, win percentage of 56.3%) by a Super Bowl champion. The Patriots entered the game with an AFC-best 13–3 regular season record, and were also seeking their fourth Super Bowl win. The game was also a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, in which New York also won, 17–14, to spoil New England's run at a perfect 2007 season in what is now considered to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. Super Bowl XLVI also marked the third consecutive matchup between teams from divisions with the same cardinal directions, with the Giants/Patriots from the NFC/AFC East, Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers/Pittsburgh Steelers from the NFC/AFC North, and Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints/Indianapolis Colts from the NFC/AFC South. Two years later, the Seattle Seahawks/Denver Broncos, from the NFC/AFC West, would continue this trend when they met each other for Super Bowl XLVIII.
The Giants jumped to a 9–0 lead in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLVI before the Patriots scored 17 unanswered points to take a 17–9 lead in the third quarter. But the Giants prevented the Patriots from scoring again, and two consecutive New York field goals chipped away New England's lead, 17–15, late in the third quarter. The Giants capped off an 88-yard drive with running back Ahmad Bradshaw's 6-yard game-winning touchdown with 57 seconds left in the game. Eli Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career. He became the third consecutive quarterback to win the award after Aaron Rodgers in Super Bowl XLV and Drew Brees in Super Bowl XLIV.
The broadcast of the game on NBC broke the then record for the most-watched program in American television history, previously set duringthe previous year's Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVI was watched by an estimated average audience of 111.3 million US viewers and an estimated total audience of 166.8 million, according to Nielsen, meaning that over half of the American population watched at least some of the initial broadcast. The game also set the record for mosttweets per second during a sporting event, with 13.7 million tweets from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. (PST).