Super Bowl XLVI was an American football game between the National 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 the 2011 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 during the 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 most tweets per second during a sporting event, with 13.7 million tweets from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. (PST).
Elisha Nelson "Eli" Manning (born January 3, 1981), is an American football quarterback for the New York Giants of the National Football League (NFL). He is the son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning and the younger brother of former NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Manning played college football at the University of Mississippi after attending prep school at Isidore Newman School in New Orleans. He was drafted as the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and immediately traded to the New York Giants, who in return gave up a package highlighted by fourth overall selection Philip Rivers.
Manning holds Giants franchise records for most passing yards, touchdown passes and completed passes in a career, and the NFL record for most fourth-quarter touchdown passes in a season. He led the Giants to victory in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI, defeating the New England Patriots in both games. Manning was named Most Valuable Player in each Super Bowl, becoming one of only five football players to have two or more Super Bowl MVP rings (Bart Starr and Terry Bradshaw have two, while Joe Montana and Tom Brady have three Super Bowl MVP rings). He is the only quarterback in NFL history to throw for more than 4,900 yards and win the Super Bowl in the same season. Manning is also currently the active iron man for consecutive starts by a quarterback. Eli is one of four quarterbacks in NFL history with at least 44,000 career yards, 290 touchdowns, four Pro Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl championships (John Elway, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning). Though lacking the statistical prowess of his brother, Eli is consistently cited for his clutch performances in high stakes games, and ability to remain calm under pressure.