Manning Scrambles Into History

Beating the Patriots took a healthy dose of improv

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 4, 2008 11:46 AM CST

(Newser) – Facing a team and coach renowned for their preparation, Eli Manning did the smart thing: He improvised. Some of Manning’s most astounding plays in Super Bowl XLII didn’t appear in the playbook, and that includes the miraculous game-saving pass to David Tyree that saw Manning scramble as never before. No amount of spying could have prepared Tom Brady’s crew, writes ESPN’s John Clayton.

Manning’s 45-yard completion to Kevin Boss was another bootleg special. “They weren’t all in the game plan,” said offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride. “A bunch of them weren’t.” But Manning executed with poise many doubted he had. “This is where you want to be, honestly," the QB said of being down 14-10 with 2:39 left. "You couldn't write a better script.”

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) celebrates after his 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game against the New England Patriots at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) celebrates after his 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game against the New England Patriots...   (Associated Press)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass as he avoids a sack from New England Patriots defensive tackle Richard Seymour (93) during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Charlie...
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) looks to pass as he avoids a sack from New England Patriots defensive tackle Richard Seymour (93) during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football...   (Associated Press)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) runs away from New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (50) and Adalius Thomas (96) during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Gene Puskar)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) runs away from New England Patriots linebacker Mike Vrabel (50) and Adalius Thomas (96) during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game at University...   (Associated Press)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) avoids a tackle by New England Patriots defensive tackle Richard Seymour in the fourth quarter  during the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/David Duprey)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) avoids a tackle by New England Patriots defensive tackle Richard Seymour in the fourth quarter during the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix...   (Associated Press)
New England Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas forces New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) to fumble during the second quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
New England Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas forces New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) to fumble during the second quarter of the Super Bowl XLII football game at University of Phoenix Stadium...   (Associated Press)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, and his coach Tom Coughlin look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they celebrate after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl XLII football game on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2008, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, left, and his coach Tom Coughlin look at the Vince Lombardi Trophy as they celebrate after the Giants beat the New England Patriots 17-14 in the Super Bowl XLII...   (Associated Press)
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