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Eli Manning’s best – The moments that made him a Giants legend

Eli Manning's best - The moments that made him a Giants legend
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It’s a career like no other.

Eli Manning finished with a .500 career record in the regular season but won a pair of Super Bowl MVPs. Along the way there were some other magical moments, such as winning on the road in bitter cold Green Bay in the playoffs and his welcome-to-the-NFL moment his rookie year in the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys.

Those were just the appetizers though. These are the biggest and best moments and plays in Manning’s legendary career.

The Helmet Catch

It’s a play that needs no other qualifier. If someone mentions the helmet catch, you know exactly what they’re talking about.

It’s the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLII, with the Giants trailing the undefeated New England Patriots. The play call is 62 Sail-Y Union. David Tyree is running a post route vs. quarters coverage after a week where Manning said he could “not catch a pass” in practice.

Manning drops back but faces pressure from the left side. He steps up into two rushers up the middle, including from New England’s Richard Seymour, who gets his hands on Manning but can’t bring him down. The Giants quarterback spins away and spots Tyree down the middle of the middle. He chucks the ball despite Patriots safety Rodney Harrison being in the area.

Tyree, mostly a special teams standout, grabs the ball with one hand and pins it to his helmet. It goes for a 32-yard gain and four plays later Plaxico Burress catches the game-winning touchdown pass (more on this later).

“History could have been a lot different for me,” Manning once said in an interview with his brother Peyton.

Instead, the Giants took down the undefeated Patriots. Manning won the first of his two Super Bowl rings and MVPs.

All because of what Peyton called “arguably the greatest play in the history of football,” known as the helmet catch.

The Manningham Throw

This was again against the Patriots. The Giants trailed in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVI. They get the ball with 3:46 remaining at their own 12-yard line. Patriots coach Bill Belichick tells his defense to make them throw the ball to Mario Manningham.

The play is streaks shallow, according to Manningham. It was something they ran over and over and over throughout the season. Manningham is the flanker out left who runs a streak along the left sideline. The window for Manning to fit the ball between cornerback Sterling Moore and safety Patrick Chung is miniscule. But Manning throws the ball to Manningham, who is the third option on the play.

“Oh, s— he’s throwing the ball,” Manningham recalled.

The whole game was on the line on this drive. Manning fit the ball over Moore’s outstretched fingertips and into the arms of Manningham, who tip-toed on the sideline to get his feet in bounds.



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