INDIANAPOLIS — Giants RB Ahmad Bradshaw looked back, saw no one chasing him and paused at the goal line.
Could it really be this easy to score the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl?
Sunday's game came down not to a last-minute touchdown pass by Eli Manning — like four years ago — but a touchdown run set up by a desperate gamble by the Patriots.
Knowing the Giants, trailing 17-15, were in position to run out the clock and kick a winning field goal, the Patriots seemed to let Bradshaw score on a 6-yard run with 57 seconds left, giving no resistance.
"Oh, man, it was the best feeling in my life," Bradshaw said.
After squatting, he went into the end zone backward.
"I was yelling to him, 'Don't score! Don't score!' " Manning said. "He tried to stop, but he fell into the end zone."
The Patriots took over at their 20 with one timeout. They reached their 49 before Tom Brady's Hail Mary fell incomplete in the end zone.
Sitting out: Tiquan Underwood could have earned a Super Bowl ring. Instead, he didn't even play in the game.The seldom-used receiver, cut Saturday by the Patriots, would have been eligible for a ring had the New England won. His release made room for DE Alex Silvestro, who was signed from the practice squad.
Underwood, 24, seemed to be okay with his release. Saturday, he wished his teammates well via Twitter. Sunday, he sent more tweets: "Im Fine, This Will Only Make Me Stronger. Tough Times Never Last But Tough Ppl Do." Later, "This Is Nothing But MOTIVATION."
Silvestro, by the way, did not see action.
Record-setters: Brady set a Super Bowl record by completing 16 consecutive passes. Joe Montana completed 13 consecutive for the 49ers in Super Bowl XXIV in January 1990. Meanwhile, Manning set a Super Bowl record by completing his first nine passes.
Tails fails: When Giants LS Zak DeOssie called tails and the coin landed heads, it ended the NFC's 14-year win streak in the opening toss. DeOssie called tails for every game, going 4-4 during the regular season and 2-2 in the postseason (including 2-0 in the overtime win over the 49ers).
Tight end injuries: Giants TE Travis Beckum tore his right ACL during the second quarter. The reserve was blocking away from the play when he was hit by Patriots LB Tracy White.
The Giants also lost TE Jake Ballard. He sprained his left knee during the fourth quarter. Ballard was wearing a brace on his right knee after tearing the posterior cruciate ligament in Week 15 against the Redskins. He missed two games before returning for the playoffs.
No Pro Bowl? Commissioner Roger Goodell said he was disappointed in the quality of last week's Pro Bowl and changes must be considered, perhaps even dropping the game.
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said some players "embarrassed themselves" with their lack of effort during the AFC's 59-41 victory.
Goodell cited boos by fans for his concerns: "We are going to either have to improve the quality of what we are doing in the Pro Bowl or consider other changes or even consider eliminating the game if that is the kind of quality of game we are going to provide."
George Atallah, spokesman for the union, said via Twitter the players want the game to continue: "The Pro Bowl is an important tradition."