(FNN Media) — The New York Giants opening drive stalled, but Tom Brady’s intentional grounding in the end zone on the New England Patriots’ first offensive play of the game set the table for a dominant first quarter by the NFC champions.
With Justin Tuck barreling down on him, Brady heaved the ball nearly 50 yards down field without a receiver in the vicinity. The flag was thrown and the first points of Super Bowl XLVI were posted on the scoreboard.
The momentum carried over into subsequent series when Eli Manning threaded the ball into Victor Cruz from two yards out. It was the culmination of a nine-play, 78-yard drive that did little to silence critics of the Patriots’ defense.
Nothing went New England’s way in the first quarter. Two plays before the touchdown, Sterling Moore stripped Cruz of the ball and that was recovered by Brandon Spikes. The problem? The Pats were flagged for having 12 men on the field–offsetting the turnover.
New York dominated the time of possession by a wide margin.
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