INDIANAPOLIS (CBS) – Once again, the New England Patriots could not get past the New York Giants in the Super Bowl.
The Giants pulled out a 21-17 victory in Super Bowl XLVI, and for the second time in five years, sent the Patriots home empty-handed.
“It doesn’t feel good,” guard Logan Mankins said of losing another Super Bowl. “You put your whole year into this and to come up that short, it hurts pretty bad. It’s hard to describe the feeling after losing this game. I’ve lost a lot of games in my career, but nothing hurts like losing the Super Bowl.”
“It’s the worst feeling,” said second-year corner Devin McCourty. “You’re right there. You think about this game the whole year, especially these last two weeks. You don’t this about this outcome.”
“The feeling stinks,” McCourty added.
“I think everybody realizes we were a better football team than what we saw out there today,” said offensive lineman Brian Waters.
The Patriots held a 17-15 lead in the fourth quarter, but Eli Manning, the games MVP, led the Giants on an 88-yard scoring drive in 2:49, ending with an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown with 57 seconds to go.
Tom Brady had one timeout to work with, but could not drive the Patriots far enough down the field in time. A final Hail Mary pass from Brady fell just short.
“We got to the 50 (yard line) and just ran out of time,” Brady said of New England’s final drive. “I’m not sure how close we were to getting it. Obviously I wish we could have done a little bit more.”
The Pats made sure to give the victorious Giants the credit they deserved.
“They’re a good football team and they’re obviously well-coached,” said Patriots head coach Bill Belichick.
Jerod Mayo Locker Room Reaction [worldnow id=6710904 width=320 height=240 type=video]
“I’d like to give the Giants a lot of credit,” quarterback Tom Brady said after his second-career Super Bowl loss, both at the hands of the Giants. “They certainly made plays when they needed to. That is a very good football team.”
The New England defense played well, but not well enough. They forced three fumbles, but did not recover any of them. One was called back when the Patriots were caught with 12 men on the field.
“We had a lot of balls out, we just didn’t get the turnovers we needed,” said linebacker Jerod Mayo. “We didn’t get the offense the ball.”
The Patriots offense was also hit with a case of the dropsies. Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch both had untimely drops in the fourth quarter, and Wes Welker was near tears after the loss because he couldn’t come up with a ball that could have sealed the game with five minutes to go.
“It’s a play I’ve made a thousand times in practice and everything else,” he said. “It comes to the biggest moment in my life and don’t come up with it. It’s discouraging.”
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” said Brady, but he would not place blame on Welker. “(The Giants) made some plays there at the end. We went out there to win the game. We just didn’t make enough plays.”
After walking off the field, the Patriots did not have much to say among each other.
“There was a little chatter, but for the most part it’s pretty quiet,” said Mankins. “There’s not a lot to be said when you lose a game of this magnitude. You can say whatever you want to someone, but it kind of falls on deaf ears at this time. Everyone’s disappointed. It just hurts to get this close and fall short.”
The team would have loved to get a win for owner Robert Kraft, who lost his wife Myra to cancer at the beginning of the season.
They came up short, but are vowing to be better next season.
“I just him to know that we’re going to be better. I feel like we’re going to be better, and I’m going to make sure to work my butt off this off season,” said linebacker Brandon Spikes. “I’m going to soak this all in, but with my family and teammates. I’m pretty sure they are going to be there for support. I’m looking forward to this off season.”
The Giants won their fourth Super Bowl overall. The Patriots are now 3-4 in the big game, tying them with the Bills, Vikings and Broncos for the most Super Bowl losses.