When the Patriots took a timeout with 1:04 left in the game and the Giants on the six-yard line, there was a lot of discussion about what would happen on the next play.
Would the Patriots let the Giants score a touchdown to give Tom Brady a chance with as much time as possible? Would the Giants tell their players not to score in order to milk as much clock as they could? As it turned out, the answer was yes to both questions but Ahmad Bradshaw wound up scoring the game-winning touchdown anyway.
Bradshaw took a handoff from Eli Manning, the Patriots defense did their impression of the Red Sea and Bradshaw sprinted toward the end zone before realizing at about the one-yard line that he wasn’t supposed to score. He tried to go down, but wound up spinning around and touching only his hand on the field before falling into the end zone rear end first.
“Eli was telling me to go down,” Bradshaw said, via Brendan Prunty of the Newark Star-Ledger. “He was saying, ‘Don’t score! Don’t score!’ I grabbed the ball and it really didn’t click at the 1-yard line, so I tried to put myself down. But my momentum just took me in.”
Bradshaw only got love from a couple of his teammates. Most of them looked like Bradshaw had just fumbled away the season instead of given his team the lead with less than a minute to play in the Super Bowl, but they would be happy soon enough.
Ultimately, it’s hard to get too upset at Bradshaw. Adrenaline is a powerful thing and taking the points on that play means that there’s no chance of something going wrong on the next snap. We saw Billy Cundiff’s miss in the AFC Championship Game and the Giants once lost a playoff game on a bungled field goal snap, to say nothing of Joe Pisarcik, so finishing the play is hardly the worst thing that could happen.