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Eli Manning, who completed 30 of 40 passes for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions, was named Super Bowl MVP for the second time in his career.He became the third consecutive quarterback to win the award after Aaron Rodgers in Super Bowl XLV and Drew Brees in Super Bowl XLIV.A labor dispute had threatened the postponement or cancellation of the game during the spring and summer of 2011; league officials had set contingency plans to postpone the game one week if it had been necessary to postpone regular season games into the second week of January.Since the dispute was resolved well before the start of the regular season, no postponements were implemented, and the game remained as originally scheduled.The broadcast of the game on NBC broke the then record for the most-watched program in American television history, previously set during the previous year's Super Bowl.Super Bowl XLVI was watched by an estimated average audience of 111.3 million US viewers and an estimated total audience of 166.8 million, according to Nielsen, meaning that over half of the American population watched at least some of the initial broadcast.Back at the helm of the offense was 12-year quarterback Tom Brady, who earned his 7th Pro Bowl selection.Starting every game of the season, Brady completed 65.6% of his passes for a career-high 5,235 yards (the second highest total in NFL history at the time) and 39 touchdown passes, with just 12 interceptions and a rating of 105.6.
The Giants defeated the Patriots by the score of 21–17.
The 2011 Giants are the first team in NFL history to reach the Super Bowl after having been outscored by their opponents in the regular season (394 points scored, 400 points allowed).
The Patriots finished with a 13–3 record, winning the AFC East and clinching the AFC's No. New England lost 2 consecutive games to the Steelers and Giants in week 8 and 9 respectively, before rallying to win their remaining eight games.
But the Giants prevented the Patriots from scoring again, and two consecutive New York field goals chipped away New England's lead, 17–15, late in the third quarter.
The Giants capped off an 88-yard drive with running back Ahmad Bradshaw's 6-yard game-winning touchdown with 57 seconds left in the game.