Bradshaw scores a 'gift' TD

New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushes New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw rushes for a touchdown in front of New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo during the second half of the Super Bowl XLVI. (Feb. 5, 2012) Photo Credit: AP

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INDIANAPOLIS -- It probably was the weirdest game-winning touchdown in the history of the Super Bowl. But Ahmad Bradshaw will take it.

Bradshaw's 6-yard run with 57 seconds left gave the Giants the go-ahead points in a 21-17 win over the New England Patriots Sunday night in Super Bowl XLVI.

But at the time, it was a touchdown that Bradshaw was trying to avoid. As he took the handoff from Eli Manning on second-and-goal from the 6, Bradshaw heard the quarterback yell at him to get down before he reached the end zone. By not scoring at that point, the Giants could have run down the clock and set up a chip-shot field goal with about 10 seconds left.

Bradshaw didn't realize that Patriots coach Bill Belichick had told his defenders to clear a path for the running back, the thinking being that the Patriots needed to get the ball back in Tom Brady's hands with as much time remaining as possible.

Bradshaw tried his darnedest to slam on the brakes before crossing the goal line. But his momentum carried him and he ended up sitting in the end zone.

"I just couldn't stop," Bradshaw said. "But it worked out."

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Belichick acknowledged that the Patriots allowed Bradshaw to score. When asked if there were decisions during the game that he regretted, Belichick said there were, but he did not finger that one specifically.

Giants coach Tom Coughlin said it was a very tense moment on the sideline, knowing that Brady had 57 seconds left to work his magic.

"It all worked out, thank God," Coughlin said.

It marked the second time in five seasons that the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, keyed by an unconventional play. Four years ago, David Tyree's helmet catch helped the Giants win Super Bowl XLII.

"I just feel great right now,'' Bradshaw said. "I really didn't want to score that touchdown, but I'm glad I did. This is just a fantastic feeling.''

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