Super Bowl: Eli Manning says he told Ahmad Bradshaw not to score
Eli Manning said Monday that he was yelling the same thing at teammate Ahmad Bradshaw as many New York Giants fans surely were screaming at their TV sets before the Super Bowl-winning touchdown:
"Don't score! Don't score!"
The Giants trailed, 17-15, with just over a minute left in the game but had the ball at the New England Patriots' 7-yard line. A touchdown would give the Giants the lead -- but scoring quickly would also give Patriots quarterback Tom Brady plenty of time to engineer a comeback drive, which is why the New England defense gave Bradshaw a clear path to the end zone.
"As I'm handing the ball off I saw that their defensive line was just standing up and not rushing and I start yelling not to score," Manning said. "Maybe you can get down to the six-inch line, make them use their last time out and then try to score on third down, hopefully score a touchdown to give yourself a bigger lead -– a four-point lead. And take it from there."
Manning added: "I just yelled, 'Don't score, don't score.' And obviously he heard me, he thought about it. I know it's tough for a running back to see a big hole right there going in for a touchdown. I think something almost must have been in the top of his head like, 'This is a little bit too good to be true.' But I'm yelling and he obviously heard me and he thought about going down but he didn't know what to do and he thought, 'I've got a touchdown, I'll take it.' And I'm glad he did."
Bradshaw said on ESPN Radio's "Mike and Mike In the Morning" that he did hear his quarterback yell, "Don't score! Don't score!" as he received the handoff and actually tried to follow the advice. But by the time he processed everything that was going on, Bradshaw said, it was too late.
"I tried to go down and declare myself down, but my momentum just took me into the end zone," he said.
Of course, everything turned out fine for the Giants, who prevented New England from scoring on its final drive and claimed a 21-17 victory.
"Looking back, we did the right thing," Manning said. "I think you have to score a touchdown under the circumstances."
-- Chuck Schilken
Photo: New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw tries to stop himself before falling into the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLVI. Credit: Lionel Hahn / Abaca Press