Super Bowl XLVI: New England leads Giants 10-9 at halftime
The New England Patriots lead the New York Giants, 10-9, at halftime of Super Bowl XLVI.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady overcame a sluggish early performance by directing a 14-play, 96-yard drive that was capped by a three-yard touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead with eight seconds left in the half.
Down 9-0 in the first quarter after being called for intentional grounding while throwing from the end zone, Brady moved the Patriots more than 40 yards before a third-and-four pass at New York's 11-yard line was knocked down at the line.
New England settled for a 29-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 13:48 remaining in the first half to cut the deficit to 9-3.
The Giants moved across midfield on their next series, but an illegal huddle penalty left them facing third and 15 and quarterback Eli Manning connected with running back Ahmad Bradshaw on a completion to the Patriots' 40, where New York punted the ball away.
Brady took over at his own 20, but the Patriots went three and out on their possession, with a completion to receiver Wes Welker falling inches shy of the 30 and a first down.
A holding call cost the Giants a first down on their next possession, and quarterback Eli Manning couldn't connect on a deep pass that was deflected. New York's ensuing, punt, however, pinned the Patriots inside their five-yard line.
At that point, with Brady's favorite target, tight end Rob Gronkowski, being held in check, the Giants had possession of the ball for 19 miutes 37 seconds to the Patriots' 6:20.
With less than three minutes left in the half, Brady finally found Gronkowski on 20-yard completion to the Patriots' 35.
Brady then turned to tight end Aaron Hernandez for another first-down completion. A holding call negated a first-down pass to running back Danny Woodhead. But Brady found Hernandez again on a third-and-four pass to the Giants' 33.
Wes Welker grabbed a first-down catch at the 22 with 29 seconds left, and the Patriots moved to the 11 on another completion. Woodhead then caught a pass inside the five-yard line with 18 seconds left.
A big tackle by defensive lineman Jason Pierre-Paul on a draw run by Woodhead stalled the Patriots briefly.
But Brady had a ton of time on the next play and he found Woodhead for a four-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left in the half.
The drive lasted 14 plays for a record-tying 96 yards.
Photo: Patriots running back Danny Woodhead catches a four-yard touchdown pass despite the coverage of Giants linebacker Michael Boley (59) and defensive back Kenny Phillips (21) in the second quarter Sunday. Credit: Jamie Squire / Getty Images