Super Bowl XLVI: Patriots lead Giants 17-12 in third quarter
A big run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis and completions to Chad Ochocinco and Wes Welker put the New England Patriots inside the New York Giants' 30-yard line on their first second-half possession. Quarterback Tom Brady established a Super Bowl record with 14 consecutive completions by connecting with Welker.
He extended the record to 16, connecting again with Welker and then with tight end Aaron Hernandez for a 12-yard touchdown for a 17-9 lead with 11 minutes 20 seconds left in the third quarter.
The emotion of the game -- and the desire to avenge the 2008 Super Bowl loss to the Giants -- was evident for Brady as he pumped his right arm and roared in delight as Hernandez scored.
New York quarterback Eli Manning responded, delivering two first-down completions to receiver Hakeem Nicks to move the Giants inside the Patriots' 30-yard line.
The drive stalled inside the 20, but Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes booted a 38-yard field goal to trim New England's lead to 17-12 with 6:43 remaining in the third.
Action resumed after Madonna's halftime performance that included her singing "Vogue" with dancers including a male contortionist that bounced awkwardly for most men on a tightrope. Madonna then turned to "Music," with help from LMFAO. Madonna ended the song by reminding, "I'm sexy and i know it."
Nikki Minaj and M.I.A.also joined Madonna for her new hit, "Give Me All Your Love," and she closed alongside black-robed Cee Lo Green for "Like a Prayer," disappearing in steam while lights flashed "World Peace."
Both quarterbacks were accurate in the first half, with the Giants' Manning completing 13 of 17 passes for 120 yards while Brady was 15 of 18 for 147 yards, with five of the completions going to Hernandez. Manning set a Super Bowl record by opening the game with nine consecutive completions.
The Patriots have long specialized in scoring toward the end of the half, and did so with a record-tying touchdown drive of 96 yards on 14 plays. New England was able to take over possession when Giants offensive lineman Kevin Boothe committed a holding penalty to negate a first-down completion, forcing a third and 15 that New York couldn't convert.
-- Lance Pugmire
Photo: Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts after throwing a 12-yard touchdown pass to give New England a 17-9 lead in the third quarter of Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday. Credit: Paul Sancya / Associated Press