New York Giants receiver David Tyree (85) catches a 32-yard pass in the clutches of New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison (37) during the fourth quarter.
Gene Puskar / AP Enlarge
GLENDALE, Ariz. - Turns out David Tyree was saving up for one game. One really, really big game.
Little more than a special teams player all season, Tyree became an All-Pro in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl.
First, he shook loose over the middle to catch a five-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning that put the New York Giants ahead. Then Tyree topped himself, making a tumbling, circus grab to set up a last-second score and a 17-14 stunner last night over the mighty New England Patriots.
"I don't know that there's ever been a bigger play in the Super Bowl than that play," Giants coach Tom Coughlin said.
On a team where Plaxico Burress and Amani Toomer are the star receivers - heck, even injured Jeremy Shockey still gets plenty of attention - Tyree wound up as a most unlikely go-to guy. And for years to come, Giants fans will surely talk about a most improbable catch.
The Giants trailed 14-10 with only 1:15 left when Manning faced a third-and-5 at his 44. The Patriots brought pressure, and Manning somehow got loose.
Scrambling right, he made a desperate toss deep down the middle where defensive backs Rodney Harrison and Asante Samuel were lurking. Tyree leaped and with Harrison on his back, managed to get both hands on the ball as Harrison fought him the whole way, slapping at the ball and momentarily pinning it to Tyree's helmet. That gave Tyree a chance to get a better grip on the ball as he fell backward.