Lower than three minutes separated Randy Moss and the New England Patriots from the primary 19-Zero season in NFL historical past, however the All-Professional huge receiver knew victory was removed from sure.
It was Feb. three, 2008, and Moss had simply hauled in a 6-yard landing cross from Tom Brady to present the Patriots a 14-10 fourth-quarter lead over the Giants in Tremendous Bowl XLII.
However 2:42 remained within the sport, and Eli Manning would have one final probability to guide the Giants down the sphere.
“I used to be really hesitant to type of rejoice, as a result of I knew there was a variety of time on the clock,” Moss advised the Each day Information. “Our protection wasn’t capable of actually decelerate the Giants offense. With that a lot time on the clock, I simply needed to hold my fingers crossed and simply hope that we might give you a giant play.”
The Giants, because it turned out, have been those who made the massive performs down the stretch. David Tyree’s unbelievable helmet catch put the Giants squarely in New England territory, and Manning’s 13-yard landing lob to Plaxico Burress 4 performs later proved to be the game-winner of their 17-14 upset.
Saturday marks the 10-year anniversary of that epic Tremendous Bowl, and Moss remembers it nicely.
It’s additionally the day that Moss finds out if he can be inducted into the NFL Corridor of Fame.
Though Manning was topped Tremendous Bowl MVP for his late-game heroics, the Giants’ swarming cross rush led by Michael Strahan, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora deserves simply as a lot credit score for consistently pressuring Brady — recent off an MVP common season the place he tossed a then-record 50 landing passes — and limiting his capacity to throw downfield to Moss.
“There was actually nothing they did in opposition to me,” Moss, 40, mentioned. “They single coated me, they performed in zone, they performed in man. However the Giants’ sport plan was if the Patriots are going to attempt to get the ball deep to Moss, we’re going to make them pay for it. And in the event that they do get it off, he’s going to get hit. They’d a really stable defensive sport plan for them to actually lower out a variety of issues that we did nicely.
“They gave us matches, man,” he mentioned.
Moss, who caught a report 23 landing passes throughout that common season, completed with 5 receptions and 62 yards on 12 targets within the Tremendous Bowl.
The Patriots have been making an attempt to turn into the primary group to finish an undefeated common season and postseason because the NFL switched to a 16-game schedule in 1978. The 1972 Miami Dolphins stay the one group to realize an ideal season that ended with a Tremendous Bowl title, although they did so when the common season was 14 video games.
“Now that I mirror and look again, it might’ve been an important accomplishment due to how onerous it’s to do one thing like that,” mentioned Moss, who retired in 2012. “I nonetheless want that we might’ve achieved it.”
Manning and the Giants would go on to beat the Patriots once more 4 years later in Tremendous Bowl XLVI, when Moss was not on the group.
The present Patriots roster appears far completely different than it did a decade in the past, however the sustained excellence of Brady, 40, has them again within the Tremendous Bowl as soon as once more.