According to ESPN, NFL films picked up audio of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick telling his team during the Super Bowl to take Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks out of the game and force the New York Giants to win through Mario Manningham. Unfortunately for Patriot nation that is exactly what the Giants did.
“This is still a Cruz-and-Nicks game,” Belichick said during the game. “I know we’re right on them. It’s tight, but those are still the guys. Make them go to Manningham, make them go to (Bear) Pascoe. Let’s make sure we get Cruz and Nicks.”
After Tom Brady missed a wide open Wes Welker and Deion Branch late in the fourth quarter that could have potentially won the game for New England, the Patriots were forced to punt and everyone watching the game knew exactly what was about to happen.
Eli Manning and the Giants offense took the field with 3:46 left in the game needing at least a field goal to win. On the first play of the drive, Manning dropped back and launched a pass deep down the left field sideline where Manningham miraculously hauled in the 38-yard reception. Belichick had the best view in the building of the completion but decided to challenge it anyways. After the play was confirmed, New York took their sweet time marching down the field milking the clock for everything they could. The drive was capped off by an Ahmad Bradshaw rushing touchdown that was the deciding factor in the game.
NFL films recorded several other interesting audio clips throughout the Super Bowl.
New England’s Jerod Meyo and Vince Wilfork can be overheard saying “we gotta let them score, got to let them score” in the huddle before Bradshaw’s winning touchdown.
After Welker dropped the difficult pass on the Patriots second to last drive, referee John Parry can be heard telling another official: “That was the game.”
One of the most debated factors during the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLVI was if tight end Rob Gronkowski was going to be healthy enough to play after suffering a high ankle sprain against the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC championship game. Giants’ players were also trying to figure that out while coming up with a defensive game plan.
Giants linebacker Michael Boley can be heard telling teammates during the game: “Hey, 87’s [Gronkowski] a (expletive) decoy, he’s a decoy. … He’s about to be outta here.”