The Patriots find themselves in trouble early in Super Bowl XLVI after a tired defense proved incapable of keeping the Giants out of the end zone following Tom Brady's costly safety.
Where the New England defenders were impressive on the first drive, making strong tackles and getting pressure on Eli Manning to force a punt, the second drive was an entirely different animal. Having been off the field for all of one play, the Patriots were simply overpowered for New York's run into the end zone. Broken tackles and stiff arms from the likes of Ahmad Bradshaw turned small gains into big ones, bringing the Giants into the red zone in a hurry.
The Patriots had their chances to fight back in the red zone, but bad mistakes once again cost them on the scoreboard. A fumble forced by Sterling Moore after a catch was erased by a 12-men penalty, and despite running a perfect defensive route on the touchdown play, Jerod Mayo never got an eye on Manning and the football, turning a potential interception into a hopeless flail as the ball whipped past him into Nelson Cruz' waiting arms for the 9-0 lead.