A quarterback named Manning got the ball, trailing in the fourth quarter, and he coolly and systematically led his team to victory.
A large contingent of Colts fans were still happy at Lucas Oil Stadium, getting to watch Tom Brady and the rival New England Patriots lose. When Brady's deep pass fell to the turf in the end zone as time expired, Giants and Colts fans alike celebrated. That's because Eli is Peyton's younger brother, and many Colts fans have also cheered for the Giants over the years.
"We're just happy that Eli won," Colts fan Laura Fabian said after the game. "If we can't see Peyton play, we want to see Eli win."
JACOBS' SWAN SONG?: Brandon Jacobs knew he was down to his last chance to show the New York Giants he's worth keeping.
The veteran running back didn't do himself any favors Sunday. He finished the game with 37 yards on nine carries. More important, when the game was on the line, Ahmad Bradshaw carried the load. Bradshaw finished with 17 carries for 72 yards and scored the winning touchdown.
When asked during the week if he expected the Super Bowl to be his last game with the Giants, Jacobs was unsure. The 6-foot-4, 264-pound Jacobs is due a $500,000 roster bonus in March. That and his scheduled $4.4 million salary for next season could cause the team to cut him, especially given his lack of production in recent years.
It was understandable that so much focus was on Gronkowski. He set NFL records for a tight end with 17 touchdown receptions and 1,327 yards. But Hernandez finished the regular season with 79 catches for 910 yards and seven touchdowns.
He was right.
"It's interesting how those games shake out, though," Brees said during the week. "The minute you start talking about two high-powered offenses, the defenses take exception to that and they come out and play exceptionally well."
Follow Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/cliffbruntap