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Even the NFL's championship game can't avoid the follies

Take a look at each in-depth breakdown and then vote for your favorite nuttiest play from Super Bowl XLVI at the bottom of the right column.

Safety first

The situation: The Patriots face a first-and-10 at their own 6-yard line on their first offensive play of the game.

Things got a bit nutty when ...Tom Brady, while under immense pressure from the Giants' Justin Tuck, heaves the ball to wide open space deep down the field. Brady is called for intentional grounding, and because he threw the ball while in the end zone, the Giants earned the game's first points in unconventional fashion.

A costly drop

The situation: With 4:11 left in the game, the Patriots lead 17-15 and face a second-and-11 situation from the Giants' 44-yard line.

Things got a bit nutty when ... Brady's deep throw was dropped by normally sure-handed receiver Wes Welker. A completion would have at the very least put the Patriots into position for a field goal. Instead, New England punted the ball two plays later, and then saw New York drive 88 yards for the winning score.

Manning up

The situation: The Giants -- after holding the Patriots to a punt following Welker's drop -- have the ball at their own 12-yard line with 3:46 left.

Things got a bit nutty when ...Eli Manning immediately goes for the big play, throwing deep to Mario Manningham, who makes what will go down as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. The 38-yard completion kicked off the Giants' drive for the winning score.

Hail Mary not answered

The situation: Down 21-17 with five seconds left and the ball at midfield, the Patriots have an opportunity for one last play to earn victory.

Things got a bit nutty when ... Brady's desperation heave lands incomplete in the end zone, but it appeared as if the Patriots might have had a chance to complete the play.

To score, or not to score

The situation: The Giants have second-and-goal from the Patriots' 6-yard line with 1:04 left in the game.

Things got a bit nutty when ... The Patriots appear to concede the score to the Giants, but Ahmad Bradshaw -- rather than kneel down short of the goal line and help kill to the clock to prevent another Patriots possession -- looks like he'll take a knee, but instead backs into the end zone. It was a bizarre scene. However, it only helped add to the drama of one of the greatest Super Bowls ever played.

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