Manning is the first quarterback to begin a Super Bowl with nine consecutive completions, starting Sunday 9 for 9 for 77 yards.
This time, New York ran 19 of the game's first 20 plays, outgaining New England 108-0 in yards and holding a time-of-possession edge of 11 minutes, 28 seconds to 8 seconds. New England didn't get its initial first down until there were under two minutes left in the opening quarter.
After New England's third possession ended with a three-and-out and punt, head coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien had a lengthy chat on the sideline, both waving papers around and pointing at the field. Brady briefly approached, as if to interject an idea or two, but then appeared to think better of it and went over to a bench, plopping himself down with teammates.
New York's offense just kept humming along, meanwhile, with its first four possessions pushing the ball into New England territory.
But eventually, to no one's surprise, Brady got going - and he did so before the extended Super Bowl halftime show, which Belichick prepared his team for by taking a half-hour break during practice. "Material Girl" Madonna was the act this year's game.
New England deferred its choice until the second half, giving New York the ball first at the outset of the game.
The roof was closed at Lucas Oil Stadium as Indianapolis hosted the NFL championship game for the first time, with an expected U.S. TV audience of 100 million or more.
But Gronkowski was on the field when it mattered, and while he appeared to be at something less than full speed at all times Sunday, he did haul in a 20-yard catch while surrounded by defenders right before the 2-minute warning in the first half.