Eli Manning, a quarterback, hit teamate Plaxico Burress on a 13-yard throw with 35 seconds left in the game, along with a 12-play, 83-yard drive that featured a leaping catch by David Tyree, who had scored New York's first touchdown at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Burress said: "It's the greatest feeling in professional sports."
"That's a position you want to be in," said Manning, who followed Peyton Manning, his older brother 's Most Valuable Player performance last year with one of his own.
"You can't write a better script. There were so many big plays on that drive."
"They played well," Bill Belichick, the Patriots coach, said.
"They made some plays. We made some plays. They just made a few more. We played as hard as we could. We just couldn't make enough plays."
Giants' defensive effort
However, many on the Patriots team regret the loss, despite their flawless season.
"Nothing that we accomplished this year was positive because we didn't finish up on a good note. Basically we didn't do anything this season," said Randy Moss, a wide receiver, whose remarks were echoed by many on the team.
The Giants' fightback in the regular season and their three victories away from home in the finals made them tougher, as did a narrow 38-35 loss to the Patriots in the final of the regular NFL season.
Their defensive effort gave Manning the chance to mount the game-winning fourth-quarter drive, capped by a 13-yard scoring pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play.
Along the way was a 32-yard-pass to David Tyree that Manning called a "game-saver".
"It felt like I was being grabbed a little bit," Manning said of his scramble on the play. "I got out of it, saw Tyree in the middle of the field."
The upset is viewed by many as a source of revenge not only for the Giants, but for the other NFL teams over the so-called 'Spygate' scandal in September.
Belichick and the team were sanctioned for illegally videotaping the New York Jets coaches on the sideline in the NFL season opening, and the incident continued to be a story right until Sunday.