INDIANAPOLIS - It obviously looked like the Patriots defense was letting Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw score when he broke free for a 6-yard touchdown and seemingly paused at the goal line before his momentum carried him into the end zone for the game-winning points.
Afterwards, defensive captain Jerod Mayo confirmed that suspicion.
"We were trying to let him score and hopefully get our offense back the ball," Mayo said of a situation the team has practiced for. "You want to let him score so you can get your offense the ball back to score."
And what if Bradshaw had been able to control his momentum and stop short of the goal line?
"We were going to drag him in the end zone," Mayo said. "That's what we're taught to do."
The score gave the Giants the 21-17 advantage after the two-point conversion failed. New England got the ball back with 57 second left on the clock.
What did Tom Brady and the offense think of the decision to let Bradshaw score?
"I liked it," Brady said. "Better than not having a chance at all. We had a chance to win at the end and we just couldn't do it."
It didn't work out for the victory, but the Patriots played the final moments on defense just how they wanted to. Just how they've prepared to. Just how they been coached to.