Against Eli Manning’s orders, Ahmad Bradshaw scores the Giants’ winning touchdown

INDIANAPOLIS – Ahmad Bradshaw said he was left shaking with anxiety after a goal-line mix-up with quarterback Eli Manning that resulted in him scoring the New York Giants’ winning touchdown in the Super Bowl on Sunday.

Bradshaw scored with 57 seconds to play because the New England Patriots provided a gaping hole for him to run through, giving Patriots quarterback Tom Brady one more crack at going down the field. However, Bradshaw admitted he had intended to fall down at the 1-yard line. Manning had ordered Bradshaw to take a knee, but the running back did not understand the instruction in time and his impetus carried him into the end zone to make the score 21-17.

Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw falls into the end zone for the winning score.
(US Presswire)

“I was taking a handoff and Eli was saying, ‘Don’t score, don’t score,’ ” Bradshaw said. “I tried to declare myself down and touch down with my hand. They didn’t call it and my momentum took me into the end zone.”

While the touchdown gave the Giants the lead for the first time since the second quarter, it also gave Brady an opportunity to rescue the game with a final drive. Had Bradshaw followed Manning’s instructions, the Giants could have chewed the clock down to nothing and kicked a winning field goal.

Bradshaw admitted he was racked with nerves during the Patriots’ final possession and spent those tense moments reflecting on what turned out to be the winning play of Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium.

[ Giants win Super Bowl behind another comeback by Eli Manning ]

“I was nervous because they are a great team and you don’t want to put the ball in Brady’s hands,” said Bradshaw, who sank to the ground in relief and delight when Brady’s final pass fell incomplete in the end zone and gave the Giants their second title in five seasons. “I was so anxious. I was nervous, I was shaking. It was scary. But our defense held up.

“It was a strange situation to be in. At the Giants, we want touchdowns, that is what is always in your mind. It goes against your nature to not score, when you spend your whole life trying to score. Even though Eli was telling me, it only clicked when I was at the 1-yard line. Usually when you tap down, you can declare yourself down but they didn’t blow the whistle.”

[ Slideshow: Giants celebrate winning Super Bowl XLVI ]

Bradshaw rushed for 72 yards in 17 carries during what he admitted was “not my finest game ever.”

“You know what?” he laughed. “That could be the best run of my career. And there wasn’t even anybody trying to stop me.”

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Martin Rogers is a staff writer for Yahoo! Sports. Follow him on Twitter.
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Updated Sunday, Feb 5, 2012