The drive to end the first half was a masterful 14-play, 96-yarder, tying two others _ in 1986 and 2010 _ for the longest in a Super Bowl.
But Lawrence Tynes’ 38-yard field goal pulled New York within 17-12 with 6:43 left in the third quarter, and he added a 33-yarder with 35 seconds to go in the period.
Earlier, Stephen Gostkowski’s 29-yard field goal put the Patriots on the board, trailing 9-3 a little more than a minute into the second quarter.
The only positive early on for the AFC champion Patriots? They won the pregame coin toss, after NFC teams had won the past 14 at the Super Bowl.
New England deferred its choice until the second half, giving New York the ball first at the outset of the game.
The Patriots (15-3) entered Sunday on a 10-game winning streak. Their last loss came against New York in the regular season, a 24-20 Giants victory on Nov. 6. The Giants (12-7) had won five consecutive games.
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.
Among those watching the game on TV: President Barack Obama, who sent out a message on Twitter on Sunday saying he wished his hometown Chicago Bears were playing in the Super Bowl.
The most talked-about injury all week was Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski’s sprained left ankle. He was wearing a gray walking boot when he came off the team flight to Indianapolis; he missed most of New England’s practice time.
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.
The Giants, meanwhile, lost one of their backup tight ends in the second quarter, when Travis Beckum was knocked out of the game with a torn ligament in his right knee.
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