Travis Beckum's Super Bowl is over _ way too early.
The New York Giants backup tight end tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee early in the second quarter on Eli Manning's second incomplete pass of the game, a short toss to Ahmad Bradshaw. Beckum clutched his knee for a few moments before being helped to the sideline by two trainers.
Beckum has been a key part of the Giants' offense, particularly in two-tight end sets with Jake Ballard. Tough break for Beckum, and possibly for New York's offense, which has been solid so far against the Patriots.
The Patriots are on the board, but they probably should have had more.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal early in the second quarter, capping a drive that appeared promising for New England. After falling behind 9-0 to New York, Tom Brady put the Patriots in scoring position with a few short passes to a few of the usual suspects: Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Deion Branch.
But things stalled at the Giants 11 when Jason Pierre-Paul knocked down Brady's pass intended for Hernandez on third-and-4.
Meanwhile, Eli Manning's hot start _ 9 for 9, the best for a quarterback in the Super Bowl _ ended on the Giants' first offensive play of the second quarter: an incompletion to Brandon Jacobs.
It's salsa time for Victor Cruz and the Giants.
With New England's defense appearing confused, Eli Manning marched New York down the field and connected with the wide receiver with the smooth moves on a 2-yard touchdown to give the Giants a 9-0 lead later in the first quarter.
As many in the crowd in Indianapolis broke into chants of "Cruuuuuuz!" the new Giants star started doing the salsa _ his celebration after a big catch _ in the end zone.
How about that? A safety for the Super Bowl's first points.
On first-and-10 from New England's 6 immediately after a terrific punt by New York's Steve Weatherford, Tom Brady dropped back as Justin Tuck busted through the line and put pressure on the Patriots quarterback. Brady zipped an incomplete pass downfield with no receivers anywhere nearby as he was popped by Tuck. New England was called for intentional grounding in the end zone _ resulting in a 2-0 lead for the Giants.
It's the first safety in a Super Bowl since Buffalo's Bruce Smith had one on the Giants' Jeff Hostetler in 1991. New York won that one, by the way, 20-19.
By Douglas Holtz-Eakin
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