Super Bowl: Key plays that doomed the Patriots

  • New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sits on the bench during the second half of Super Bowl XLVI against the New York Giants, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. Giants beat Patriots 21-17, win Super Bowl AP Photo/Paul Sancya
    Tom Brady sits on the bench

    Missed opportunities prove costly

    In the end, the New England Patriots certainly did not give away Super Bowl XLVI. The New York Giants won a tightly contested game that came down to the very last play.

    But it was surely a long plane ride home for the Patriots, whose uncharacteristic miscues throughout the game cost them a chance at a fourth Super Bowl victory.

    Complete Coverage: Super Bowl XLVI

    Perhaps most surprising was that the team's two biggest offensive stars - Tom Brady and Wes Welker - made crucial mistakes that proved especially costly.

    It resulted in their second loss to the New York Giants in the big game in four years, 21-17 on Sunday.

    "We just came up a little bit short," Brady said. "There were some missed opportunities out there. It was a very hard-fought game. We fought `til the end. I'm very proud of that."

    The Patriots forced three fumbles, but the Giants kept the ball after each one.

    "Those plays like that don't happen too often in a game and we didn't capitalize on the opportunities," wide receiver Deion Branch said.

    Click the scroll bar above to see the key plays that cost the Patriots a shot at another Super Bowl title.