Manning, now a two-time Super Bowl MVP winner and one of the NFL's elite quarterbacks, was worried the Giants might end up giving the ball back to the New England Patriots in the final seconds of the game, and didn't want to risk everything for a shot at the win.
'I started yelling not to score.'
The Giants were behind the Patriots 17-25 when Bradshaw made his move, with less than a minute on the clock.
With the football on the New England Patriots' six-yard line, the Giants were in range for a touchdown. But if the Patriots allowed the Giants to go for a quick touchdown and then grabbed the ball back, the New York team would have no chance to score before the clock ran out.
This was the choice Giants quarterback Eli Manning faced as the Super Bowl XLVI game hit its final minute. And based on what moves the Patriots were playing, he felt sure it was the right one.
Right as I broke the huddle, I had a feeling that under the circumstance[s] they're going to let us score, quarterback Manning was quoted as saying by The Guardian. It's a tough situation right there as you're thinking about what to do.
So as I'm handing the ball off, I saw that their defensive line was just standing up and not rushing, and I start yelling not to score, Manning continued.
Maybe you can get down to the six-inch line, make them use their last time out and then try to score on third down, hopefully score on third down, hopefully score a touchdown to give yourself a bigger lead-a four-point lead. And take it from there.
'This is a little bit too good to be true.'
Ahmad Bradshaw had other ideas. The running back took the ball and went for the Patriots' end zone. But when he reached the goal line, the player suddenly seemed of two minds as to whether he should try to score a touchdown then or go down inside the one-yard line.
The reason? He had finally heard Manning yelling at him to stop.
I just yelled, 'Don't score, don't score,' Manning said. And obviously he heard me, he thought about it.
In the end, however, Eli Manning feels Bradshaw definitely made the right call...and he can understand why the running back didn't listen to him at first.
I know it's tough for a running back to see a big hole right there going in for a touchdown, Manning told The Guardian. I think something almost must have been in the top of his head going 'this is a little bit too good to be true.'
Eventually, of course, Bradshaw toppled into the end zone, winning the Super Bowl 2012 Championship for the New York Giants.
Looking back, we did the right thing, Eli Manning confirmed. I think you have to score a touchdown under the circumstances.
As a quarterback I have great confidence in [Giants kicker] Lawrence Tynes on field goals, he's kicked game winners for us in that situation Manning continued. But if we get a bad snap or they block it or something flukey happens and you miss that field goal, you feel terrible.
'It is the team that provides us with our strength.'
Sunday's game was the second Super Bowl victory for both quarterback Eli Manning and Giants head coach Tom Coughlin, both times against the New England Patriots. But according to Coughlin, Manning never lets his elite quarterback status go to his head.
We're certainly very cognizant of some of the superior individuals that we have on our team, thank goodness, but it is the team that provides us with our strength, and our ability to perform under pressure, whether it is good or bad, and that's the way we think, Coughlin told The Guardian.
I congratulated Eli and of course, being Eli, he said to me after winning the MVP, 'All I want to do is help our team win', which is so consistent with the way he is, Coughlin added.
If I could have spent hours scripting what I would say to someone in that same category, what he said was incredible: 'I'm just trying to be the best football player, the best quarterback I can be and help my team win'... and I think that says it all.