Patriots grab halftime lead with 96-yard TD drive

INDIANAPOLIS — Tom Brady and the Patriots grabbed a 10-9 lead entering halftime of Super Bowl XLVI with a 96-yard march that tied the record for longest drive in Super Bowl history.

Brady and Co. join the 1985 Bears (vs. the Patriots) and the 2009 Colts (vs. the Saints) as teams with 96-yard drives. The march, which ended with a 4-yard touchdown strike to RB Danny Woodhead with just 8 seconds left in the first half, couldn’t have come at a better time for New England.

One play earlier, Woodhead was hit hard from behind on an excellent play by Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul.

Brady battled throughout the drive and finished 10-of-10 passing and even pulling ailing TE Rob Gronkowski into the mix. Gronkowski hauled in a 20-yard pass earlier, drawing massive cheers from Patriots fans inside Lucas Oil Stadium. In fact, Gronk’s popularity was surpassed only by the reception given to Danny DeVito and former “Cheers” star Rhea Perlman on the big screen.

Now the stadium is draped in darkness, waiting for the Material Girl to hit the scene.

— Marc Sessler

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