Eli Manning named game's MVP
- NEW: Giants defeat Patriots 21-17 in thriller
- Madonna goes Roman soldier, cheerleader
- Game hosted by Indianapolis, which featured popular zip line
Indianapolis (CNN) -- The New York Giants, led by Eli Manning, held on against an equally determined Tom Brady and the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLVI 21-17.
Confetti filled Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday night after a "Hail Mary" pass by Brady into the Giants end zone bounced away.
Minutes before, Manning threw a go-ahead touchdown to Ahmad Bradshaw, with one minute remaining.
After trailing the Patriots 17-9 early in the third quarter, the Giants put up at the last 12 points of the game.
The Super Bowl victory was the fourth for the Giants, which defeated New England 17-14 in the 2008 title game.
Brady overcame a slow start, including an intentional grounding call in the first quarter that gave the Giants 2 points for a safety. But he caught fire with a string of catches and two touchdown throws late in the first half and in the third quarter. The Patriots led 10-9 at the half.
Before then, it was almost all Giants.
Wide receiver Victor Cruz did his trademark dance in the end zone after hauling in a short first-quarter touchdown pass from Manning.
An estimated 111 million U.S. viewers were expected to tune in, with many as interested in the ads or halftime show as much or more than the game.
Halftime entertainer Madonna had an eclectic set, joined by Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj and MIA.
Madonna morphed from a Roman Empire theme to a high school cheerleader, complete with pom poms and a marching band. She sang "Vogue", "Music," "Like a Prayer" and "Give Me All Your Luvin."
The Material Girl's performance ended with a bright flash of flight, and white smoke -- with her not to be seen.
The American president who saved football
A bevy of celebrities, including Jerry Seinfeld, Clint Eastwood and Elton John, showed up in commercials this year.
David Beckham provided eye candy in an H&M ad, which tended to spend more time on his chiseled and tattooed looks than the briefs he was wearing.
"No commercial this Superbowl will top #BeckhamforHM Yummy & in love!!," said one Twitter feed on an HLN TV blog.
Another commercial featured a slimmed-down dog chasing after a Volkswagen Beetle.
Pop singer Kelly Clarkson sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" on Sunday, managing to get through the lyrics without a problem, unlike unfortunate Christina Aguilera, who got some flak after botching the words at the 2011 Super Bowl.
Of course, there was more than football and music in the lineup.
Refreshment and apparel producers and advertisers have a lot at stake in the annual bash.
The average game-watcher was expected to spend $63.87 on Super Bowl merchandise, snacks and apparel, up from $59.33 last year, according to a survey by the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association. Of those watching the Giants-Patriots, nearly 27.1% planned to attend a party, according to the association, and another 15.3% planned to throw a party.
The host city of Indianapolis poured hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars and corporate coin into building new hotels, sprucing up landscaping and resurfacing miles of streets.
What does Indianapolis have to offer?
The Super Bowl zip line was the talk of the town.
For $10, you could climb the zip line's 95-foot tower, attach yourself to a metal cable and fly 80 feet above the crowd to another tower 650 feet down the street. "It's the new version of the bungee jump," one woman said.
Indianapolis strove to prove it could be a major player.
It kept one key goal in mind.
"I honestly think the best report would be people saying, 'The game was great and -- oh yeah, by the way, Indianapolis was really nice. I had a really good time,' " said Tom Griswold, longtime co-host of the Indy-based syndicated radio program "The Bob & Tom Show."
CNN's Thom Patterson and Dan Moriarty and HLN's Jonathan Anker contributed to this report.