TAMPA, JAN. 27 -- The most influential play of Super Bowl XXV was one that typified New York Giants football this season, a desperate lunge for every inch. Wide receiver Mark Ingram's catch for 14 yards in which he bounced off four Buffalo Bills defenders for a first down was key to sustaining a Giants' scoring drive in the third quarter.

The catch came on third down at the Buffalo 32-yard line. Ingram came across the middle, underneath the Bills' coverage and made the reception at the 27. He was able to shed four Bills before finally being stopped by left cornerback James Williams.

Six plays later running back Ottis Anderson scored on a one-yard touchdown run and the Giants had a 17-12 lead. Ingram's catch, basically, helped the Giants keep driving and to eventually win, 20-19.

"Every play is important to me," said Ingram. "I was just trying to get down to the first-down marker. I didn't and I still don't know how many tackles I broke. I just kept running. We knew coming into this game we'd have to {break} tackles like that."

The play was part of a "half right series" in which the Giants mainly were trying to throw in the middle-right of the field to their quick receivers and then let them try to break loose.

On the play to Ingram, quarterback Jeff Hostetler had two receivers from which to choose. He could look for either Stephen Baker or Ingram. Since Baker was picked up deep in the Bills' zone defense, Hostetler went to Ingram.

That play kept a brutal drive going for the Giants, in which New York held the ball for 9 minutes 29 seconds and went 75 yards in 14 plays to open the second half.

"That was very disheartening," Bills Coach Marv Levy said about the play and subsequent drive. "But the game wasn't over. We got the ball back with still over 20 minutes to play in the game. And we did forge ahead again and we did have our chances."

For the game Ingram had five catches for 74 yards.

Just before the play Ingram and all of the Giants receivers held hands in the huddle. They knew this would be one of the biggest plays of the game.

"As a group of receivers we said, 'Here we go fellas. This is the play. This is it,' " Ingram said. "I said to the huddle, 'Let's go. Let's get on it.'

"We knew we would have to throw the ball a lot. We couldn't just run {Anderson} left and Anderson right. {Dave Meggett} left and Dave right. We had to run to open things up."

The Giants ended the drive with a 28-yard Matt Bahr field goal with 7:14 left in the first period.

"I don't think we've gotten credit for making the big plays all year," Ingram said. "Today the coaches made all the perfect calls at all the perfect times."

Said Giants Coach Bill Parcells: "That play after the half by Mark was a great one. It was characteristic of how tough this team is and how tough Mark is."