The New England Patriots clinched their 4th Super Bowl title in 14 years last night as a game winning interception by rookie corner, Malcolm Butler sealed the deal in the final seconds against the reigning champs the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
Although relying on a rookie to make the game winning play, the games MVP and record-breaking quarterback Tom Brady had his finger prints all over this win.
Throwing four touchdowns throughout the game, Brady surpassed Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw with most touchdown passes in Super Bowls with 13. Brady also becomes the second quarterback to win the Super Bowl MVP three times and four Lombardi Trophies tying Joe Montana.
The Patriots had a four-point lead after overcoming a 10-point deficit when they had to withstand a strong drive by the Seahawks. Much like they failed to in their previous Super Bowl appearance where game winning fourth quarter drives were defined by incredible catches, Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made a spectacular juggling catch down the right sideline to put the Seahawks inside five yards with just over a minute to go in the game.
The questionable play calling by coach Pete Carroll called for a pass on second down inside of the one yard line instead of handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and ended up costing the Seahawks the win as Russell Wilson would through an interception to the rookie Butler sealing the game.
When asked about his game winning pick, Butler said: “I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true. I’m just blessed. I can’t explain it right now. It’s crazy.”
As for the play call on the goal line, here are some stats that may have influenced the call:
- In the last five seasons, teams scored a touchdown on 57% of their passes inside the 1-yard line after play action and 45% without.
- Wilson was 6-of-7 for 132 yards and one touchdown after play action in the Super Bowl up until that point.
- An interception from the 1-yard line was not common this season. In fact, Wilson’s interception was the first interception from the 1-yard line this season, including the postseason.
- In 5 attempts this season, Lynch totaled -1 yards and 1 touchdown when receiving the ball on the 1-yard line.
- The Seahawks rushed the ball seven of the nine chances they have had this season from the 1-yard line, they were most likely passing the ball to catch the New England defense off guard
Another headline appeared on Seattle’s sidelines when Chris Matthews continued to serve as the 12th mans’ hero. The wide receiver was seldomly used until the postseason when he recovered the onsides kick against the Packers in the NFC Championship game. Matthews, who before the Super Bowl hasn’t caught a pass in the NFL, had four receptions for 109 yards and a touchdown that helped keep the Seattle offense afloat in the first half.
Led by the winningest coach and quarterback duo in NFL history, The Patriots came into the game after a deflating two weeks of negative publicity involving the cheating incident with deflate-gate in the AFC Championship game the Colts. They pushed pass the negative hype and was able to overcome a 10 point deficit to win Super Bowl XLIX.
Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson struggled early becoming the first quarterback unable to complete a pass in the first quarter of a Super Bowl. He also led the league in pass attempts completed when scrambling out of the pocket but was only 1-4 Sunday night. He was still impressive as he was the teams second leading rusher averaging 13 years a play on three rushes.
The Patriots will be celebrating the win during their parade at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday.
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images
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