Super Bowl XLIX lived up to the hype as the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. Seattle led the game 24-14 heading into the final quarter of play, but QB Tom Brady was able to orchestrate two touchdown drives to take the lead. QB Russell Wilson found himself in a different spot than a year ago, needing to lead a touchdown-scoring drive.
After a miracle tipped-ball reception by WR Jermaine Kearse for a 33-yard gain down to the 5 yard line. A 4-yard run by RB Marshawn Lynch put the ball at the 1 yard line. With 0:20 left in the game, the Seahawks tried to pass the ball on a quick slant, and rookie undrafted free agent cornerback Malcolm Butler jumped the pass for the stunning interception for one of the most shocking endings to a game in Super Bowl history. What a game!
A Former Browns WR Shines in Spotlight
WR Chris Matthews had zero career receptions in the NFL heading into the game. He was cut by the Cleveland Browns after being a training camp player in 2011. After spending two years in the CFL, he latched on to the Seahawks, but hadn't received any real playing time for them. He first made headlines for recovering an onside kick against the Packers in the NFC Championship. Then, the Super Bowl happened.
WR Chris Matthews, formerly of the Cleveland Browns, was the talk of the first half after being the Seahawks' leading receiver for QB Russell Wilson. Photo Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Down 7-0 late in the first half, Wilson finally completed a significant pass -- a 44-yard beauty to Matthews down the field, which helped set up a game-tying touchdown for RB Marshawn Lynch. Down 14-7 with just 0:06 left in the first half, the Seahawks had the ball at the 11 yard line. Wilson trusted Matthews again, throwing the ball out wide as the receiver went up for the ball in the end zone to tie the game at 14-14. In the second half, Wilson started hot by hitting Matthews for a 45-yard completion.
For all intents and purposes, this was Matthews' first real action on offense in a non-preseason NFL game, and Matthews looked like a physical pro, notching 4 catches for 109 yards and 1 touchdown.
Tom Brady Comes Through in the Clutch
The Patriots set the tone of the game early with QB Tom Brady being able to pick-and-choose his targets. After an interception in the third quarter that led to a Seahawks touchdown, though, the Patriots faced a 10-point deficit heading into the final quarter of the season. That's when Brady took charge of the game again.
Despite throwing two interceptions, QB Tom Brady remained a cool cat with the game on the line and captured his fourth career Super Bowl.Photo Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
First hitting WR Danny Amendola for a 4-yard touchdown with 7:55 to go, Brady then threw a 3-yard, go-ahead touchdown to WR Julian Edelman with 2:02 to play in the game. Seattle couldn't stage a magical comeback again, and Brady won the fourth Super Bowl of his career and his first in over a decade.
What Did You Think of the Game?
How did the game go for you? The tempo of the first quarter went as I expected it, with a 0-0 score. The second quarter was very entertaining, especially with both teams scoring touchdowns inside of two minutes to play. The halftime show with Katy Perry certainly had a lot of unique theatrics to it, including dancing sharks and beach balls, and the singer being hoisted in mid-air on "The More You Know" star.
Seattle got off to a fast start in the second half thanks to Tom Brady's second interception of the game, which forced New England to go into comeback mode, similar to how things went against the Baltimore Ravens a couple of weeks ago. Never fazed, Brady led the comeback I expected him to, but when the Seahawks nearly came back, I almost felt bad for the Patriots (well, not really, but I think you know what I mean).
One could have easily made the case that Butler's game-winning pick should have earned him the MVP, considering the situation. However, the honor went to Brady, which wasn't a bad choice either given his fourth quarter performance.