Patriots Win Super Bowl XLIX 28-24 In An Instant Classic

Monday, February 02, 2015


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Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are Super Bowl champions for the 4th time as a duo

Super Bowl XLIX. The game was an instant classic. It will go down as, arguably, the single greatest Super Bowl game in history. When all the dust settled, the New England Patriots walked away from Glendale, Arizona with Super Bowl redemption as they won their 4th Super Bowl in franchise history 28-24 over Seattle.

The game featured comebacks, unheralded heroes and a near-miracle play for Seattle that was thwarted by an underrated rookie making the play to clinch the Super Bowl.

Slow Starts

The Patriots started the game by splitting Rob Gronkowski wide to the right, lining him up one-on-one with Richard Sherman. They threw to Gronkowski, but it only went for one yard. The Patriots picked up one 1st down, but stalled shortly after that. Ryan Allen was forced to punt the ball away and Kyle Arrington made a great special teams tackle, backing the Seahawks up in their own territory.

The Seahawks took the field and wanted to test the New England run defense — carrying the ball on three consecutive plays. They only went eight yards, however, as Dont’a Hightower or Jamie Collins made tackles on three rushes, forcing the Seahawks to go 3-&-out.

Brady Intercepted By Lane

The Patriots took back to the field and embarked on a long, sustained drive. The Patriots went on a 13-play drive that took 7:41 away, but it ended in disaster as Tom Brady threw an interception at the goal line to Jeremy Lane. Brady was under a great amount of pressure before trying to force a ball in to Julian Edelman. Lane returned the ball to the Seahawks 11 yard line before being tackled by Edelman, but sustained a major arm injury. Lane had to be removed from the game with his arm in a brace — he did not return. The interception was Lane’s 1st career interception.

The Seahawks got their first 1st down as the quarter was winding down, and Russell Wilson did not attempt a pass. Even with that, there was no score at the end of the 1st Quarter. The Patriots had the Seahawks backed-up on a 3rd-&-9 and were able to blanket the Seahawks receivers in man-to-man coverage and force a punt. The Patriots only rushed four and made sure to keep Wilson from escaping, forcing a long, incomplete throw.

Patriots Strike First

The Patriots offense seemed to respond to their defenses effort, going on the first scoring drive of the game. The Patriots went 65-yards on nine plays before Tom Brady found Brandon LaFell for an 11-yard touchdown. The big play on the drive was a 23-yard pass to Julian Edelman on a crossing route. The Patriots went right at Harold Simon on pass plays, who was in for the injured Jeremy Lane. Simon was targeted on both the crossing route and the touchdown play. The score gave the Patriots the 7-0 lead.

The Patriots defense continued to build momentum on the next drive, showing domination in man coverage and not allowing Russell Wilson to get any pass opportunities. On the first play of the drive Wilson was dragged down from behind by Chandler Jones — picking up the Patriots’ second sack of the game. Wilson then attempted to make a deep pass to Jermaine Kearse, but Logan Ryan was in perfect position and knocked the ball away to force another 3-&-out.

The Seahawks defense showed their might as well, forcing the Patriots into their first 3-&-out on the next possession. A tipped pass and a Tom Brady miscue hindered the drive, giving the Seahawks the ball back.

Unlikely Hero

Russell Wilson ignored his poor start and led the Seahawks on their first scoring drive of the game. Wilson found the most unlikely source, Chris Matthews, for his first reception of the season on a 44-yard bomb over Kyle Arrington. Just three plays later, Marshawn Lynch plunged the ball into the end zone to tie the game 7-7.

Two-Minute Domination

The Patriots offense was able to answer on their drive, showing their strength inside two minutes of the half. The Patriots had an NFL-high 66 points in the final two minutes of the half in the regular season, and added seven in the Super Bowl on a pass to Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski got open when the Seahawks decided to move Richard Sherman inside so play the slot and walk K.J. Wright out in coverage. Brady saw this and did not hesitate to loft a perfect ball to Gronkowski.

Flying High Into The Half

The Patriots left 31 seconds in the half, which was enough for Wilson to lead his team down the field. The Seahawks went on a 5-play, 80-yard drive that took only 29 seconds. The drive started with a 19-yard run by Robert Turbin, followed by a 17-yard run from Wilson. After an incomplete pass Wilson found Ricardo Lockette for a 23-yard reception. On top of that, Kyle Arrington was called for a facemask penalty, moving the ball to the 11 yard line. Wilson continued to find his secondary receivers as he found Chris Matthews for an 11-yard touchdown to tie the game 14-14. 

The game went into the half tied and, despite setting a Super Bowl record for completions in a half, Tom Brady found his Patriots tied 14-14.

The 2nd half began much like the 1st half ended, with Seattle moving the ball with secondary receivers. It was another pass to Chris Matthews over Kyle Arrington that moved the Seahawks down the field — this time for 45 yards. With the Seahawks threatening inside the 10 yard line, however, Rob Ninkovich made a huge stop of Marshawn Lynch on 3rd-&-1 to force a field goal. The field goal gave the Seahawks their first lead if the game, 17-14.

Brady Intercepted Again

The Patriots looked to answer, but another Tom Brady mistake doomed their drive. Brady tried to fit a pass into a tight window to Rob Gronkowski, but Bobby Wagner stepped in front of the pass for an interception. The Seahawks scored six plays later when Doug Baldwin shed Darrelle Revis for his first touchdown of the game. The score gave the Seahawks the 24-14 lead, handing Tom Brady his largest deficit in any of his six Super Bowl appearances.

The Patriots offense continued to struggle thanks to the Seattle defense, namely Michael Bennett. Bennett forced a holding call on Bryan Stork, pushing the Patriots back. Despite a good catch and run by Julian Edelman, the Patriots could not convert a 1st down and were forced to punt.

The Pats defense came back on the field looking to slow down the hot Seattle offense. They did their job on the drive thanks to a drop from Seattle. The big play was a deep pass attempt from Wilson to Jermaine Kearse who was hit in the hands by the pass but could not hold on. Rookie Malcolm Butler got a hand on Kearse’s arm late to disrupt the play.

Slot Receiver Takeover

After trading failed drives, the Patriots brought the game closer on a gutsy drive. The Patriots faced a 2nd-&-18 on the second play of the drive, and a 3rd-&-14 but converted with a great play to Julian Edelman for 21 yards. Edelman held on despite a crushing hit from Kam Chancellor. The Patriots got another 21-yard reception from Edelman before Brady found Danny Amendola for a 3-yard touchdown to make the score 24-21, Seahawks.

The touchdown pass was the 3rd of the night for Brady and gave him 12 career Super Bowl touchdown passes. That make moved him past Joe Montana for the most touchdown passes in Super Bowl history.

The Patriots defense then came out and showed its strength, forcing a quick 3-&-out and getting Tom Brady and the offense the ball back.

Edelman Gives Patriots The Lead

The offense took advantage of that, going on a 10-play, 68-yard drive that ended in a Julian Edelman touchdown. The drive featured Rob Gronkowski and Shane Vereen as the main receivers — taking advantage of man coverage from the Seahawks. The touchdown came on a great move to the outside by Edelman, a play Brady missed him on earlier. The touchdown gave the Patriots the lead with 2:02 left in the game, 28-24.

The Seahawks were not done, however. Russell Wilson led his team down to the 3 yard line following a play that resembled the famed “Helmet Catch” in 2007. The play was a 33 yard catch by Jermaine Kearse that was tipped by Malcolm Butler. The ball never hit the ground, but rather ended up in the hands of Kearse off of his own leg. 

Unlikely Super Bowl Hero

The Seahawks chose to throw the ball on the goal line rather than run with Marshawn Lynch, and the call killed the chance of a repeat. Malcolm Butler stepped in front of a slant and intercepted the pass to clinch the Super Bowl for the Patriots, 28-24.

The win gives the Patriots their 4th Super Bowl in the Bill Belichick era and their first Super Bowl win in 10 years. Tom Brady completed 37 passes on the game, a Super Bowl record, which was good enough to give Brady his 3rd Super Bowl MVP trophy.


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