Super Bowl XLIX was certainly one to remember for many different reasons. This game involved multiple storylines, young players making huge plays and some controversy. On one side, there was a dynasty from the early 2000s and on the other side, a young team from Seattle who was looking to start a dynasty of their own. One of the greatest quarterbacks of all time squaring off against a young quarterback looking to make a name for himself. The overly confident Seattle secondary led by self-proclaimed “best corner in the game” Richard Sherman against a revamped New England secondary led by someone who would argue Sherman’s claim, Darrelle Revis.
Both teams matched up very well. This Super Bowl seemed like it would be one to remember before the opening kickoff, and it definitely did not disappoint.
This game seemed to be tilted heavily in favor of New England early. Tom Brady was locked in, looking extremely sharp and hell-bent on winning his fourth Super Bowl title and Seattle’s offense couldn’t get going. Brady made a mistake at the end of the first quarter by letting the pass rush get to him and throwing right to Seattle cornerback Jeremy Lane for an interception. Brady would quickly rebound from this and score the first touchdown of the game in the second quarter on a slant to receiver Brandon LaFell.
It took a while for the Seahawk offense to sustain a meaningful drive, but they finally did towards the end of the first half thanks to a couple big plays from relatively unknown wide receiver Chris Matthews. After a Marshawn Lynch touchdown tied the game up at 7, the Patriots drove down the field and scored on a 22-yard touchdown pass to big tight end Rob Gronkowski. Seattle was quick to answer, putting together a very quick drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown to Chris Matthews. The back and forth first half ended in a 14-14 tie.
Seattle’s offense and defense came out of the locker room looking to make a statement in the second half right away. Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense led a quick scoring drive capped by a field goal to take the 17-14 lead. This drive was highlighted by a beautiful 45 yard catch by Chris Matthews. They didn’t stop there, though. Once New England got the football back, Seattle took it right back after an interception fought for by linebacker Bobby Wagner. This set them up on the 50 yard line where they ended the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass to receiver Doug Baldwin. After 17 unanswered points, Seattle suddenly had a 10 point lead.
The game seemed to be getting out of hand. However, it is extremely difficult to count a quarterback and a gamer like Tom Brady out of a football game. This one was far from over.
Tom entered the fourth quarter looking to bring his men back in the biggest game of the year and possibly his career. With eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, Brady threw a 4-yard strike to receiver Danny Amendola to make the score 21-24. After a very quick three-and-out from the Seahawks, the Patriots had the ball once again. After a long drive that chewed up a lot of the game clock, the drive ended with a 4-yard touchdown pass on a gorgeous route from receiver Julian Edelman, Brady’s fourth touchdown pass of the game.
Seattle was down 24-28, but Russell Wilson was known for leading game winning drives of his own. After a 31-yard completion to running back Marshawn Lynch and an absurd 33-yard bobbling catch by receiver Jermaine Kearse, Seattle was set up inside the New England 5-yard line poised to win the game. Almost everyone watching in the stadium and around America thought that Seattle was about to finish an improbable comeback.
However, an extremely questionable play call led to Russell Wilson being picked off by Patriot cornerback Malcolm Butler on a quick slant route, sealing the win and Brady’s 4th Super Bowl, tying him with legendary QB Joe Montana and raising questions like “Is Brady the greatest NFL quarterback of all time?” Brady was also named Super Bowl MVP for the third time. The title was also legendary coach Bill Belichick’s fourth as head coach of the Patriots.
Should the Seahawks have handed the ball off to their Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch? Probably. It will be debated for years to come. However, they chose to throw it and they paid for it as they were forced to watch the red, white and blue confetti fall as they walked off of the field losers in what was undoubtedly one of the most unforgettable Super Bowls ever.