Patriots Steal Seattle's Super Bowl Hopes: 10 Things We Learned
I was all ready to write about how the Seattle Seahawks dominated the second half of Super Bowl 49 with a steady dose of Marshawn Lynch and a defense that lived up to the moniker of “Legion of Boom.”
Then I remembered Tom Brady was playing this game as well.
NFL current version of Joe Montana would not allow is New England Patriots to fall into the same situation they had with the last two Super Bowl losses. And to be honest, it almost happened again. A last interception at the goal line on a pass by Russell Wilson that will questioned for the next decade gave the Patriots a 28-24 win and their fourth Super Bowl title with both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady on the sideline.
Brady, who threw two costly interceptions in the game, came up big when the time was right and found Julian Edelman for the game winning score with 2:02 left in the game. The interception by Malcolm Butler will become one of the signature plays that stopped a potential repeat by the Seahawks and gave Brady his fourth ring, and the record for the most touchdown passes thrown in the Super Bowl.
Yes, he is still that good.
As stated on ESPN.com, Brady overcame two interceptions to lead the Patriots to their fourth Super Bowl championship, becoming the third quarterback along with Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw and Montana to win four titles. Brady, Belichick and the Patriots needed three tries to win their fourth title since 2001. They lost to the New York Giants twice before dethroning the defending champion Seahawks.
Here are 10 things we learned about this ball game.
CURSED AGAIN… NOT!
David Tyree, Mario Manningham and now Jermaine Kearse. It looked like the Patriots would be beaten by last second heroics once again, however it was the Patriots who pulled them off at the right time.
After Jermaine Kearse made a twisting, turning, tumbling catch for a 33-yard gain to the Patriots 5, Marshawn Lynch ran 4 yards to the 1. But Wilson, operating from the shotgun, was intercepted on a pass intended for Ricardo Lockette.
That is how long it took for Seattle to score at the end of the half. For all the domination by the Patriots (222-167 in total yards) in the first half, Seattle remained calm at the end with the final touchdown of the first half.
QUICK STRIKE OFFENSE
It only took Seattle 3:51 seconds to score in the second half. Yes, it was only a field goal, but with the touchdown at the end of the first half, it took a total of 4:15 for Seattle to score 10 points to take their first lead in the game.
REVIS VS. SHERMAN
There has been a debate over who is better – Darrelle Revis or Richard Sherman. The best thing to happen in the game, in my opinion, was when the referee blocked Revis and allowed Doug Baldwin to come across the middle in the end zone to snag Russell Wilson’s pass to give Seattle a 24-14 lead.
When the touchdown was scored, the cameras immediately showed Sherman mocking Revis mouthing the words “Twenty Four.” It is one of the classic images of the game.
There wasn’t a more dominant player in the game on the defensive side of the ball. Bennett broke through the game like it was running through paper. On many pass plays it looked like Bennett was toying with rookie center Bryan Stork. The center, from FSU, was basically abused all game long.
NO NAME RECEIVERS
Chris Matthews and Ricardo Lockette to the rescue. What happens when the Seattle Seahawks need a jumpstart to their offense? They look to a guy who was used minimally all season and a player who did not have a single catch all season.
Matthews had a breakout game in the first three quarters, making his first four career catches for 109 yards. Matthews, a cousin of Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White, played in just three games before he made the crucial onside kick recovery in the NFC title game against Green Bay.
Maybe that is the true definition of “Beast Mode.”
A BEAST OF A DEAL
According to Ian Rappaport of NFL.com, the Seattle Seahawks do not want Marshawn Lynch to go anywhere. On the heels of another dominant season for the running back nicknamed "Beast Mode," multiple sources tell me Seattle has made Lynch an offer on a huge contract extension that would keep him in a Seahawks uniform for years to come.
The deal is believed to include more than $10 million for Lynch in the 2015 season alone. Lynch currently is slated to make $5 million in 2015, the final year of what originally was a four-year, $31 million deal.
NOTHING DOWN FIELD
For most of the night, the Seattle defense gave Brady nothing to work with beyond 20 yards. The cornerbacks and safeties shut down the Patriots receivers, forcing Brady to find open receivers on the sidelines and underneath. Brady did a good job of using screen passes and finding his running backs out of the backfield to move the ball down field.
BELICHICK STILL HAS IT
Yes, the Seattle defense was dominant for the majority of the game on Sunday night, but the Patriots defense, designed by Belichick and Matt Patricia played its best when the game was on the line. The Patriots were able to rattle Russell Wilson early and had key plays in the secondary on the Seahawks last two possessions. The tem also sacked Wilson on three occasions.
Seattle pressured Brady and Michael Bennett caused him nightmares most of the game, but they only put him down once with a sack.
PUT THE DEBATE TO REST
If you were wondering what this does to the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady debate over who is better, give it a rest. Brady has four titles to Manning’s one. When it is crunch time Brady has proven over and over again he may be the greatest game manager of all time.
Give Manning all of the passing and touchdown records to No. 18. There is a fine line between being good, great and the best. The rivalry between the two is good. The way Manning has played is great. Brady is simply the best.