The New England Patriots led the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 with less than 30 seconds left in the game. Super Bowl 49 was on the line and the Seahawks had the ball on the New England one yard line.
Seattle called a pass instead of the expected Marshawn Lynch run on second and goal. New England safety Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Seattle wide receiver Ricardo Lockette to intercept Russell Wilson’s pass with 20 seconds left in the game.
“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true,” Butler said after the game. “I’m just blessed. I can’t explain it right now. It’s crazy.”
Brady jumped up and down in celebration with hands raised after the play.
“I saw the interception and couldn’t believe it,” Brady said in his postgame press conference. “It was just an incredible play. You know, what a play; A championship play. My guys made them. A lot of guys just did some great stuff out there.”
New England was able to run the clock out from there to win their fourth Super Bowl in the Tom Brady and Bill Belichick era.
“This is an unbelievable feeling, said tight end Rob Gronkowski. “We played such a great team game together. This is the most amazing feeling ever. What a great team victory. It’s unbelievable. This is indescribable.”
Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. He was named Super Bowl MVP.
The Patriots put together two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to overcome a 10 point deficit.
“It’s a storybook ending, said Patriots center Bryan Stork. “It’s amazing. Sorry for the people at home that had to be on the edge of their seats the whole time; I know I was on mine. It was a good win.”
Brady completed two passes to Julian Edelman on third down to extend the drive early in the fourth quarter. Brady capped the drive with a four yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola with 7:55 left in the game.
The New England offense got the ball back with six and a half minutes left in the game. Gronkowski had two catches for 43 yards during the 64 yard drive.
On second and goal, Edelman spun away from Tharold Simon and caught a three yard touchdown pass from Brady, giving the Patriots a 28-24 lead.
Edelman finished the game with nine catches for a team-high 109 yards.
Seattle got the ball with 2:02 left in the game and marched down the field thanks to a 31 yard completion to Lynch and an amazing pass to Jermaine Kearse who juggled and snagged the ball while lying on the ground.
The catch invoked memories of the David Tyree “helmet catch” in the 2008 Super Bowl loss to the Giants.
A Lynch run took Seattle to the one yard line. The next play was the controversial pass play call that allowed Butler to end the game.
“For it to come down to a play like that, I hate that we have to live with that,” head coach Pete Carroll said. “Because we did everything right to win the football game.”
Carroll said he takes the blame for the play call. He later told ESPN that they had to throw at some point so they didn’t run out of time.
Seattle was led by receiver Chris Matthews who came into the game without an NFL catch. He grabbed four for 109 yards and a first half touchdown just before halftime.
The Seahawks scored 17 unanswered points in the second and third quarters to give them what looked like an insurmountable 10 point lead.
Brady didn’t quit, and slung two fourth quarter touchdowns. The first passed Joe Montana for most touchdown passes in Super Bowl history.
Brady tied Montana and Terry Bradshaw for most Super Bowl wins ever with four.
“It’s been a long journey,” Brady said. “It’s just a great win. We left it all on the field.”