We interrupt the first non-football Sunday of 2015 to bring you our long overdue Super Bowl recap. Can you believe it’s been a week since the Super Bowl? We can’t. In fact, we’ve been on a week-long celebration bender.
Seriously, though, we were pretty thrilled about the Patriots win. Even if you didn’t like either of the teams in the championship game, we’re not sure you could have asked for a more exciting end to a game. Let’s all take a trip down memory lane.
Here’s what we thought about the Super Bowl…
New England (28), Seattle (24) – What. A. Game. After the disastrous year the NFL had, they lucked out by having an exciting game to end the season. (Unlike last year’s Super Bowl where the Seahawks walloped the Broncos by a final score of 43 to 8 in a game that was a laughter by halftime.) This game was the most watched television show in U.S. history. Even if you aren’t a fan of either team, real football fans have to appreciate this one.
Where to start? The Patriots looked like the better team in the first half, even though the score was tied 14-14 at halftime. Tom Brady had 27 pass attempts while Russell Wilson didn’t have his first completion until there were 6 minutes left in the half. Tom did have one nasty interception in the end zone by Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane. However, Lane broke his arm on the play and missed the rest of the game. He was replaced by Tharold Simon, and Brady started picking on him right away. The Seahawks managed to score two touchdowns in two and a half minutes. Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews, a former Canadian Football League standout that didn’t have an NFL catch to his name until Sunday night, made some huge plays.
Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett would have been an MVP candidate had the Seahawks won – he had four quarterback hits and forced both of Brady’s interceptions.
Seattle scored the next 10 points coming out of halftime. Then Tom Brady went to work in the fourth quarter and led a comeback against a defense that was the best in the NFL this year in points, total yards and passing yards allowed. Brady completed 13 of 15 passes for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. He was helped by the fact that Seahawks pass rusher Cliff Avril left the game with a concussion this quarter and was ruled out of the game. After Brady’s final throw of the night, a 3 yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman with 2:06 remaining in the game, his passer rating for the quarter was 140.7. The score was 28-24 with New England in the lead.
The Seahawks got the ball back and it was looking good for the Patriots until wide receiver Jermaine Kearse made an absolutely ridiculous catch to set Seattle up at the goal line.
You could feel the energy drain from the New England side line – their last two Super Bowls had been lost on freak catches like this. (It was the worst kind of deja vu possible if you were a Pats fan.) A Marshawn Lynch run put the Seahawks on the half-yard line with 26 seconds left. All they had to do was punch the ball in the end zone and more than likely the Pats wouldn’t have had enough time to run another scoring drive. What everyone was expecting was for the ball to be handed to Marshawn Lynch, arguably one of the best running backs in the NFL, to stick the fork in the Patriots. What actually happened was the play call that many have since called the worst in Super Bowl history. The Seahawks’ offensive coordinator decided to throw the ball on a pick play (these are illegal by the way), hoping to burn some more time off the clock. However, what he had not prepared for was Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. Butler jumped the route and intercepted the throw on the goal line with 20 seconds left, securing the victory for New England.
Russell Wilson’s pass was the 109th time a QB threw from the 1-yd line this season – but it was the first time it was intercepted. Wilson played efficiently the whole game, averaging 11.8 yards per attempt, but that will be overshadowed by the pick he threw at the end of the game.
Talk about a feel good story – Malcolm Butler is an undrafted rookie cornerback whose last interception in a game was in November 2013 when he was playing for Division II West Alabama. The attendance at the game was 2,843. Butler said after the game he recognized the Seahawks’ play from his film study. In fact, the Patriots scout team ran the same play against the defense in practice this week, and Butler was beat for the touchdown. Coach Belichick told him he had ‘to be on it.’ He wasn’t going to let that happen again, and now the kid will never pay for a drink when he’s out and about in the New England area. Quite the turn of events for a player who was kicked out of school and working at Popeyes at one point. The Patriots were the only team to offer him a spot on their roster for training camp. As the game’s MVP, Tom Brady won a 2015 Chevy Colorado, but plans to give the truck to Butler for making the play to seal the win.
On the next to last play of the game, following Butler’s interception, frustration boiled over from the Seahawks side and a tussle erupted. Bruce Irvin from the Seahawks was ejected for hitting Rob Gronkowski in the face. He later apologized. Fines were issued for players on both teams.
The rest is history – the confetti cannons exploded with red, white, and blue, Darrelle Revis cried, Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler announced they were going Disney World, and the Seahawks World Champion t-shirts got shipped off to a third-world country.
(For those of you still questioning the integrity of the Patriots’ footballs, the procedures for the Super Bowl have always differed. While the teams are still allowed to condition the footballs during the week, there is an independent equipment manager and ball attendants.)
Now for some fun facts because we love them so much. There’s a lot of them because we couldn’t choose. Sorry, we’re not sorry.
Fun Facts and Records Set in Super Bowl XLIX:
- This was the 10th Super Bowl since 2000 where the game was decided by 7 points or less.
- There have been 13 Super Bowls decided by 4 points or less. The Patriots have played in 6 of these games. (It’s a wonder more Pats fans don’t have heart issues.)
- Seattle had not lost a game it led in the fourth quarter by 10 points or more since 2004, where they lost to the Rams in overtime. Since then, they have had 49 fourth-quarter double-digit leads. (Sunday night was the 50th game.)
- Russell Wilson has held a lead at some point in all 56 of his career games.
- Until Sunday night, the 29 teams that have held a 10-point second half lead in the Super did not lose. This was only the third Super Bowl where the score was tied at halftime.
- The Patriots became the 4th team to lose the turnover battle and win the Super Bowl.
- The Patriots became the youngest team to win the Super Bowl with an average age of 25.2 years.
- Patriots running back Shane Vereen had 11 receptions, the most ever for a running back in the Super Bowl.
- The Patriots became first team to win a Super Bowl without having a player with 100 rush attempts during the regular season.
- The 10-year gap between Tom Brady’s championships (2004-2014) passed Roger Staubach’s 6 year gap as the longest in NFL history for a starting quarterback.
- Tom Brady has won more Super Bowls (4) than 26 other NFL franchises.
- The Patriots became the 6th team to win 4 Super Bowl titles. All wins have come since Robert Kraft bought the team in 1994 with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
- Tom Brady is now tied with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as quarterbacks to win 4 Super Bowls. Brady also tied Montana with his third MVP award.
- In this game, Tom Brady threw a Super Bowl record 37 passes (out of 50 attempts) for 328 yards and 4 touchdowns (plus two interceptions). Brady now owns the Super Bowl records for passes, completions, yards, and touchdowns, as well as most post-season comebacks (6, passing Joe Montana on Sunday night) and post-season game winning drives (9).0020
- Patriots Coach Bill Belichick is now tied with Chuck Noll (former Steelers coach) as one of two coaches to win 4 Super Bowls. Belichick also has 2 Super Bowl rings he won as the defensive coordinator of the New York Giants. (Bill owns a boat that is named Five Rings . . . if we had to guess, the boat is getting a paint job with a new name this off-season.)
– Val and Michelle