Sunday’s big game was the most exciting Super Bowl that I have ever seen–hands down.
Never before had such great teams with so much on the line been presented before our eyes. On the New England side of things, Tom Brady was looking to answer any remaining questions or doubters about the legacy he intends to leave on the game at the professional level while Seattle’s quarterback Russell Wilson looked to win his second Lombardi Trophy in as many tries and in just his first three seasons.
Either way, a dynasty was going to walk out of Arizona untouchable, but not unscathed.
After a scoreless first quarter, things got heated from the second quarter on. Brandon Lafell and Rob Gronkowski scored touchdowns in the period while Marshawn Lynch and an unfamiliar face in Chris Matthews got Seattle on the board and matched New England’s 14-spot.
With Seattle receiving the second half kickoff, things really seemed to be going the Seahawks’ way and Russell Wilson was well on his way to glory.
Here are three big reasons the Patriots were able to take the title from the defending champs and put the nail in the coffin of Super Bowl XLIX:
1. THE BRADY BUNCH
Accounting for three of the Patriots four touchdowns, the group of receivers I like to call the “Brady Bunch” showed up big against one of the best defensive fronts we have ever seen in the Seattle Seahawks and their “Legion of Boom.”
The injuries to Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, and even Kam Chancellor weren’t even that noticeable–which surprised me a lot–but even if they had all been playing at full strength, it would appear that New England would still have the ultimate advantage because of sheer domination when it mattered most.
Brady was 37-50 when it came to passing the ball, and the majority of his incompletions were because of an over or under throw instead of a mistake on the receiver’s end of things.
If New England can find a way to rally the troops for next season, we could very well see a Super Bowl rematch.
2. THE BUTLER DID IT
Previously unknown defensive player Malcolm Butler was stuck at a dead-end Popeyes job after getting kicked out of community college. He struggled to get by, but never gave up on his dream of playing professional football.
Through hard work and unmatched determination, Butler was able to earn a spot on the New England Patriots’ squad–and in turn was the biggest factor in one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history.
Yes, I said history.
Butler’s interception sealed the deal for the Seahawks as Seattle literally fell one yard short of going back-to-back in Super Bowl victories–it would’ve been the first repeat champion since New England (how convenient), who accomplished the feat between the 2003-2004 seasons.
But besides cementing Tom Brady’s legacy in the NFL, Malcolm Butler was able to make an actual name for himself–no deflated balls were necessary.
Instead, Butler made it clear to the nation that he’s got real balls and had the nerve to step in front of a one yard slant pass to end the game above all games.
3. CARROLL OF THE BELLS
Pete Carroll is known for making gutsy calls as a head coach; it’s been something that has been a relentless part of his character ever since the USC days. Now as the head honcho of the Seattle Seahawks, Carroll’s ability to stay youthful on the inside has kept his team motivated and ready to go on any given Sunday.
Unfortunately, this past Super Bowl Sunday played out a little differently.
In what will go down as one of the most baffling, mind-blowing, and outright outrageous play calls in sports and Super Bowl history, Carroll decided to go with a pass play from the 1-yard line instead of handing the ball off to Marshawn Lynch and let Beast Mode do his thing.
This would result in an interception by an undrafted rookie from West Alabama named Malcolm Butler.
How do you like them apples?
The turnover came on second down after Lynch had just ran for another four yards, getting his Hawks all the way to the 1-yard line. It seemed imminent that a repeat for the Seahawks was about to take place but then the unthinkable happened.
Had Carroll done what the rest of humanity would have done in his shoes, we could be looking at a repeat champion in Russell Wilson and the Seahawks and the start of a new dynasty–but instead Tom Brady & Co. reigned supreme again for the fourth ring in New England’s franchise history.
If Carroll wants to keep his job, despite previous success, he better not pull anything like that ever again.
The 12th Man may be fabulous, but when crossed too many times, they may not be so forgiving.