New England Patriots 28 – Seattle Seahawks 24
Super Bowl XLIX is in the books and it will go down as one for the ages. The New England Patriots came through in the dying seconds after some unfathomable play calling from the Seahawks saw them blow a chance to win the game. The two teams had periods of dominance and both spent time trading blows but what would win the game would come from a moment of absolute dumbassery. More on that later.
The game went pretty much to plan, like a boxing match between two great heavyweights feeling each other out probing and testing each others weaknesses, before the Patriots put together a drive lasting some 7 minutes only for Pats quarterback Tom Brady to throw an aimless ball into the end zone which was picked off by Jeremy Lane. It was to be a costly interception as Lane, the Seahawks starting slot corner broke his arm being tackled out of bounds at the 14 yard line. To add insult to Lane’s injury the Seahawks failed to punish the Patriots for the interception following it with a 12 yard drive over 5 plays.
The Second Quarter came to life with both teams landing blows, the Patriots struck first with Tom Brady finding Brandon La Fell with an 11 yard pass. After exchanging some short drives the Seahawks struck back with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown. The Patriots hit back on their next drive to take the lead into the two mintue warning. Rob Gronkowski the recipient of another Tom Brady touchdown pass this time for 22 yards. The Seahawks would respond before the half ripping the momentum back from the patriots as the half time whistle approached, the Seahawks unlikely target Chris Matthews who had contributed as much to the Seahawks season as Katy Perry has to live singing going into the game would finish with over 100 yards but from three crucial plays.
Half time itself was its usual acid trip, with Katy Perry riding a giant Lion (the first Lion to ever reach a super bowl) into the stadium before following with a ridiculous number of costume changes and some well mimed songs. It left most of us hoping for a wardrobe malfunction of some description to try and ease the tension, we could all see what was going on but when the giant rubber sharks appeared I feared that perhaps staying up late to watch the game was a mistake. Lenny Kravitz’s appearance was as pointless as a burger to a ballerina, his three lines of I Kissed a Girl were quickly forgotten and we all went back to double checking our memory banks to remember exactly who Lenny Kravitz was. The appearance of Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliot was a novelty before we all realised that she had one album of note which was millennia ago and apparently hasn’t had a hair cut since!
Get A Haircut
While the first two quarters were a balanced affair, the third belonged to Seattle. As the Seahawks put up 10 unanswered points to take a 24-14 lead. They opened with a nice drive to get them back into their rhythm, resulting in a 27 yard field goal from Steven Hauschka. The following drive was even more telling as Brady threw the ball to a well covered block and ended up being picked off by Bobby Wagner just when the Patriots looked to have got going after the half time break. The Seahawks did manage to punish the mistake this time and three plays and fifty yards later Wilson found Doug Baldwin wide open in the end-zone to put the Seahawks in commanding position. Baldwin also wins the award for player most likely to receive massive fine after the game for outstanding performance in a celebration in his touch down celebration.
Stay Classy Doug
If the Third quarter belonged to the Seahawks then the fourth quarter was New England’s, as they came from behind to take the lead 28-24. With 8 minutes to go Brady found Amendola who has had a lively post season after a quiet regular season. After forcing the Seahawks into a 3 and out on their following drive Brady found the outstanding Edelman on the brink of the two minute warning. What followed was to swing from sublime to ridiculous in the matter of the remaining two minutes.
Struggling on the New England 38 Wilson lobbed up a catch to Jermain Kearse who looked to have been beaten to it by rookie Pats corner back Malcolm Butler. The deflected ball hit Kearse’s shin and somehow he managed to gain control of the ball despite having the look of a turtle on his back and snag it before it hit the floor. Brady looked on in disbelief Seattle on the New England 5 yard line with 1 minute left and two time outs in hand and Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, yet another late circus catch had done for the Patriots. The first hand off to Lynch made it to the one, and all Seattle had to do was rinse and repeat and surely the title was there’s, 26 seconds remained on the clock. Then it happened. Russell Wilson attempted a pass to Ricard Lockette which was intercepted by Rookie Malcolm Butler and the game was over from then. The decision to pass the ball when you have three cracks from the 1 yard line with the best power runner in football is mystifying to say the least, stupid at best and in all probability and most accurately described as an act of absolute f*ckwittery. A decision described by pundits and players alike as the worst play call in Super Bowl history. Its like having your opponent on the ropes dropping your guard and giving them a free shot at your nose. Sparing your opponent the blade only to be stabbed in the back when he stands back up. It was almost a show of Mercy from Seattle and they paid for it dearly.
The game finished with a mass brawl as tensions from the Seattle side boiled over and Bruce Irvin was ejected with 26 seconds remaining in the game,and fraught game came to a scrappy end with Tom Brady taking a knee on his 20 yard line. Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots had made history, as Brady became only the third man with four super bowl rings 10 years after his last one. The Patriots fourth quarter effort, the largest fourth quarter comeback in Super Bowl history and the joint largest comeback from any period. They came back at the Seahawks like last nights curry and in the end won through.
Attention quickly shifted to the Seahawks side of the field once the formalities were out of the woodwork, players and pundits calling out who called the fateful pass play on the one yard line. There’s an element of logic to the pass play if we’re being pragmatic, if everyone’s expecting you to run then do what your opponent doesn’t expect, but they should have tried at least once to run it with Lynch then if they failed on second down try and pass it on third and create a seed of doubt to let Lynch have a crack on 4th down. You don’t win the Grand National with your prized colt in the stables! Ultimately the pass was poorly executed, it should never have been thrown at Lockette who was well covered. Undrafted Rookie Malcolm Butler made the play has earned himself a part of Super Bowl Folklore, At The Man Times we’re dubbing this one the Boner in Arizona, and I think it will catch on.
The Game went pretty much as expected, with the Patriots attempting to control the clock and hit Seattle with short wasp stings. Seattle on the other hand managed to get some decent movement on the ground and actually managed some explosive plays through the emergence of Chris Matthews, whose contribution to the game perhaps deserved more than being on a losing side and it wasn’t until Brandon Browner was sent to cover him that he was finally brought under control. Seattle benefited heavily from some chunk plays where they got receivers open against New England’s third and fourth corners. Ultimately the Patriots stood the test of character and Tom Brady was a deserved MVP setting a Super Bowl record for completions and a 74% pass completion rate.
This will go down in History as one of the Greatest comebacks in Super Bowl History and one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory, if not ever. It will be always remembered for the Boner in Arizona but most of all it will be remembered as the first game we picked and actually called it right!