Super Bowl XLIX Lives Up to the Hype

The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX held in Glendale, Arizona. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady earned MVP honors after going 37 for 50 for 328 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions.sb insignia 2

The final minute of the game determined the outcome.

After the Patriots went up 28-24 with 2:02 left in regulation on a touchdown pass from Tom Brady to wide receiver Julian Edelman, Russell Wilson marched the Seahawks down the field highlighted by an amazing, bobbling catch by wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. Marshawn Lynch then carried the ball to the New England one with 36 seconds left to play.

To all, it appeared the Seahawks were going to milk the clock and hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch who would go all “Beast Mode” into the end zone and probably receive MVP honors.

Instead, Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a passing play that was intercepted by undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler who jumped the play and leaped ahead of Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. While Seahawks coach Pete Carroll took the blame for telling Bevell to call a passing play, I question Bevelll’s call for a slant when Wilson routinely does a great job of rolling out and throwing on the run.

Rollouts are more of a high percentage pass and Wilson could have thrown the ball away if necessary stopping the clock.

While many involved with the Seahawks are wondering why that pass play was called instead of handing it off to Lynch with a timeout still left to take, Lynch himself finally spoke to the media after the game and said the call did not surprise him because “football is a team sport.” What an unselfish answer for a man of few words.

Since the Patriots were penalized half the distance to the goal after Butler’s interception, the Patriots were in danger of giving up a safety after taking over the ball on their own goal line. Seahawks’ defensive tackle Michael Bennett was drawn offsides and the Patriots were able to move the ball to the five yard line and simply down the ball.

Downing the ball was not as simple as the Patriots expected. After Brady downed the ball with 18 seconds left to play, a melee broke out between both teams that was started by Seahawks’ linebacker Bruce Irvin who was promptly ejected from the game.

Brady took one last snap and the game ended with Brady winning his fourth Super Bowl in 14 years as a starter. brady sb

While the last minute of the game affected the outcome, Bill Belichick and his staff deserve props for making the best adjustments at halftime.

They continued moving the ball by throwing quick passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski, wide receivers Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola, and Shane Vereen out of the backfield. The Pats also took advantage of injuries to Seahawks linebacker Cliff Avril and cornerback Jeremy Lane. Tharold Simon, Lane’s replacement, was burned continuously including on a touchdown by Gronkowski.

At halftime, Patriots’ corner Brandon Browner, a former Seahawk, begged to cover Seahawks receiver Chris Matthews who had a breakout game snagging four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Browner shut down Matthews who came into the game with zero career NFL receptions, but made an impact in the NFC Championship game by recovering the crucial onside kickoff that allowed the Seahawks to go ahead of Green Bay Packers for the first time all day. Matthews put himself on the radar for next season.

Belichick has now guided the Patriots to four Super Bowls. At one point, the Patriots were 2-2 and did not appear to be a team headed for the playoffs let alone the 2015 Super Bowl champion. As usual, Belichick brought the troops together and led the team to another Super Bowl title. Knowing him, he will enjoy the victory for a few days before turning his attention to this month’s NFL combine and May’s NFL draft. belichick

Super Bowl XLIX definitely lived up to its hype. Let’s hope next year’s Super Bowl, its 50th, can match this year’s game for intensity, storylines, and overall play.

And that’s…as I see it!

Come check out my blog articles and others at http://thegamedayreport.com.

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