Super Bowl XLIX: Wow! What an incredible game! It was a game decided by four points, a game between two of football’s great minds — Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll — and a game between two quarterbacks entering opposite ends of their respective careers. Tom Brady is finishing up his 15th season and Russell Wilson is just in his third.
People will forget about the entire first half because of the excitement of the second, but it was one that should have satisfied everyone. Unlike last year’s Super Bowl, the first quarter of this big game was great. No one scored. There was a momentum-killing interception. Good defenses always make for an exciting game. The second quarter had even more of what fans expect in a game of this stature: two touchdowns apiece, back and forth. The halftime score: 14-14.
The worst part of this game, up to this point, was that we had to watch Katy Perry impersonate a certain someone from the “Hunger Games” as she donned a fiery gown with plastic flames weaving around her torso (Katniss is furious, I’ll bet). As a peace offering to all the bored fans, they only let Katy Perry sing for about 15 minutes.
The third quarter was peculiar because Seattle seemed to be shutting down the Patriots’ offense, while putting up 10 points of their own on the scoreboard. Brady turned the ball over, again. The momentum was clearly in the Seahawks’ favor. Marshawn Lynch was having his way, and Wilson was doing his best Houdini impression while dodging Patriot defenders. But here’s the caveat: it was just 10 points! The Patriot defense was actually doing a darn good job. Everyone who doubted Brady was soon made a fool of in the fourth quarter.
Brady is not your average pigskin hurler. He is the most prepared and the most focused man on that field. After narrowing the lead down to three, he and his offense got the ball back with about five or six minutes left in regulation. On this dynamic drive, Brady had nine completions, one of which went to Julian Edelman for a score to put the Patriots up by four. Contrast this with Wilson’s 12 total completions for the entire game! We saw unreal concentration and precision from Brady.
The only problem was that the Patriots left 2:02 on the clock for Wilson to work with. This same scenario happened to the Patriots when they were beaten by the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. The same result seemed to be looming, had it not been for an undrafted rookie out of Vicksburg, Miss., Malcolm Butler. Seattle decided to “waste” a play due to how close they were to the goal line and the amount of time left on the clock (0:40). I predict that this will go down as the most infamous play in Super Bowl history. The odds of scoring with Lynch from the one-yard line were far greater than trying to throw into a tight window in or near the goal line. The rest is history. Butler jumped the slant route by Ricardo Lockette and Brady knelt to seal the deal. The Patriots were the victors in a fascinating contest of skill.