Russell Wilson threw an interception with 20 seconds left in the Super Bowl to hand Tom Brady and the New England Patriots their fourth Super Bowl title.
This Super Bowl, held in Arizona, will go down as one of the best of all time and one that fans will never forget thanks to the dramatic finish that saw the Patriots win 28-24 over the Seattle Seahawks and end the season as champions.
The Seahawks led by 10 points heading into the fourth quarter but touchdowns from Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman gave the Patriots a four point lead that would end up being decisive.
The Patriots started the game off brightly. Brady led them to the Seahawks 10-yard line before throwing perhaps his worst pass of the night that was intercepted by Jeremy Lane.
Neither team could get on the scoreboard in the first quarter but an 11-yard pass from Brady to Brandon LaFell gave the Pats the lead early in the second quarter.
The Seahawks hit back quickly to level the scores at 7-7 thanks to a three-yard run from Marshawn Lynch.
The big play on the drive was a wonderful 44-yard pass to receiver Chris Matthews. What made this even more amazing was that this was Matthews’ first ever reception in the NFL. He went on to catch four passes for 109 yards and a touchdown. The 25-year-old, who was working in Foot Locker less than a year ago, was looking like a genuine contender for the MVP award if the Seahawks had managed to win.
Both teams scored a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. First Rob Gronkowski for the Patriots and then Matthews with just two seconds left to play in the half.
New England were the better team for most of the first half and will have been disappointed to only have been tied at the break.
Steven Hauschka scored the first points of the second half with a field goal before New England’s first drive of the half ended up with Tom Brady throwing his second interception of the game to Bobby Wagner.
Another long catch from Matthews helped Seattle to score a quick touchdown as Wilson threw his second touchdown to Doug Baldwin and open up a 10 point lead, the biggest of the entire game. The defending champions had scored 24 points in 13 minutes to take command of the game.
The Seahawks came into the game as the best defence in the league but their secondary struggled all night to cope with Brady’s short passes to Shane Vereen and Edelman. The pair combined to catch nine passes in the fourth quarter alone to help the Patriots secure the biggest second half comeback in the history of the Super Bowl. Before this game 29 teams had been losing by double digits coming into the fourth quarter and all 29 teams had failed to win.
The comeback started with Brady’s third touchdown pass of the game, a four-yard pass to Amendola.
When Brady got the ball back with 6:52 left on the clock, they needed a field goal to tie or a touchdown to take the lead.
Ten plays later the Patriots had taken the lead thanks to a touchdown catch from Edelman. The wide receiver could have ended the game as MVP thanks to 9 catches for 109 yards.
Then came what this game will be remembered for. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks got the ball back with 2:02 left needing to drive 80 yards for a touchdown to win the game.
A long pass to Lynch and an incredible juggling catch from Jermaine Kearse that bounced off of a couple of players before ending up in the receivers hands left Seattle needing just five more yards to win the game and retain the Super Bowl.
Kearse’s catch will have given Pats fans flashbacks to 2008 Super Bowl when, in the same stadium, Giants receiver David Tyree made a one handed catch, pinning the ball to his helmet. That catch led to the Patriots loss that day but today would end differently.
A short run from Lynch took the Seahawks to the one-yard line and with three plays to get into the end zone and it looked like the Lombardi Trophy would be heading back to Seattle.
Wilson dropped back and targeted Ricardo Lockette but Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler stepped in front of the receiver to intercept the pass and win the game for New England.
This left the Pats needing to just take a knee and run out the clock. However, on the first kneel down a fight erupted that saw Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin ejected from the game.
Tom Brady was named as the game’s MVP and he became just the second player to have won three Super Bowl MVP awards after Joe Montana.
Brady’s fourth title tied him with Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the quarterbacks with the most wins in Super Bowl history.
Brady set a number of other records during the game. He became the first quarterback to start six Super Bowls, the first player to throw for 50 touchdowns in the postseason and he also broke Montana’s record of 11 touchdowns in Super Bowls, throwing four to take his overall total to 13.
This may be the 37-year-olds final Super Bowl but if it is it was an incredible way to go out. The debate about who the greatest quarterback of all time will never be settled, but Brady’s fourth title will help to stake his claim as the greatest to ever play the game.