The New England Patriots have won Super Bowl XLIX, defeating the Seattle Seahawks by a margin of 28-24, in front of a sold out crowd at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The win marks Tom Brady and the Patriots’ first Super Bowl victory in ten years, having last hoisted the Vince Lombardi Trophy in 2005 at Super Bowl XXXIX.
A crucial interception by Patriots rookie safety Malcolm Butler in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter, with the Seahawks threatening to take the lead, proved the sealer in a wild, entertaining game that was marred by a scuffle between teams with 18 seconds remaining in the game.
With the ball on the 1 yard line, the Seahawks opted to throw the ball, rather than hand it to champion running back Marshawn Lynch and attempt to drive the ball across the goal line, in a play call that was strongly derided by broadcast commentary.
Early on, the Seahawks offence struggled to operate under a suffocating Patriots secondary, whose one-on-one coverage blanketed the Hawks receivers. Meanwhile the Patriots repeatedly exploited the Seahawks continued use of man coverage, marching the ball down field with relative ease and allowing Tom Brady to amass a game total of 328 passing yards from 37 of 50 completed passes, with four touchdowns. In the process, Brady broke Joe Montana‘s long-standing record for career touchdown passes in Super Bowls.
For his efforts, Brady was awarded the MVP of the Super Bowl. This is the third time he’s earned that accolade, adding to an already formidable career legacy.
On the opposite end of the ledger, the bulk of Seattle’s offence was focused on a ground-and-pound attack, with quarterback Russell Wilson only attempting 21 pass plays for the entire game, completing 12 for 247 yards and two touchdowns.
Following the half time break, the Seahawks appeared poised to overrun the game, snatching the lead in the third quarter. But that rally was to be short lived, with the Patriots getting into the endzone twice in the final quarter, before Butler’s crucial interception – the game’s third overall pick – sealed the win, and the NFL Championship for Brady and the Patriots.
Former St Louis Rams and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner – the only man to start two Super Bowls for different teams – along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (who was soundly booed by the crowd) presented the Lombardi trophy to Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
This is the Patriots fourth Super Bowl victory in the era of Tom Brady and head-coach Bill Belichick.
Photo: Jamie Squire via Getty Images.