New England rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone with 20 seconds to go to secure the Patriots’ 28-24 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday night.
New England rallied from 10 points down in the fourth quarter on two touchdown passes by Tom Brady, the game’s most valuable player, to take a 28-24 lead.
However, with 2:02 left to play, the Seahawks drove to the Patriots’ 5, keyed by a juggling, 33-yard catch by Jermaine Kearse, who was covered by Butler, at the 5.
On first down, Marshawn Lynch gained 4 yards to the 1.
On second down, Wilson tried to throw a quick slant pass to Ricardo Lockette, but Butler stepped in front of the pass in the end zone and stumbled out to the 2.
“I had a vision I was going to make a big play,” Butler said as his teammates celebrated on the field. “I’m blessed. I can’t explain it.
“They were stacked. It comes with preparation. I knew they were going to pick (with Jermaine Kearse) and I came under.”
New England took two kneel downs, one which was delayed by a brawl, to claim the franchise’s fourth Super Bowl title in the past 14 years.
“We went with three receivers when they brought in their goal line defense. We call the play. It was a miraculous play by the kid. I told my guys it was my fault,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “I hate we have to live with that.”
Brady passed for 328 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions. Lynch rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries and one touchdown.
This marks the third time Brady has won the award, having previously won the award in Super Bowls XXXVI and XXXVIII. Brady joins former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana (Super Bowls XVI, XIX and XXIV) as the only players in NFL history to win the award three times.
Wilson threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Chris Matthews, who had no catches during the regular season, finished with four catches for 109 yards and one touchdown.
“One inch too far I guess,” Wilson said of Butler’s interception. “I wasn’t surprised. We’ve done a great job in that situation. I thought we had them. When I let it go, I thought it was game over.”
After an exchange of punts to open the game, the Patriots put together a 13-play drive to reach the Seahawks 10. On third and 6, cornerback Jeremy Lane intercepted Brady in the end zone and returned the ball to the 14. Lane injured his left wrist on the play and left the game.
It was the only scoring threat in the first quarter.
After forcing another punt, the Patriots drove 65 yards for the game’s first score.
The nine-play drive ended with Brady throwing an 11-yard touchdown to Brandon LaFell, on a slant route, for a 7-0 lead with 9:47 left in the second quarter.
After another exchange of punts, Seattle finally got going on offense.
Keyed by a 44-yard catch by Chris Matthews, the Seahawks drove 70 yards in eight plays with Lynch scoring on a spinning, 3-yard run to tie the score at 7-7 with 2:16 left in the first half.
That proved to be enough time for the Patriots to retake the lead.
The Patriots went 80 yards in eight plays in 1:45.
The touchdown came on a 22-yard pass from Brady to tight end Rob Gronkowski with 31 seconds to go.
Seattle reached the Patriots 10, but with only 6 seconds to go.
Seattle bypassed the field goal attempt and went with a back-shoulder fade pass from Wilson to Matthews for a touchdown to tie the game at 14-14 with 2 seconds left.
Seattle took the second-half kickoff and their first lead of the game.
The Seahawks drove 72 yards in seven plays for Steven Hauschka’s 27-yard field goal and a 17-14 lead at the 11:09 mark.
Six plays after the Seahawks’ score, linebacker Bobby Wagner intercepted Brady.
Seattle turned the turnover into points when Wilson threw a 3-yard touchdown to Doug Baldwin to push their lead to 24-14 at the end of the third quarter.
Midway in the final period, Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown to Danny Amendola to make it 24-21 with 7:55 left to play.
Following a defensive stop, New England scored again on Brady’s 3-yard touchdown pass to Julien Edelman to put the Patriots back on top at 28-24 with 2:02 left.
Seattle drove to the Patriots’ 5, keyed by a juggling catch by Kearse.
Two plays later, Butler made the play of the game.
Charean Williams, 817-390-7760