The Lyrical Elitist

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New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs Again

New England Patriots

The Patriots are on to the White House.

The Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks, 28-24, last night to win Super Bowl XLIX after Tom Brady’s latest legacy drive and Malcom Butler’s last-minute miracle interception. The Patriots won their fourth Super Bowl in franchise history in dramatic fashion by erasing a 24-14 fourth-quarter lead.

Tom Brady completed all nine pass attempts for 72 yards and a 3-yard touchdown to Julian Edelman, who ran a pristine in-and-out route to beat Tharold Simon for the score that gave the Patriots a 28-24 lead with 2:02 remaining in the fourth quarter. The 37-year-old QB broke a Super Bowl record with 37 completions on 50 attempts for 328 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

And for a defense that was constructed to better complement an offense after giving up the fourth-quarter lead in the previous two Super Bowl losses, it was Butler who played the hero role by intercepting Russell Wilson’s end-zone attempt from the 1-yard line with 20 seconds to play. Butler, who broke up a pass earlier in the drive, was inserted into the lineup late in the second half for the combination of Kyle Arrington and Logan Ryan.

New England PatriotsThe Seahawks briefly suffocated the Patriots after the teams emerged from halftime tied, 14-14. Chris Matthews, who went undrafted in 2011 and had never caught an NFL pass before hauling in four throws for 109 yards and a touchdown last night, beat Kyle Arrington for 45 yards to the Patriots’ 17-yard line on the opening drive of the third quarter. Rob Ninkovich saved the drive with a third-and-1 stop of Marshawn Lynch for no gain, but Steven Hauschka’s 27-yard field goal gave the Seahawks their first lead, 17-14.

Brady’s bid for Rob Gronkowski on the ensuing drive was just a tad behind his target, and Bobby Wagner set up the Seahawks at midfield. Wilson finished the job with an assist from an official, who picked Darrelle Revis in the end zone and allowed Doug Baldwin to break free before catching a 3-yard touchdown to pad the lead, 24-14, with 4:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Brady only completed four passes in the third quarter after setting a Super Bowl record with 20 first-half completions, but he was sharp on a dire fourth-quarter drive. Julian Edelman withstood a wicked hit from Kam Chancellor for a 21-yard gain on third-and-14 and added 21 more yards on a third-and-8 grab. Brady then delivered a missile to a leaping Danny Amendola for a 4-yard score that cut the deficit to 24-21 with 7:55 remaining.

Brady opened the game with extraordinary accuracy, but he made a poor decision to sabotage the Patriots’ first scoring opportunity. Brady got sandwiched by Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril while lofting an ill-fated third-and-6 pass toward a covered Julian Edelman, and Jeremy Lane intercepted the underthrown ball in the end zone.

New England PatriotsLane, however, appeared to break his arm on the return, and Brady exposed his replacement, Tharold Simon, on the ensuing possession in the second quarter. Edelman beat Simon on an under route for 23 yards on third-and-10. Two plays later, Brandon LaFell cut through Simon for an 11-yard touchdown on a slant route that gave the Pats a 7-0 lead.

The Seahawks finally found some life on their fourth possession, as Wilson completed his first pass 19:30 into the game. Then, Matthews beat Arrington for a 44-yard catch up the right sideline, and Marshawn Lynch tied it, 7-7, with a 3-yard touchdown surge on third-and-2.

Brady kept the pressure on with a series of quick passes to take advantage of the Seahawks’ off-coverages by everyone other than Richard Sherman. But he took a rare shot that paid off when Gronkowski beat K.J. Wright up the right sideline to the end zone and hauled in Brady’s 22-yard floater for a touchdown that gave the Pats a 14-7 lead with 31 seconds remaining in the first half.

The advantage was short-lived after a series of defensive meltdowns that started when Robert Turbin (19 yards) and Wilson (17 yards) got the ball to the Pats’ 44-yard line with a pair of runs. Wilson connected with Ricardo Lockette for 23 more yards, and Arrington’s facemask penalty set up the Seahawks at the 11-yard line with 6 seconds remaining in the quarter. Pete Carroll made the aggressive call to go for it, and Matthews easily beat Logan Ryan’s soft coverage for the tying touchdown.

Boston Herald


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