Super Bowl XLIX: Recap and Analysis

It was the start of Super Bowl XLIX which boasted one of the greatest match-ups in Super Bowl history between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. Here are a couple Super Bowl tidbits that are interesting: There has never been a shutout in a Super Bowl and no team has ever come back from more than 10 points down. The Patriots found themselves down 10 in the 4th quarter, but came back to win Super Bowl 49 in stunning fashion, 28-24. 

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The Seahawks struggled to move the ball early with Russell Wilson having no completions at the end of the 1st quarter with the game still at 0-0. In the 2nd quarter, the Patriots drove down to the Seattle 10 yard line with a 7:41 drive only for it to end with Tom Brady attempting a pass while falling away from pressure. The pass was intercepted by Jeremy Lane, but this would prove to assist the Patriots later on in the game with Lane breaking his wrist at the end of his interception return. 

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The Patriots defense was stifling the Seattle offense while the Patriots offense was starting to figure out how to attack Seattle’s defense. The Patriots started sending players in motion to get the defense to reveal their hand as to whether they were playing man or zone. If it was man then the Patriots would look for their best match-up which led them to the 22 yard Touchdown to tight end Rob Gronkowski who had found himself matched up against Seattle linebacker K.J. Wright. If the Seahawks were playing a zone concept the Patriots took advantage of the shiftiness of Julian Edelman and Shane Vereen. 

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The Seahawks weren’t without their own adjustments as a wild card came into play for them in undrafted wide receiver Chris Matthews out of Kentucky. He was working at Footlocker and as a Security Guard this past off-season when he got the call for a tryout with the Seahawks. In fact, Chris almost missed his tryout with the Seahawks as he couldn’t get off work, but here he was in the Super Bowl being a key cog in revving up the Seattle offense. Chris Matthews’ height came into play as Russell threw jump balls his way and Chris came down with 4 of them, which were the first 4 catches of his career! His first catch went for 44 yards and his second catch was a 10 yard Touchdown to tie the game at 14 with :06 left before halftime. He ended up with 4 catches for 109 yards and a Touchdown! 

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Seattle got the ball to start the 2nd half and marched down the field. They found themselves with a 3rd and 1 and for the second time in the game stacked their receivers outside the numbers. The first time, in that formation, they ran the ball and they did so this time as well and perhaps the Patriots picked up on this as they stuffed the run in the backfield making the Seahawks kick a field goal which gave them a 17-14 lead. The Patriots got the ball back and Brady thought Rob Gronkowski, running an in route, had cleared linebacker Bobby Wagner, but Bobby made a great play to cut back in and come away with Tom’s second interception. The Seahawks cap off the drive after the turnover with a 3 yard Touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin. Doug ran a drag route from left to right across the end zone making Darrelle Revis run into the ref and leaving Baldwin wide open for the Touchdown which gave the Seahawks a 24-14 lead. 

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The Patriots had Julian Edelman open on a jerk route against Therold Simon who replaced the injured Jeremy Lane, but Tom was off target on the throw for an easy Touchdown. However, the very next play in Tom Terrific fashion he threw a perfectly placed strike into the gut of Danny Amendola in the back of the end zone to pull the Patriots within 3 points at 24-21. The Patriots next opportunity to score they ran the same jerk route against the same Seattle corner, Therold Simon, and this time Brady would not be off target and that Touchdown gave the Patriots the lead at 28-24 with 2:02 left in the game. 

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The Seahawks got the ball back and on the first play of the drive Russell threw a 31 yard pass on a sluggo route to Marshawn Lynch who was being defended by Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. Later in the drive, Russell threw one up to Jermaine Kearse against Malcolm Butler. The ball tipped of Kearse’s finger tips, hung in the air, bounced off his knee, and then was plucked out of the air by Jermaine who got up and ran to the 5 yard line.

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On 1st and goal, Marshawn “Beastmode” Lynch ran to the 1 yard line before being dragged down. Then the call heard round the world happened when Seahawks Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell and Head Coach Pete Carroll decided to run a pick play on 2nd and goal instead of giving it to the BEAST! Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette couldn’t fight for position in front of Patriots corner Malcolm Bulter, the same man who had just given up that big play to Jermaine Kearse, who made an amazing break on the ball and intercepted Russell Wilson’s pass to seal the game for the Patriots. 

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Here are the reactions after that horrendous play-call and game ending interception…

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The Seahawks are said to be interested in offering Marshawn Lynch a big long-term deal this off-season, but I doubt Marshawn was all about that 2nd and goal decision BOSS. 

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A few notes to take away from the game:

  • Super Bowl XLIX was the most viewed television program in history. The Patriots-Seahawks showdown enjoyed a 49.7 rating. In other words, 49.7 percent of the homes that had televisions on had them tuned to the Super Bowl.
  • Neither team had been tied at halftime this season until the Super Bowl where they were tied 14-14.
  • There were several reports saying that there were more Seahawks fans than Patriots fans by 3 to 1.
  • Tom Brady completed 20 passes in the 1st half which is an NFL record for the Super Bowl; the previous record was 19 completions and held by Kurt Warner and Jim Kelly.
  • Russell Wilson was 10-0 against Super Bowl winning quarterbacks in his career, but now sits at 10-1.
  • Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are now 4-2 in Super Bowls together which makes 4 Super Bowls in the last 14 years.
  • Tom Brady joins the 4 Super Bowl Championships club with Terry Bradshaw and his boyhood idol, Joe Montana.
  • After the game, Pete Carroll stated that he didn’t want to run on their goal-line personnel so they made the call for the pick play and the kid, Malcolm Butler, just made an amazing play through film study to break on the ball so quickly and come away with that interception.

The New England Patriots, once thought to be left for dead after their loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday Night Football earlier this season, are your Super Bowl 49 Champions! 

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Has Tom Brady cemented himself as the 2nd greatest quarterback of all-time? We sure think so! It’s doubtful Tom will ever surpass his boyhood idol, Joe Montana, but being one of the two greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game isn’t too shabby! 

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Author: Noah Gronniger

Noah, a sports fan since 1992, began his journey into sports media in 2012. He is co-founder of the Great American Sports Network as well as a podcast host, filmmaker and writer for the Network.

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