by THOMAS O’SCANNELL Section Editor
Super Bowl XLIX was filled with action and drama reminiscent of “General Hospital,” but when the smoke cleared, the New England Patriots were left standing, narrowly defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.
“Super Bowl XLIX was one of the best Super Bowls I have seen in a long time,” says sophomore Sam D’Urso. “Being a Jets fan, I was obviously rooting for the Seahawks; although they lost, I still think it was a great game. I also admit that Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all-time, and he proved it in Glendale.”
The focus and emotion Brady and his offense showed to come back – not excluding the defense’s efforts, keeping the Seahawks scoreless in the first and final quarters – proved to everyone that the Patriots are above all the silly cheating accusations and hate.
One of the main reasons people were looking forward to this Super Bowl was the debate of which team was better; the game included the number one seeds in both conferences (with identical 12-4 regular season records), as well as New England’s offense against Seattle’s defense. Surely, the game would settle who is truly the best team in football.
Another interesting back-and-forth here is the spat between cornerbacks Darrelle Revis (Patriots) and Richard Sherman (Seahawks). This rivalry extends back to Revis’ days as a New York Jet and Sherman’s first seasons as a professional. The two had a war of words on Twitter over who was the best corner in football.
The Seahawks won the coin toss at the beginning of the game, electing to kick off the ball first and receive the ball at halftime.
The first quarter was very entertaining; both teams played defense, and the quarter ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
The lack of points ceased five minutes into the second quarter when an 11-yard pass from Brady to Brandon LaFell saw the Patriots strike first. The Patriots played better up to this point, with Seattle’s next possession ending in a three-and-out. Soon enough, though, “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch penetrated the Patriots defense, tying the game at seven.
With 36 seconds left in the second quarter, a deep pass from Brady to Tight End Rob Gronkowski gave the Patriots a 14-7 lead, which persisted into the second half.
However, Russell Wilson and his offense got going in 30 seconds, making it to New England’s 21-yard-line with six seconds left. Many assumed Seattle would kick the field goal and wait to receive first in the third quarter; however, a gutsy play to go for it all saw a completed catch to Chris Matthews with two seconds left in the quarter, effectively ending the half 14 all.
The second quarter dragged on and was pretty unremarkable. Seattle showed their teeth by succeeding in going for an uncertain touchdown over a safe field goal – a sign of the momentum shifting.
Seattle converted a field goal not even four minutes into the new half, taking a 17-14 lead.
It did not take long for the Seahawks’ dominance to kick in; just 12 yards into the next Patriots drive, Seattle’s Bobby Wagner intercepted a pass intended for Gronkowski. Just three minutes later, the Seahawks were in front 24-14.
The camera then transitioned to Richard Sherman mouthing the number 24 while showing a two and a four on his hand, mocking the New England faithful.
At the time, it seemed like an inevitable demolition; however, the Patriots kept the Seahawks at 24 going into the final 15 minutes, staying scoreless themselves in the process.
Seattle really lived up to their hype, shutting down a Patriots offense that had piled up 35 against the Baltimore Ravens and 45 against the Colts in prior weeks.
Just when we thought it was all over, Brady connected with a touchdown pass to wide receiver Danny Amendola, easing the deficit to three with eight minutes to spare.
The Patriots continued to find their rediscovered fire, starting their next drive from their own 35-yard-line.
Brady continued making the big plays, and the Patriots were back, just five yards away from the lead with less than three minutes left on the clock. At 2:02, Brady threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, and with a completed pass to Julian Edelman, New England led by four just on the stroke of the two-minute warning.
Seattle responded very well. Just before the two-minute warning, Wilson completed a long pass to Lynch, reaching New England’s 49-yard-line.
Soon, a sensational bobbling catch by Kearse and a brief rush by Lynch placed the defending champions on the Patriots’ one-yard-line with just 26 seconds left in the contest. At this point, the game was just another disappointing Super Bowl defeat for coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots, and back-to-back rings for the Seahawks.
Then, the Seahawks lost.
In a mind-blowing call where they elected to throw the ball instead of giving the league’s best running back the chance to rush one yard and realistically win the game, a short pass to Ricardo Lockette was intercepted by Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler.
Penalties such as encroachment and literally starting a player brawl against the Seahawks pushed the Patriots forward enough to avoid a safety and kneel for the game.
Why the Seahawks did not let Marshawn Lynch run the ball in – and with a timeout to spare – still boggles the mind. Then again, though, he is only here so he does not get fined.
“That call from the Seahawks was awful,” says sophomore Achal Shah. “I don’t understand why they would pass the ball from the one-yard line when they have the best running back in the game on their team. Nevertheless, congratulations to the Patriots on their win and both teams for their outstanding efforts.”
The Patriots postponed their victory parade to Wednesday due to bad weather in Boston the following day.
The festivities included Gronkowski high-fiving fans in attendance, Edelman holding up a sign poking fun at Richard Sherman (a meme reading “How many rings does Brady have?” with Sherman holding up the number four, extracted from his taunting when the Seahawks were up 24-14), and a rather unpleasant rewording of Lynch’s “Beast Mode” nickname by Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount.
Brady also filmed a clip during the parade for the Internet, thanking fans for their love and support.
With that, one of the most eventful NFL seasons comes to a close. With the New England Patriots world champions, football fans everywhere are on the edge of their seats, awaiting the start of next season.
What might the Patriots and the Seahawks have in store for next season to send them back to the Super Bowl?