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New England beats Seattle to win Super Bowl XLIX
By Mike Tanchevski

The game will go down as one of the greatest in history. It had the drama, big plays, unknown heroes and legendary performances.

Super Bowl XLIX ended with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick assuming their place at the head of NFL royalty. New England overcame a ten point deficit to win 28-24, claiming their fourth Super Bowl title in the Brady Belichick era. This is their first since 2005. Brady was named MVP for the third time, ending the night completing 37-of-50 passes for 328 yards, 4 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions.

The game was a classic, going down to the wire. However, it will be remembered more for the call that wasn’t made. Following a miraculous catch by Jermaine Kearse, the Seahawks had the ball on the New England one-yard line down by four with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game. Instead of giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch, who ran for 102 yards on 24 carries, Russell Wilson threw a quick slant in the middle of the field. Strong safety Malcolm Butler, who sealed his place in Patriots lore, read the route and stepped in front of the pass to intercept it. His play sealed New England's victory.

The first half saw each team playing cautiously with points at a premium; three touchdowns were scored in the last seven minutes of the second quarter. Both teams had five possessions and scored two touchdowns each. New England ran 39 plays to Seattle’s 24 with the Patriots owning time of possession 18:02 to 11:58.

New England drove to the Seattle 10 on their second possession, but Brady was pressured and threw an interception to Jeremy Lane on the goal line.

Seattle was pinned deep in their territory early in the game. Following their second punt, Brady led New England on a nine play, 65-yard drive that culminated with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell, giving them a 7-0 lead

Seattle took the ball with 7:07 remaining in the second quarter and went 70 yards, scoring on a 3-yard run by Lynch to even the score.

Rob Gronkowski, guarded by linebacker Bruce Irvin, ran a 22-yard fade and Brady laid the ball in perfectly to give the Pats a 14-7 lead.

Wilson demonstrated his versatility by taking the Seahawks 80 yards in 0:29, tossing an 11-yard touchdown to Chris Matthews.

Matthews, who had no regular-season catches, first touched the ball for the Seahawks when he recovered the onside kick against Green Bay in the NFC Championship game. The undrafted free agent had four catches for 109 yards.

Statistically, New England controlled the half. They outgained the Seahawks 222 to 167. Brady was 20-of-27 Tom Bradywith 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, while Wilson was 4-of-7 with 1 touchdown and no interceptions. Lynch ran the ball 12 times for 45 yards, scoring once. LeGarrette Blount had 10 carries for 37 yards.

Seattle took the second-half kickoff down the field and stalled on the New England 8-yard line. They settled for a 27-yard Steven Hauschka field goal to go up 17-14.

Brady, uncharacteristically, threw his second interception of the game on New England’s next possession, a pass Bobby Wagner returned to the New England 38. The ball was moved back to the 50 following a block in the back penalty.

Seattle took five plays to go 50 yards. A 3-yard pass from Wilson to Doug Baldwin gave the Seahawks a 24-14 lead. That was all the scoring after three quarters and it looked as if the Seahawks were in command.

Brady thought otherwise.

New England made the score 24-21 with 7:55 left in the game on a 4-yard Brady pass to Danny Amendola. The Patriots drove 68 yards on 9 plays; they were aided by a 15-yard personal foul for a late hit.

Seattle went three and out on their next possession giving the ball to New England on the Seattle 36.

Brady cemented his place in football history on the next drive, leading the Pats on a 10-play drive the ended with a touchdown pass to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining to put New England up 28-24.

Seattle gave a great effort. Wilson advanced the ball to the 50-yard line on a sideline catch by Lynch. On third and 10, Wilson converted to Ricardo Lockette.

The next play brought out the ghosts of Super Bowl's past when Kearse made a catch reminiscent to David Tyree’s grab in Super Bowl XLII. The ball looked incomplete as it bounced in the air, but it ultimately landed on the Seahawk receiver who rolled out of bounds at the New England 5-yard line.

Following a 4-yard run by Lynch, the Seahawks made the fateful play call allowing New England’s Malcolm Butler to end the Patriots Super Bowl drought in heroic fashion. 

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