Patriots Over Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX
Will all our questions ever be answered?
Super Bowl XLIX is done. The debates over the ending might never be resolved. The New England Patriots won the game on a last-minute interception. The Seattle Seahawks were the beneficiaries of one of the most amazing catches of all time. After rumbling back to contention thanks to the catch and some running from Marshawn Lynch that helped him live up to his Beast Mode nickname, the Seahawks faced a 2nd down and goal—less than one yard from perhaps winning the Super Bowl. So coach Pete Carroll decided the team would throw the ball.
There have been plenty of articles just like this one calling it the stupidest play call of all time. There's also been some seemingly token defense from the opposing coach—an unusual occurrence where Bill Belichick is playing the nice guy. I've heard people talking about it every day since the game, and I don't think we'll get to a point where it's not quickly referenced.
But the deus ex machina ending aside, this was a heck of a football game. After a mostly boring first quarter—the score at the beginning of the second was 0-0—the pace picked up and the commercials got dark.
(This seems like an aside, but worth mentioning: Nationwide was trending on Twitter during the game for none of the reasons a corporation ever wants to. From the immediate memes created to the lasting controversy over whether the company knew what it was doing. While there was the usual spate of good commercials—Rolling Stone has a more-than-decent list of them—there were plenty of super-depressing spots in addition to Nationwide's blatant attempt to tug on our heart strings. Super Bowl ad real estate is becoming more and more like an after-school special, complete with Katy Perry-sponsored The More You Know stars.)
The second quarter got the action started though, and it never relented. The Patriots struck first, allowing Tom Brady to grab many records, including, eventually, the most touchdown passes in Super Bowls. Halfway through the quarter, Lynch punched his way into the end zone to tie everything up. Brady threw yet again—tying that vaunted record—and it appeared as though the Pats would head into the locker room up 7. But Russell Wilson led Seattle down the field in a mere five plays, covering 80 yards in 29 seconds.
The game tied at 14-14, Katy Perry took the field for a show that elicited tons of reaction.
The 3rd quarter was all Seattle, with a field goal first and then another Wilson pass for 7 more—after plenty of Lynch-gained yardage. Notably, before the Seahawks' last touchdown, the Seattle crew's defense intercepted Tom Brady—his second of the game, but obviously not the last interception we'd see.
The 4th quarter, though, was the polar opposite. New England scored two touchdowns, going up 28-24. When Seattle got the ball back just over the two-minute warning, there was still a glimmer of hope, and it received a heck of a shine when Jermaine Kearse grabbed one of the craziest catches we've ever seen. The Hawks took a timeout, Lynch ran for four yards to the 1-yard line, and the fateful decision occurred to end the game.
So, the cultural event of American sports is done, again, for another year. The Patriots get another ring, a decade after their last. The Seahawks have to recover from being one yard away from being the first team to repeat since the Pats more than ten years ago. And there are 30 other teams in the NFL dreaming of how to get to this point.