The New England Patriots’ 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday night was no doubt a game for the ages.
Overshadowed by Malcolm Butler’s interception at the goal line with 20 seconds left to seal the win, it also featured an all-time comeback effort by the Pats’ offense.
No team had ever rallied from a 10-point deficit in the second half to win the Super Bowl – no less against one of the best defenses in league history.
The Seahawks were 18-0 over the last three years, including the playoffs, when starting the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead. They had allowed just 13 combined points in the fourth quarter in the last nine games.
So when Russell Wilson found Doug Baldwin wide open in the end zone for a touchdown that put the Seahawks up 24-14 with 4:54 left in the third quarter and then carried the lead into the fourth, the game, for all intents and purposes, was basically over.
Really, why even play the fourth quarter?Save everyone an extra hour of sleep and fire off the confetti, roll out the championship stage to the middle of the field and present Seattle with its second straight Lombardi Trophy.
Tom Brady and Patriots obviously had different plans. They couldn’t have cared less about Super Bowl history or Seattle’s past prowess in the final 15 minutes.
Taking over at their 32-yard line with 12:10 remaining, Brady drove the length of the field – converting a pair of third and longs to Julian Edelman- and capped the drive with 4-yard TD pass to Danny Amendola in the back of the end zone with eight minutes to go.
OK, Patriots down 3.
After the Seahawks went three-and-out for the second straight possession, the Patriots started on their 36. Brady, who completed 13-15 passes for 124 yards in the fourth quarter, went 8-for-8 on the final drive and connected with four different receivers.
His last pass of the season found Edelman’s arms for a three-yard TD, which passed Joe Montana’s record for all-time touchdowns in the Super Bowl with 12 for a 28-24 advantage with 2:06 left to play.
The Patriots miraculously held on late for the win, and Brady and the offense defied 49 years of Super Bowl history.
“I couldn’t be prouder of this team,” Pats coach Bill Belichick said. “These guys have been counted out many times during the course of the year by a lot of people, but they always believed in themselves and kept fighting.”