New England Patriots secure Super Bowl title once again

By Joe Yamulla II Assistant Sports Editor

 

The New England Patriots are Super Bowl Champions again. This past Super Bowl Sunday was a game for the ages. It was an incredible come from behind 28-24 win for the Patriots, and a loss that will take Seahawks’ fans a long time to swallow. For now, the Patriots put the Deflategate scandal to rest as they showed their greatness is not correlated to the air pressure of a football. The game was the opposite of last year’s matchup. It was highly competitive and kept fans on the edges of their seats until the final play.

New England struck first on the scoreboard, as Brandon LaFell scored on a touchdown pass from eventual MVP, Tom Brady. However, no side was able to take control throughout any point in the game. The Seahawks responded with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown to tie the game. Rob Gronkowski then scored on yet another touchdown pass from Brady, and the Seahawks still managed to respond by scoring and tying the game up 14-14 at the half.

The Seahawks seemed to gain momentum and take control of the game in the second half. Steven Hauschka nailed a 27 yard field goal to put them up by 3, and then Doug Baldwin caught a touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to put Seattle up 24-14. As the third quarter ended and Seattle was up by 10 with only 8 minutes left to play, only the most optimistic Patriots fans thought that New England could still come back. Seattle is known for its hard-nosed, smash mouth defense led by Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, and Earl Thomas. Their defense had managed to keep Brady under control for most of the night and it seemed as if Seattle would become back-to-back Super Bowl Champions. However, Tom Brady and the Patriots had other plans.

Brady and company stormed back. With 7:55 remaining, Brady fired a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola. The New England defense then stopped Seattle, and the Patriots marched down the field one more time. Brady threw another touchdown pass, (his fourth of the day) to Julian Edelman. The Patriots went up 28-24 and the roller coaster of Super Bowl XLIX seemed to have turned into the complete other direction.

The Patriots still gave the Seahawks plenty of time to make one last push with 2:02 to go. Then, Russell Wilson and Jermaine Kearse linked up on what very likely will be remembered as one of the greatest, and perhaps luckiest, catches in Super Bowl History. Wilson scrambled around and fired a 33 yard pass downfield. Patriots’ corner Malcolm Butler defended it well, Kearse was unable to snag it out of the air. However, when he fell, the ball bounced off of his leg and it managed to land right into his arms as he was laying on his back. Yes, it was an incredibly lucky bounce. But, it put the Seahawks at the 5 yard line with what seemed to be the ideal situation to win the game. Seattle had enough timeouts to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch into the end zone. It was 2nd down and 1 yard separating the Seahawks from a touchdown and another championship. Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll then made arguably the most controversial play-call of all time when he decided to throw the ball instead of run it in for the final yard. Wilson dropped back, tried to squeeze a pass between defenders, and ended up throwing an interception to Malcolm Butler.

The ending to the game provided drama that you just can’t script. The Patriots showed an incredibly amount of resilience. Not only were they able to overcome the speculations and publicity from Deflategate, they were also able to overcome a pretty daunting deficit late in the game. Malcolm Butler’s interception was an extremely difficult play to make. In every aspect of this game, New England never quit. Tom Brady was well-deserving of the MVP award as he finished 37/50 with 4 touchdown passes. The Patriots earned the the title of “champions,” and air pressure has nothing to do with it.

 

Freshman Joseph Yamulla is the Assistant Sports Editor. His email is jyamull@fandm.edu.

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