FOXBOROUGH - By saying that Super Bowl XLIX is the second-best Boston game of the decade, having already established what the best games for the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics were, it might seem obvious what the number one pick would be. But that's for next week! For now, let's relish in the glory that was 2015's Super Bowl XLIX, the capper to the 2014 season between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks.
Coming into the game, the Patriots had not won a Super Bowl since 2005's victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. They'd lost two to the New York Giants since then, but the question remained. Had the dynasty officially stalled?
In a duel between Bill Belichick and one of the league's most potent offenses and Pete Carroll, the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIX went completely scoreless. Both teams found their footing in the second quarter, though. As they figured out one another, the scoring went back and forth.
Brandon LaFell got the points going by hauling in an eleven-yard pass from Tom Brady. But the Seahawks answered right back with a Marshawn Lynch touchdown. With the clock dwindling in the first half, Brady led a march down the field where he nailed Rob Gronkowski in the end zone to take a 14-7 lead with half a minute remaining.
But the Seahawks were undaunted. Russell Wilson led his own quick-moving drive down the field, which ended with a touchdown from Chris Matthews. The game went into halftime with the score knotted up, 14-14.
The third quarter, however, was all Seahawks. They dominated from both sides of the ball and put up ten points, thanks to a Doug Baldwin touchdown and a Steven Hauschka field goal.
Staring down a 24-14 deficit, the Patriots had their work cut out for them as a comeback would end up as the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. (Until...)
In the fourth quarter, Brady answered the call and proved why he is the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. Halfway through the fourth, he found Danny Amendola in the end zone for a four-yard touchdown. Five minutes later, it was Julian Edelman, taking the ball past the goal line in a cakewalk.
But two minutes remained on the clock, which was plenty of time for Wilson to lead a game-winning drive. The Patriots had scored 14 unanswered points, but Wilson seemed ready to lead his team back. A miracle catch from Jermaine Kearse, in which he bobbled the ball multiple times, brought the Seahawks to the brink and the Patriots fanbase to the verge of heartbreak.
On the Kearse catch, a young and unproven defender, Malcolm Butler, missed the read on the catch and failed to knock the ball out of Kearse's grip. He seemed shaken by the play and immensely frustrated with his own play. The Seahawks continued to push and Dont'a Hightower just barely stopped Lynch from scoring at about the half-yard line.
Many expected the Seahawks to run the ball again, pounding it in for the win with Lynch. But instead, the clock ticked down, Belichick refused to call a timeout, and the play was called for Wilson to throw. Butler would not be burned this time as Brandon Browner stifled Kearse, allowing Butler to break free and bounce off the intended receiver, Tyler Lockett, with an interception in hand. The crowd went crazy, the Patriots went crazy, Malcolm Butler broke down in tears, I screamed. It was an incredible play and arguably the most iconic in Super Bowl history. From there, the Patriots won 28-24, bringing their dynasty to four rings. I'll never forget this game.
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