GLENDALE, AZ (CBS) — The improbable happened. Malcolm Butler stepped in front of Ricardo Lockett to intercept a Russell Wilson pass, just inches from the Seattle Seahawks winning a second-straight Super Bowl, and Seattle coach Pete Carroll literally handed Bill Belichick and Tom Brady their fourth Super Bowl with a 28-24 victory at the University of Phoenix Stadium Sunday night.
Tom Brady was named MVP after throwing four touchdowns and 328 yards—enabling the Pats to overcome the largest fourth-quarter deficit in Super Bowl history, coming back from 10 points.
Brady, a future Hall of Famer, now joins Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to win four Super Bowls. Brady’s two fourth-quarter touchdown passes gave him a career total of 13 in the six Super Bowls he’s played, an all-time record surpassing Brady’s childhood hero, Montana, who had 11.
“We were down 10 and we just said we just said, look we have to put one real good drive together to get us back in the game,” said Brady, who completed 37 of 50, and also threw two interceptions. “We made the plays. We had to overcome a few penalties, and we made the play in the end.”
It looked as if Seattle had the game won in the last minute. Wilson had just completed a 33-yard pass to Jermaine Kearse, who caught a deflected pass on his back—at the New England 5-yard line.
On a second-and-goal inches away from the go-ahead score, Wilson inexplicably looked for Lockett on a slant and Butler, an undrafted rookie from West Alabama, made the play of the game when he stepped up and intercepted the pass.
“I had a chance, he was open and [Butler] cut in front of it and made a play,” said Wilson, who completed 12 of 21 for 247 yards and two TDs, along with the one crucial interception. “I thought it was a touchdown, honestly. When they called the call, I just trusted it.”
Why the Seahawks didn’t go to Marshawn Lynch is something that will forever haunt Carroll.
“There’s really no one to blame but me,” Carroll said. “I told my team that and I don’t want them to think anything other than that. They busted their tails and did everything they needed to do to put us in a position to win. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out right. It’s a very, very hard lesson. I hate to learn the hard way, but there’s no other way to look at it right now.”
The teams went into halftime knotted at 14-14, but the numbers said New England dominated. By intermission, the Pats had 14 first downs to Seattle’s 9, and New England had outgained the Seahawks, 222-167. Yet, it was Seattle that was getting contributions from players who hardlhy any impact with getting them to the Super Bowl.
Seattle defensive back Jeremy Lane had the first interception of his career, negating the Pats’ second drive at the Seattle 10. Then receiver Chris Matthews, an undrafted free agent out of Kentucky who was working at a Foot Locker prior to trying out for the Seahawks, caught his first career passes—the first setting up the Seahawks’ first score and he caught a Wilson 11-yard pass for the tying score with :02 left in the half.
Matthews played a major role again when Seattle took a 17-14 lead on a 27-yard Steven Hauschka field goal with 11:09 left in the third quarter. Again, it was Matthews reaching up and grabbing a 45-yard reception from Wilson to give Seattle’s its first lead.
Matthews finished with four catches for 109 yards.
“I don’t understand, you have the best back in the league,” Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin said. “You’re not even on the 1-yard line, it was on like the .5-yard line and we throw a slant. I don’t know what the offense had going on, or what they saw, I just don’t understand.”
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