iFeb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterbackTom Brady
(12) celebrates victory in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
What a game last night, huh? For all of the lead in, the talk about PSI, and anything else that went on to lead us into this one, none of that mattered last night. All that mattered was that the game was one of the most entertaining Super Bowls in recent memory. I know that many people who are reading this post, and read my work regularly, are not happy with the result. I feel the same way. But, to their credit, the Patriots earned the victory, and the game was great to watch. Let’s talk about the final game of the 2014 NFL season, Super Bowl XLIX.
First of all, how about the play of two rookies last night, Malcolm Butler and Chris Matthews. Chris Matthews puts up 100 yards in the Super Bowl, to mark his first four catches of his career. Matthews is 6’5″, and he used it to his advantage last night. He opened up the whole offense for the Seahawks with his 44 yard reception, the first one of his career, on the Super Bowl stage. What a great game for him. Congratulations to Matthews.
Same for Malcolm Butler. To his credit, that was a big play in the ultimate spot it could happen. We will talk about the play call in a little bit, but let’s focus on the play Butler made. Great job by Butler to seal the victory for the Patriots.
The Seahawks did everything they could to win this game, except close the deal. The game is about momentum, and who can seize the momentum to their advantage when they have it. The Patriots had all of the momentum early. At one point, the Seahawks hadn’t completed a pass, and the first down totals favored the Patriots by a 9-1 margin. Despite that, the Patriots couldn’t take that momentum to a big lead, and the Seahawks took it right back, tying the game going into the second half.
It seemed like the Seahawks were headed to back to back Super Bowl titles. But the second half gave us some all too common themes that ended up biting the Seahawks in the end.
Next: The Second Half
Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets Seattle Seahawks quarterbackRussell Wilson
(3) after Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Seahawks were cruising in the second half. Russell Wilson hit Jonathan Baldwin from three yards out, the Seahawks are up ten, and it looks as if the Seahawks are taking down Super Bowl XLIX. But remember what I always say. When you have a team down, you have to take them out. You cannot leave your opponent with a chance, or they are going to come back and make you pay. The Seahawks left Brady with a life, and he made them pay.
When the game was at 24-14, the Seahawks needed one more long drive, preferably ending with points, and the game would have been over. There just wouldn’t have been enough time for Tom to get it done. But what happened? The Seahawks couldn’t even put up a first down. They didn’t put another one on the board until they were down by four. That is why the Patriots had a chance. You can’t leave Tom Brady with that kind of chance, he will come back to bite you every time.
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And then, what was that play call at the end of the game? We have talked time and time again about offensive coordinators getting too cute for their own good. When you have Marshawn Lynch on your team, you cannot do anything else on that play but give him the football. Lynch runs over people. He did it last night. There is a difference between being creative and getting too cute for your own good. You have to dance with the partner you brought. If the Seahawks couldn’t score from there with Lynch, so be it. But throwing the ball there is ridiculous.
But one thing is for sure, the Super Bowl was memorable. What a great way to end the 2014 NFL season.