The sight was all too familiar for Patriots fans as a 33-yard reception from the Gods was made by Jermaine Kearse of the Seattle Seahawks. The improbable catch put Seattle on the Patriots 5-yard line with 1:06 left to play in the best Super Bowl since 2000, when the St. Louis Rams edged out a victory over the Tennessee Titans by one yard.
The victory capped off an amazing last 4 months for the Patriots since they lost badly in Kansas City. Since that time, the Patriots went 13-2, losing to only the Green Bay Packers and in week 17 against the Buffalo Bills when rest was more important than the win. The Patriots put up 320 yards of passing offense against the strength of the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle, who had a good game-plan to limit Gronkowski, had no answer for Julian Edelman or Shane Vereen. Edelman made clutch catch after clutch catch and eventually gained 109 yards on 12 catches with a touchdown.
The play that most will talk about is Seattle’s decision to throw it on the goal line with a timeout in their pocket and the best running back in the NFL in terms of yards after contact. The decision wasn’t that surprising as Seattle and their coaching staff has shown the tendency to be aggressive. They saw Malcolm Butler, an undrafted rookie that they just beat for a 33-yard gain on the field and they chose that matchup. I question the decision like everybody else, but they liked their matchup on Butler more than they liked running up into the teeth of Wilfork and company.
What should really be talked about is Brady’s 9th game-winning drive in the playoffs, another record he added to his legacy on Super Bowl Sunday. After 3 straight drives in the third quarter that ended up with just 21 yards total, Brady led the Patriots on a 9-play, 68 yard touchdown drive putting the Patriots down by 3 points. The next drive, Brady didn’t leave it to chance. New England put together a 10-play, 64 yard touchdown drive to ultimately end the game.
Brady won MVP, but it was a game in which Brady didn’t play his best, but was surrounded by the players necessary to win the game. Players that are vital free agents to-be like Devin McCourty, Shane Vereen, Dan Connoly and likely will need a new deal for Revis. Depth at the defensive line in Alan Branch and Sealver Siliga, who are both free agents. Decisions will need to be made on Jerod Mayo and Nate Solder for different reasons, but all regarding to a higher base salary and cap number, but for now the Patriots can enjoy their 4th Super Bowl.
Brady’s not done. Brady rekindled the clutch play he was so known for in his earlier years by completing 37 passes in the Super Bowl, an NFL record, and became the MVP for his third time in the big game, more than Terry Bradshaw and tying Joe Montana. Brady had a 97.4 QB rating this season. He had the 5th most touchdown throws in the NFL in the regular season. In New england though it’s about the playoffs – Brady had a 68.9% completion, tied for the best in the 2015 playoffs with Roethlisberger. Brady threw 10 touchdown passes these playoffs; second best had just 6.
It was no perfect victory by any means, but the hunger that has fueled Brady and Belichick all these years has led them to the ultimate goal once more. Brady will be 38 next season, but still looks in his prime. Belichick and Brady will have two, or three, more chances to end the debate of greatest coach and quarterback of all time. Right now, Brady is tied with Montana and Bradshaw for most Super Bowl wins. Belichick is tied with Chuck Noll for most Super Bowl wins.
After a long football season that included hundreds of Patriots articles, TitleTownTalk congratulates the New England Patriots on being the best team in football once again. The legacy is written in stone as Brady-Belichick have now gone 4-2 in the big game. Bring on the offseason!
VVVVVV Thank God we didn’t have to feel this way again VVVVVV – GO PATS!