Super Bowl 2015: Highlights and Final Reaction for Patriots vs. Seahawks
The New England Patriots are Super Bowl champions again. They deserve the honor. The Patriots offense found success against a defense that has proven to be the best in the NFL over the last two seasons. Despite constant pressure from Michael Bennett, Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes.This was an epic staredown, but in the end, the Seattle Seahawks blinked…in a major way.As most know, Russell Wilson’s final pass was picked off by Malcolm Butler, and the play sealed the Pats’ 28-24 win.Let’s not pull any punches here. The decision to throw the ball on the 1-yard line as opposed to handing it to Marshawn Lynch was the worst play call in Super Bowl history.There are “Lynchspiracy” theories floating about, but they are all silly and the product of people who are either too emotional or have no clue about football.To humor the ridiculousness, allow me to quickly dismantle this feeble argument. Lynch was handed the ball 24 times, and he rushed for 102 yards with a score. He nearly got in the end zone on the play before Wilson threw the interception that effectively decided the outcome.For those who wonder if Wilson called an audible from a run to a pass, he seems to clearly state the call came from the sidelines in this postgame interview from Sports Vidz.Unless you think Wilson is a liar, which I don’t, it’s clear the only thing he’s guilty of is throwing the ball perhaps a millisecond too soon.Of course, conspiracy theorists will say “they” (no one ever knows who “they” are) planned it that way. “It was all a master scheme to make Wilson look like the savior, and to keep that nasty,disruptive Lynch out of the limelight,” these people say.I call it crazy talk.If Seattle wanted to keep Lynch from getting any glory, why hand it to him 24 times’ Why give it to him in the red zone earlier in the game’ Why throw two passes his way on slant and go routes’ The last one started the Seahawks’ desperation drive and went for 31 yards.Most conspiracy theorist never take into consideration the work, effort and cohesion it would take to orchestrate the initiatives they like to imagine exist.There was no conspiracyonly horrible play-calling. We watch football coaches who are constantly told they’re geniuses make stupid decisions every week through the fall and winter. The only difference between those instances and this one was that this came in the Super Bowl.A former Seahawk and current Patriot, Brandon Browner, knows the deal. Per USA Today Sports on Twitter, Browner’s comments are right on the money:Frank Schwab of Yahoo Sports proves at least one other person is thinking clearly. He writes:”And let’s double back to why I hate this kind of stuff: It makes zero sense. None. Not even in some far away universe would this conspiracy theory hold even the tiniest bit of logic.”The final play is rightfully the primary topic of conversation, but there was some other really important events in the game.Kearse’s CatchFor everyone who feels the Seahawks were dealt bad luck or some other type of misfortune on the final play, let’s not forget they only found themselves in that position because of a miraculous and lucky catch by Jermaine Kearse.Using the word “luck” might be taking away from the concentration and coordination it took for Kearse to somehow catch Wilson’s desperation toss on the sideline. However, there was clearly an element beyond skill at work on that play.Butler, the eventual hero, played the pass perfectly. The ball bounced in the air while Kearse falls on his back. What are the chances that the ball caroms perfectly into Kearse’s hands’There was even a slight chance that safety Duron Harmon could have intercepted it.Kearse made the play that should have set up Seattle’s go-ahead score. Trailing by just four points with the ball on New England’s five-yard line and 1:06 remaining, the Seahawks couldn’t have asked to be in a better position.While Kearse’s play was prettier, ESPN Stats & Info shows Butler’s pick in the end zone was bigger.Belichick’s Defensive AdjustmentsBased on Seattle’s final play call, it’s pretty clear which coaching staff had the edge. Beyond that, head coach Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia made two big moves that helped to put New England in position for the win.Kyle Arrington was getting burned like the finest charcoal briquettes at a family barbecue the entire game. He had no chance covering the 6’5″ Chris Matthews, and Wilson smartly targetedArrington whenever he could.Belichick and Patricia took Arrington out and replaced him with the 6’4″ Browner. That effectively took Matthews out of the game. The Patriots also inserted Butler, and he wound up making the big interception late, but it was Browner who detoured Ricardo Lockette to make the pick possible.Before and after the game, there were a ton of things floating around that could distract us from the game itself. However, the bottom line is this: The Patriots won a Super Bowl that will go down as an instant classic.
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