GLENDALE, Ariz. – Rookie cornerback, Malcolm Butler, picked a great time to get his first career interception. The undrafted free agent out of West Alabama went from goat to hero when he intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone with 0:20 seconds left to play and the Patriots stole the Super Bowl from the hands of the Seahawks 28-24 on Sunday.

It seemed like it would be déjà vu all over again for the New England Patriots who appeared destined for disappointment for the third consecutive time in the big game. After David Tyree’shelmet catch” in 2008, and Mario Manningham’s “miracle from Manning” grab in 2012, Seattle’s Jermaine Kearse made a spectacular juggling catch from his back, while lying on the ground, after the ball had originally been broken up by Butler.

The Seahawks had 2nd and goal from the 1-yard line with just less than thirty seconds left to play. All Seattle needed to do was hand it to Marshawn Lynch and they would be two-time defending champs. But then the impossible happened.

Rather than run it in, the Seahawks called a pinch play and threw the ball to Ricardo Lockette in the end zone. Seeing the formation ahead of time and sensing the play was coming, Butler jumped the route and beat Lockette to the ball stealing the victory away from the Seahawks.

“I knew they were stacked and I knew they were trying to pick me and Browner,” said the hero Butler after the game. “I just beat him to the point and jumped the route. I knew my team needed it so I just had to do it.”

Tom Brady overcame two turnovers and threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns, including the game-winning score to Julian Edelman at the 2:02 mark as he brought his team back from 10 points, tied for the largest Super Bowl deficit in history.

“It wasn’t the way we drew it up,” said Brady about the end of the game. “For a rookie to make a play like that in the Super Bowl and win us the game it was unbelievable.”

Brady tied Joe Montana with his third Super Bowl MVP trophy and surpassed the 49ers legend in career Super Bowl touchdown passes with 13. He had 20 completions in the first half which was a Super Bowl record and was more emotional than any other player on the field as he was seen shaking his head in disbelief when Kearse made the catch on his back and conversely jumped up and down like a little kid when Butler made the game-winning interception.

Tom Brady Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown against Seattle Seahawks in the fourth quarter during the during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium on February 1, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. (P hoto by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Edelman led the Patriots receiving corps with 9 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had six catches for 68 yards including a 22-yard touchdown in the first half and running back Shane Vereen had a game high 11 catches for 64 yards.

“Everyone contributed and everyone on the team was the man!” said Gronkowski after he lifted the Lombardi trophy.

The last couple weeks for the Patriots have been marred by controversy as “Deflate-Gate” grabbed the nation’s headlines. Both Brady and Bill Belichick were accused of deflating 11 of 12 footballs during their 45-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game. It didn’t matter how much air was in the footballs on Super Sunday however, as Brady was amazingly efficient and accurate with his passes. When the pressure was at its highest (no pun intended), Brady was at his best as he vindicated his team and his coach en route to their fourth career Super Bowl title.

Seattle was seeking to becomee the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles since the same New England Patriots did it a decade ago. The Seahawks got off to a slow start, but also got help from an unknown hero in the form of Chris “Hardball” Matthews.

Matthews was on the Seahawks practice squad a little over a month ago and did not have a single reception in the regular season. But with cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner shutting down Seattle’s top two receivers Matthews was the go-to-guy for Wilson. Whenever the Seahawks needed a big play, “Hardball” came through in the clutch. Matthews finished the game with four huge catches for 109 yards and a touchdown at the end of the first half. 

Chris Matthews Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, Chris Matthews, celebrates his first half touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX. hoto by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Lynch ran for 102 yards and a touchdown to lead Seattle, but it was the decisive play in the game when “Beast Mode” didn’t get the ball that will have everyone in the world talking. With 2nd and goal from the 1-yard line, Pete Carroll and the Seahawks decided to throw the ball for a touchdown rather than hand it to Lynch.

“We had plenty of downs and a time out and we really didn’t want to run against their goal line group right there, we would have down it on 3rd or 4th down,” said Carroll about the play that the Seahawks may regret for years to come. ““We called the play, and really it’s a miraculous play that the kid makes to get in front of that route. I told the guys ‘that’s my fault’ totally. We had plenty to win the game; we were playing to win on third and fourth down. But it didn’t work out that way “

The Seahawks will now have an entire offseason to rethink that final decision, one that many NFL experts called “the stupidest play” in the Super Bowl they had ever seen. The Patriots meantime will bring their fourth Lombardi trophy back to Foxboro where they will await the league’s investigation on deflate gate.

Game Notes:
Russell Wilson’s interception thrown on the 1-yard line was the first pick thrown from there by any quarterback all season. Tom Brady tied Ted Hendricks for the longest time between winning Super Bowls (13 years). Bill Belichick ties Chuck Noll for the most Super Bowl victories of all–time (4). The Seahawks are now 18-1 after leading by 10 points or more at the end of the third quarter. The 10-point deficit overcome by the Patriots ties the largest deficit to overcome in Super Bowl history.