Led by Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady, the New England Patriots added another page to their modern dynasty with a 28-24 comeback win over the Seattle Seahawks.
People expected one of the all-time great Super Bowls and Super Bowl XLIX more than lived up to the hype. It was a heavyweight battle between the NFL's two best teams featuring a record-setting fourth-quarter comeback, a miracle catch and a stunning ending that will be talked about for a long time.
Down 24-14 in the fourth quarter, with two interceptions already under his belt, Tom Brady started a must-score drive by getting sacked for an eight-yard loss. Who would've thought that, half a quarter later, he'd be hitting Julian Edelman for a touchdown from the three-yard line to take a 28-24 lead. The Patriots held on to win their fourth Super Bowl since 2001, with Brady picking up his third MVP trophy and setting the NFL record for the most career Super Bowl touchdown passes.
But as great as Brady was and as clutch as the Patriots were, Super Bowl XLIX will be remembered for something else. Right after the Patriots took the 28-24 lead with two minutes left, the Seahawks stormed back. In one of the most unlikely plays in Super Bowl history, Jermaine Kearse made a stunning juggling catch in between several defenders to set the Seahawks up with a first-and-goal with under a minute left. The likely sequence of events featured Marshawn Lynch, the best running back in the world, getting the ball and pounding it in from the one-yard line. Except this time, the likely took a backseat to the unexpected and the Seahawks called a passing play, leading to quarterback Russell Wilson throwing an interception.
The Patriots held on to become champions, leaving the Seahawks and most fans shocked. Many pundits were calling it the worst play call in Super Bowl history. It was a memorable ending to an epic Super Bowl but, as Patriots coach Bill Belichick says, now we move on to next season.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Seahawks go into the 2015 season as the favorites to win Super Bowl 50, slightly ahead of the Patriots. It will be a long off-season for them but the Seahawks still have the NFL's best defense and an elite young quarterback, so it's reasonable to think that there's a good chance they'll be back. The Patriots, meanwhile, will likely do what they always do and be right in the thick of things as they try to repeat as champions. It's a safe bet because that's what the Patriots always are - a model of consistency.
And this year, they're also Super Bowl XLIX champions.