Sunday, February 8, 2015

Super Bowl XLIX Recap: Patriots vs. Seahawks

Super Bowl XLIX had it all. Two of the NFL's most talented teams, a major storyline leading up to the Super Bowl in Deflategate, an aging quarterback looking to cement his legacy, a franchise trying to be the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 10 years, and an all around great game that came down to the final seconds. Malcolm Butler's interception in the final minute of the game made Super Bowl XLIX the greatest Super Bowl game in the 49 year history of the event, as it completed a back and forth competition between the NFL's two biggest powerhouses.



Brady's Legacy
Coming into this game, Brady may have had three Super Bowl rings to put on his resume, but seeing how he was ten years removed from his last Super Bowl victory, and had suffered two losses in the Big Game since, the glow of Brady's aura was beginning to fade. In fact, critics of the Patriots began to say things like "Brady hasn't won since Spygate" or "he can't win without cheating." And during the actual game, the Patriots were down by 10 points with 2 interceptions on the stat sheet for Brady. Yet all of a sudden, Brady capped off two excellent scoring drives to regain the lead for the Patriots with 2:02 left in the game, drives where Brady was 13-15, and he even completed all 8 of his passing attempts on the final drive. The comeback kid certainly needed a little bit of help from his teammates, as Malcolm Butler saved Brady and the Patriots with a game winning interception. As a result of this victory, Brady becomes just the third quarterback in NFL history to have four Super Bowl victories, but when taking into account Brady's longevity, incredible statistics, and six Super Bowl appearances, there is no doubt in my mind that Brady is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. I might even argue that he was one win away in 2007 from becoming the greatest player in NFL history, period. Best of all for Patriots fans, Brady's incredible career has the potential for more Super Bowl victories in the future.

Pete Carrell's Controversial Decision
With 26 second left in the game and three possible attempts for Seattle to score the game winning touchdown, Pete Carroll decided to attempt a pass towards undrafted receiver Ricardo Lockette, a pass that Malcolm Butler of the Patriots intercepted to seal Seattle's fate. Many fans argue that Carroll should have relied on their All-Pro running back, Marshawn Lynch, to punch in the game winning score, seeing how he managed to pick up positive yards on nearly every single rushing attempt during that game. Pete Carroll justified his decision by arguing the Patriots were utilizing their goal line defense, and even though he did not mention this, Marshawn Lynch was 1 for 5 on the year when it came to scoring from the one yard line. But at the end of the day, I side with Seahawks fans in saying Seattle needed to run with Marshawn on that second down play, where even if it failed, there was still a potential for two more plays at the one yard line.

Looking Ahead to Next Season
While it is unlikely that either team will go out into free agency and sign a star player, both the Patriots and Seahawks will need to resign several key players that played a vital role in leading them to the Super Bowl this past season. The AFC remains wide open in 2015, easy enough for New England to recapture their title as AFC Champion. Their success next season relies entirely upon whether or not they resign Darrelle Revis, the best cornerback in football. Other Patriots that may hit the market, including safety Devin McCourty and offensive lineman Dan Connolly, will need to be re-signed in order for the Pats to have a shot at a repeat. If New England goes on to restructure both Jerard Mayo and Vince Wilfork's contracts, they may even have a shot at picking up Larry Fitzgerald (if the rumors are true). As for the Seahawks, keeping running back Marshawn Lynch from retiring is 100% the main priority for the front office this offseason, seeing how he is the most important player on this roster. Yet when it comes to free agency, the Seahawks should do their best to keep guys like Jermain Kearse, Byron Maxwell, and Malcolm Smith on the depth chart next season. In conclusion, the Seahawks and the Patriots are both very likely to return to the Super Bowl next season.

4 comments:

  1. Awesome post that was a great assessment on the game. I still can't believe they didn't run

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