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GLENDALE, Ariz.—The New England Patriots rallied to down the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 Sunday and won Super Bowl XLIX at Glendale, Arizona.
Consider the ghost of David Tyree to be dead. And Tom Brady’s heroic effort against the Seattle Seahawks was a huge part of the exorcism.
Brady and the New England Patriots won their first Super Bowl in a decade, 28-24, over the defending champion Seahawks and their league-best defense, with Brady being named Super Bowl MVP for the third time in his career for his fourth championship.
Brady completed a Super Bowl-record 37 passes in 50 attempts, for 328 yards and four touchdowns — the final one coming with 2:02 left to Julian Edelman. Although Brady threw two unsightly interceptions against the vaunted Seahawks, Brady was 13-of-15 passing for 116 yards and two TD passes on the Patriots’ final two drives to overcome a 10-point deficit that felt unassailable.
It took Brady’s teammates to pull off some heroics and keep the Patriots in the game, including a Tyree-like catch from Jermaine Kearse on the final drive to make most of New England upchuck its chowdah. But unheralded Malcolm Butler bailed the Patriots out at the goal line with a miracle interception.
Brady’s two picks were ugly, but his short precision passing — without the benefit of a deep, big-play receiver — riddled the Seahawks all night. He stood tall against a pass rush that started gaining steam in the second quarter, carrying it over into the second half, and Brady delivered several huge throws that put the Seahawks back on their heels.
In the Patriots’ three previous Super Bowl victories, Brady delivered clutch drives down the stretch.
In Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams, he led a nine-play, 53-yard drive in the final 1:30 for the game-winning field goal. In the final 1:08 in XXXVIII against the Carolina Panthers, Brady led a six-play, 37-yard game-winning field-goal drive. In XXXIX, Brady came through with an eight-play, 43-yard field-goal drive to finish off the Philadelphia Eagles.
But Brady needed two huge drives at the end of this game Sunday to win. This was his finest hour in a Super Bowl, even with the two turnovers. Attacking this defense, even without Jeremy Lane and Cliff Avril on the field, and overcoming a double-digit Seahawks lead — this was Brady’s crowing achievement.
The last time the Seahawks allowed this many passing yards in a game: Week 8, 2012. Since that time, this has been the dominant unit of the NFL, able to sit back in vanilla coverages and eat most quarterbacks for breakfast.
But Brady diced them up slowly — like death by paper cuts — and remained vigilant, especially after his second interception. And now he’s tied with his boyhood idol, Joe Montana, with four Super Bowl rings and three Super Bowl MVP awards.
This one was his sweetest performance in the clutch.