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New England Exorcizes Ghosts With Super Bowl Win

Monday, February 02, 2015


Patriot's coach Bill Belichick.

They say life has a way of evening things out, so anyone who was greatly disappointed with last year’s Seahawks-Broncos Super Bowl were greatly rewarded with this year’s matchup between the Seahawks-Patriots that wasn’t decided until the final seconds. In a wild finish that featured some of the most improbable plays and decision making in Super Bowl history, New England won 28-24 after a series of events that will be much discussed and broken down for years to come. By the end of the game, the Patriots avenged their heartbreaking 2007 loss to the Giants and the Seahawks lost a game they seemed poised to win in dramatic fashion after an unbelievable catch by Jermaine Kearse that set up what looked to be a game winning drive but ended in a head-scratching turn of events.

For much of the game, we witnessed exactly what these two teams are about. Tom Brady and the Patriots used their methodical, short-pass attack while the Seahawks defense came up with big plays and big interceptions. In fact, if anything, this game was in danger of becoming a snoozer for a different reason in that the strengths of these two teams were canceling each other out. For Seattle, any thoughts of them improving offensively from their NFC Championship game were quickly being diminished and if fans didn’t feel down in the dumps for much of the 1st half, then that Nationwide commercial about kids dying may have sent them to the edge of depression along with the rest of America. By the way, we should thank Nationwide for taking the joy out of the Super Bowl by having us realize our kids could die from the very TV we are watching the game on. Russell Wilson, for a good portion of the 1st half, looked almost as bad as he did for three quarters against Green Bay two weeks ago. He didn’t have his first completion until the second quarter with 5 minutes to go. But the Patriots, despite much bulkier offensive numbers, failed to take advantage.

Seattle opened the second half by reminding us why the coin toss can be so important. After getting a late touchdown to end the first, they opened the second half with a field goal. After Tom Brady threw his second interception early in the third, the Seahawks marched in for yet another touchdown. The Patriots suddenly found themselves down 24-14. Then the 4th quarter happened.

At a time when the Seahawks looked to run away with this game, the tide turned. The Pats cut the lead to 3 with a 4 yard TD pass from Tom Brady to Danny Amendola then took the lead with just over 2 minutes to go with a another short Brady pass to Julian Edelman. Then, those final two minutes happened and everything that preceded it turned into a distant memory.

In a play that echoed the helmet catch by Giants receiver David Tyree from the 2007 Super Bowl that ripped the hearts out of the New England Patriots, Seattle receiver Jermaine Kearse caught a pass you would have to see to believe. It set up Seattle for a winning touchdown and if you were a New England fan you had to believe your team was somehow cursed, destined to lose by these heartbreaking plays for all eternity. Then, perhaps the most unbelievable play of the game happened shortly after. With about 30 seconds left in the game, Seattle needed one yard to reach Super Bowl glory and grab their second Lombardi trophy in has many years. Instead of handing the ball to Marshawn Lynch, Seattle’s beast of a running back, they ran a pass play and Wilson’s attempt was picked off by Malcolm Butler at the goal line. It was a call that still defies any reasonable explanation except that maybe Seattle coach Pete Carroll knew the Patriots would expect Lynch to run it. But, so what? It’s Marshawn Lynch, give him the ball and get out the way and wish the Patriots luck.

It was a call and a decision that will haunt Seattle for the entire offseason. It’s a call that Carroll will have to answer for for the foreseeable future. Given Russell Wilson’s shaky performance the past 2 games, I don’t know why you take the risk and lengthen the field and the odds of a mistake with a pass play. Even if the entire North American continent knew Lynch was getting the ball, in that situation you give him the ball and let New England’s defense try to stop him from getting one yard.

Has heartbreaking as it was for Seattle, New England just exorcized years of ghosts with this victory. There wasn’t a Patriots fan alive that didn’t get nightmarish visions of David Tyree after Kearse’s improbable catch. It seemed like it was going to be so cruel for New England, to lose two Super Bowls from two catches that don’t get caught 9 out of 10 times. But, then it came to one fateful call and one interception later the Patriots are escaping with a victory. And now, instead of lamenting the fact Tom Brady hasn’t won a Super Bowl in a decade, there will now be calls proclaiming him as one of the best quarterback to ever play the game, if not the best. By the way, he did pass for 4 touchdowns and over 300 yards. How quickly fortunes and fate can turn.

Still, that call. I just don’t understand it. And that brawl at the end nearly marred what will be remembered as a Super Bowl classic. Seattle, which was the most penalized team in the NFL, nearly let a successful season be completely undone with one moment of understandable frustration. However, I think the right team won this game. I think the right coach won this game. For Seattle, questions loom this offseason. For New England, they can celebrate tonight from winning an unforgettable game that they have seen from the other side. New England deserves this one. Seattle, for whom many thought were lucky just to be here, will now have to pick up the pieces and move on. If they want an example of how that is done, they need to look no further than to the team that just beat them.

GoLocalPDX partner Oregon Sports News: Since 2011, Oregon Sports News has provided entertaining, hard-hitting local sports news & commentary every weekday. To read more from this author, check out Oregon Sports News by clicking here.


Related Slideshow: The 10 Best Super Bowl Commercials of All Time

Here is a look back at 10 of the best, and most iconic Super Bowl commercials of all time.

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Apple: "Sledge Hammer" 1984

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Coca Cola: "Mean Joe Greene" 1979

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Nike: Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny, 1992

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Old Spice: “The Man your man can smell like” 2010

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Pepsi: Cindy Crawford, 1992

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 Monster.com: “When I Grow Up” 1999

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Snickers: Betty White, 2010

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Volkswagen: “The Force” 2011

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Budweiser Frogs, 1995

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 Budweiser: "Puppy Love" 2014


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