Two of the best late-game quarterbacks in NFL history stood toe-to-toe. The young one blinked, and the old guy won.
The Patriots beat the Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX, a storybook ending for a pair of quarterbacks who were already legendary for their abilities in late-game situations.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was 37-of-50 for 328 yards and four touchdowns, more than enough to overcome a pair of interceptions which put his team down 10 in the third quarter.
But as he had throughout the night, Brady calmly and methodically worked his team down the field, willing to take the short stuff even as time dwindled.
The go-ahead touchdown came with 2:02 left, setting up Russell Wilson for the kind of late-game drama which he’s become known for in a short time.
But it was Wilson who made the late mistake, throwing a goal-line interception to Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler with 20 seconds left to seal the game.
Why the Seahawks weren’t running in that situation remains a mystery, but so much of this season has been.
The Patriots were able to goad the Seahawks into an encroachment penalty, giving them all the room they needed to take a knee. An ugly brawl ensued afterward, marring an otherwise beautiful game.
And Brady was the one to author the perfect ending.