Instant Classic in Arizona

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A year ago the Super Bowl was over the as soon as it began as the Denver Broncos fumbled on their first drive. It was clear from the start that the Seahawks were ready to win their first ever Super Bowl. They went on to an easy 43-8 win as the best defence in the league beat up on the best offence in the league. A year later the best defence in the league was back at it again as they were once again looking to prove that defence is king. The Seahawks also had a chance to do something that no team had done in the last decade, win back-to-back championships. Interestingly enough the team that was standing in their way of winning that repeat championship was the team that had the distinction of being the last ones to win back-to-back. The New England Patriots had done it in 2004 and 2005 when they solidified their spot as the best team in the 2000s. The Dynasty was born in 2005 when the Patriots won their second Super Bowl in a row and their third in four years. They had ensured that they would be the new generation’s dynasty after the Cowboys owned the 1990s, the 49ers owned the 1980s, and the Pittsburgh Steelers owned the 1970s. The new dynasty had taken hold but as the 2000s ended the Patriots had started to fall off. They had made two more Super Bowls but had been foiled by the New York Giants in both games. Those losses had provided the NFL with a gap as no one team had been able to take over the 2010s. There were plenty that tried and many teams that had come close but no team had taken over in the decade. That could have changed this year when the Seahawks looked to be the Patriots of the new decade by doing what had been so hard to do in the last ten years. The Seahawks had been one of the best teams for the past few years as they have been the best defence in the last three seasons. Now they were on the cusp of proving that they were the new dynasty and were trying to do it in style by taking out the old dynasty. It was a game that was built to be one of the best finishes to a season as the two teams seemed to be the closest matchup in the last few years. For one it was the two teams that had finished at the top of the league this year. It was the second year that the top two teams had finished their year in the Super Bowl and to many this was a better matchup than last year’s blowout. The game would also feature one of the best quarterbacks that the NFL had seen, playing a mental game against one of the greatest defences ever. The match between the two strengths had many hoping for a tight game that no team could run away with. There was plenty of worry though as last year saw much of the same with Peyton Manning facing Seattle’s great defence and falling far short. With the same type of matchup this game some wondered if Brady was the quarterback that could solve the Seahawks’ defence or would the defence take over again and beat yet another future Hall of Fame quarterback on their way to back-to-back championships.

The game started as some had feared with both teams going back and forth until the Seahawks seemed to take control. On New England’s second drive of the game Brady marched them down to the endzone in what looked like the Patriot’s first touchdown. Just as they looked to go up 7-0, Brady threw an interception to Jeremy Lane. It seemed to be a repeat of a year ago when Manning fumbled a snap early in the game and set the tone for the defence to dominate the games. Many saw that first interception as the start to another dominant game by the Seahawks. The Patriots would not let that happen though as the interception led to nothing and on the next drive the Patriots marched downfield again and this time finished off the drive with a touchdown. The Seahawks answered and both teams began a back and forth battle towards the half. The first half ended with the teams tied at 14-14 as the battle had lived up to the hype so far in one of the closest games in recent memory. The second half saw the Seahawks begin to take over as a Field goal put them ahead and another interception, this time by Bobbie Wagner, set up a touchdown drive. With the Seahawks now up 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter the Patriots were in need of leadership from their quarterback. They got exactly that as Brady began to lead the offence on longer drives while the Patriots defence began to hold. Brady led the Pats to two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter and in no time the Patriots were up 28-24. The drive began with the Seahawks unable to get the big play then Wilson tossed a long pass towards Jermaine Kearse that was knocked away but somehow caught while Kearse was on his back. The unbelievable catch had set up the Seahawks on the 5-yard line and put them well within striking distance of winning the game. A run by Lynch put them at the 1-yard line as the Seahawks had three more plays to score and win in what seemed like a sure bet. Most expected them to hand the ball to Lynch, after all he is one of the best running backs in the league and for the Patriots to stop him from getting one yard in three plays would be nearly impossible. Instead the Seahawks decided that the best action would be to pas and that turned out to be the biggest mistake. The pass was picked off by Malcolm Butler and after the Patriots moved forward due to an offside penalty and an unsportsmanlike penalty the game finished with Brady taking a knee and winning his fourth Super Bowl. The Seahawks had fallen short of their back-to-back goal and it had all come down to a strange play call. Instead of handing it off to their best weapon forcing the Patriots defence to stop Lynch they passed and a poor pass by Wilson led to the interception. Meanwhile the Patriots had redeemed themselves from their last two Super Bowl appearances with Brady and Bill Belichick winning their fourth Super Bowl. Despite the cloud of doubt that may follow the Deflatgate investigation the fact is that the Patriots are world champions for the fourth time with this regime and are still standing atop the NFL as one of the greatest franchises in the history of the NFL.

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