Tom Brady had just thrown his fourth touchdown of the game, a three-yard pivot to Julian Edelman to bring the New England Patriots back in front. But 2:02 remained on the game clock in Super Bowl XLIX. And the Seattle Seahawks would soon make the most of it, picking up 42 yards in four plays while Brady looked on from the sideline.
The fifth play would pick up 33.
“I couldn’t believe he caught it,” Brady told WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan on Tuesday morning.
Jermaine Kearse did. The Seahawks wideout caught Russell Wilson’s pass on his back, off his legs, and off the fingertips of corner Malcolm Butler. It brought Seattle to within five yards of the lead in a 28-24 game.
“I watched the play and then I saw the deflection and I thought it was incomplete, so I turned my back pretty quick. And then, somehow people were still cheering,” Brady said. “I turned around and I saw the refs going to signal a catch. I really couldn’t see what happened. I looked up on the big screen and I saw the catch and I just shook my head. I said, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.’”
A play later, the Seahawks found themselves in command, handing the ball off to running back Marshawn Lynch down by the goal line.
“And then they gave it to Marshawn on whatever, first down. And then it was second down. And then it all happened so quick,” Brady added. “The clock was running. I was like, ‘Are we going to call timeout? What are we going to do? We chose not to. There was obviously a great reason why we didn’t. Malcolm came up with the play of our season.”
Butler intercepted Wilson’s pass intended for slot receiver Ricardo Lockette as the Patriots took over with 20 seconds left.
“It was very quick how all that stuff transpired. And that’s football. We’ve been on the other end of that. Things that would happen once every 10 years happened against us. So it’s nice that it actually goes our way.”
Brady and the Patriots’ offense headed back onto the field in the shadow of their own goal post. One encroachment penalty gave the quarterback enough real estate for a pair of kneel-downs. And with those kneel-downs, it was over. New England had its fourth Super Bowl victory and Brady had his third Super Bowl MVP, along with the keys to a 2015 Chevy pickup.
But those keys may soon be in Butler’s hands.
“I would love to give him the truck,” Brady said. “I would love to do that. I’m going to figure out how to make that work.”