Seattle's Jermaine Kearse grabbed a batted pass as he landed on his backside, giving the Seahawks first and goal from inside New England's 10-yard line with just over a minute to play. The 33-yard completion had shades of the Helmet Catch - David Tyree's battling grab over Patriots safety Rodney Harrison in Super Bowl 42. The Giants would use that catch to help defeat the undefeated Patriots for the championship.
Seattle had the opportunity, but couldn't capitalize.
After a four--yard Marshawn Lynch run brought them to the 1-yard line with 1:06 left and one timeout remaining, Seattle went from a shotgun, singleback set. Quarterback Russell Wilson dropped back a step and fired what should have been an open quick slant to Ricardo Lockette, who was running off an inside pick.
Rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler saw it the whole way.
He rallied to the spot of the throw in traffic, and beat Lockette to it, making his first career interception - and one of the biggest defensive plays in Super Bowl history.
The Patriots got the stop, and shut the Seahawks out in the fourth quarter. The vaunted Seattle defense had not allowed a touchdown in the fourth quarter of their last six games, but the Patriots hung two on them in the game's final 12 minutes.
Super Bowl 49 MVP Tom Brady - his third Super Bowl MVP award - threw touchdown passes on both of the Patriots' final drives, giving him four touchdown passes on the game and a Super Bowl-record 37 completions. He broke Joe Montana's record for touchdown passes in career Super Bowl games with 13. He also threw two interceptions.
The win gave New England its fourth Super Bowl championship, and Brady joined Steelers' Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw as well as Montana as the only passers to win four. And the Seahawks will spend forever wondering why they didn't hand the ball off on their final offensive play of the season.
One of the league's best rushing teams put the ball in the hands of its talented quarterback - Wilson went 12-for-21 for 247 yards, two touchdowns and the costly interception - with the game on the line. Lynch had 109 rushing yards in the game, and judging by the power displayed on his final run, one that nearly bowled over Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower, and a timeout in tow, it would seem running the ball was the wise option.
Instead, the Seahawks squandered the situation, and the pick play, which they so effectively destroyed when Denver attempted it in Super Bowl 48, failed.
The Patriots trailed Seattle by 10 points in the fourth quarter, the result of a Brady interception leading to a Wilson to Doug Baldwin touchdown pass. Seattle would manage just one first down on its next three drives before getting the ball down four with 2:02 to play.
Wilson hit Lynch on a slant-and-go, exploiting outside linebacker Jamie Collins biting on Lynch's double move, for 31 yards. Add another 33 yards on Kearse's juggling grab, and Seattle had a a favorable chance to earn the comeback win for their second straight championship.
No team has won consecutive championships in 10 years, and the Patriots, the last franchise to do it, made sure that streak continued.