ReFo: Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX

Ben Stockwell analyzes an exciting Super Bowl with some big efforts by key players in a game that cemented the Patriots' legacy.

| 2 years ago
2014-REFO-SBXLIX

ReFo: Patriots vs. Seahawks, Super Bowl XLIX


2014-REFO-SBXLIX

The Seahawks went down swinging, with Marshawn Lynch and Michael Bennett leading the way with dominant performances on offense and defense respectively. However, they couldn’t repeat their heroics from the conference championship victory, even though Jermaine Kearse’s catch to take them to the five must have been ominous for Patriots fans. In the end the Patriots just made one play more than the Seahawks when it counted.

New England Patriots – Performances of Note

Malcolm Butler, CB: +3.3

Breakdown: The undrafted free agent had only played 202 snaps all season before entering last night’s game midway through the third quarter for Kyle Arrington (3-for-3, 122 yards allowed) but as is so often the way in the Super Bowl, the unknown undrafted player had a telling impact on the outcome of the game. Targeted six times by Russell Wilson the only long completion Butler allowed was the miracle long ball to Jermaine Kearse to put Seattle at New England’s 5-yard line. On his other five targets he allowed one completion for 6 yards to Kearse, breaking up another deep ball to Kearse immediately after the two-minute warning.

Signature Play: Butler more than made up for his misfortune on Kearse’s bouncing gain with that interception of Russell Wilson that will doubtless go down in history as one of the greatest and most memorable plays in Super Bowl history.

Jamie Collins, ILB: +0.1

Breakdown: A mixed day for Collins who was pivotal in the Patriots’ attempts to disrupt and divert Marshawn Lynch. Collins struggled in coverage in the open field, notably against Lynch. From very early on Collins had the measure of Max Unger and was used to attack the middle of the Seahawks’ offensive line forcing Lynch to cutback his runs and not allowing him to read and make a choice, though that clear gameplan didn’t necessary limit Lynch’s gains.

Signature Stat: Collins led both teams with three missed tackles, two on Lynch and one crucially allowing Russell Wilson to escape outside on an option keeper with 24 seconds left in the first half to help setup the Seahawks’ quick-fire touchdown.

Rob Gronkowski, TE: +0.2

Breakdown: This victory was not about dominance and control for the Patriots, it was about key plays and key drives. Perhaps no one’s performance better exemplifies that than Rob Gronkowski’s. He didn’t make a massive volume of plays and struggled as a run blocker, consistently controlled on first contact, but made a trio of plays as a receiver in key moments to help the Patriots get the victory.

Signature Play: Gronkowski snagged two first downs on the game-winning drive, the first beating Kam Chancellor on a slant for 20 yards at 4:47 to help put New England back on the front foot after Danny Amendola’s offensive pass interference penalty had pushed them backward.

Seattle Seahawks – Performances of Note

Michael Bennett, DE: +3.7

Breakdown: Widely talked up as the man that could play a Justin Tuck role and derail the Patriots’ offense, Bennett proved to be exactly that disruptive force. He racked up five hits on Brady including two in the first three plays of the game. As disruptive as Bennett was, however, Brady and Josh McDaniels didn’t allow him to become destructive. The Patriots’ offensive linemen couldn’t handle him one on one but through a consistently speedy release (74.5% of Brady’s drop-backs saw a pass released in less than 2.5 seconds) Brady ensured that Bennett could do no lasting damage to the Patriots’ chances of success.

Signature Play: On top of his pressures Bennett also drew a holding penalty from Bryan Stork on the first play after Seattle established a two-score lead (3rd Qtr 4:48) to help force a three-and-out from New England.

Tharold Simon, CB: -4.7

Breakdown: A rough playoff run for Simon who was pressed into action on short notice for the second time in three weeks with similar results to the first time. After Jeremy Lane was forced from the game after his interception, Brady went to work on Simon targeting him 11 times to collect 91 yards and two scores against the second-year corner. Further adding to Simon’s struggles were two missed tackles, one each from Brandon LaFell and Julian Edelman.

Signature Stat: In his two playoff appearances Simon was targeted a combined 21 times, surrendering 17 catches for 205 yards and four touchdowns; totting up to a passer rating of 146.9.

Marshawn Lynch, RB: +3.1

Breakdown: The Patriots did their best to manipulate where Marshawn Lynch was running the ball but that didn’t stop Lynch powering through tackles in another spectacular playoff display. Lynch collected more than 2.5 yards per carry after contact for the 13th time in 19 games this season and with eight missed tackles forced on the ground, took his season total to 130. But we were left only to wonder what might have been had been handed the ball just one more time at the end of the game.

Signature Play: Lynch’s best run of the night came with 6:23 left in the third and perfectly displayed his terrifying blend of agility and power. The footwork to shake off Jamie Collins in the gap so quickly followed up by the power to stay on his feet through a double hit from Devin McCourty and Vince Wilfork is a truly special and rare play, fitting for Super Bowl Sunday.

PFF Game Ball

The Super Bowl is all about the unlikely hero and in Malcolm Butler the Patriots found a player off the bench to turn the tide and get the big play that counted from the Seahawks after Seattle had so much success going after the player Butler replaced.

 

Follow Ben on Twitter: @PFF_Ben

| Director of Analysis

Ben joined Pro Football Focus in 2007, and has since been in charge of the company’s analysis process. He also contributes to PFF’s weekly NFL podcast.

  • Chris

    Ahem. Wilson is now 0-9 when his defense allows 25+.

    • Jack

      Elite.

    • AJ

      This is a reason why attaching wins and losses to quarterbacks is stupid. When people say “Wilson is 10-0 vs. Super Bowl winning QB’s” do they really think that isn’t mostly because of the defense?

      • Chris

        Wilson is the 12th man for the defense. An honorary member who inspires them all to greatness.

        • Jason Williams

          thats a bit harsh but I like it

      • Jaguars28

        *10-1

    • jefferson

      How about this stat:

      – Marshawn Lynch is 0-9 when the defense scores 25+ points.

      There. Obviously beast-mode is overrated and deserves a moniker like cuddly-pet-mode because he is useless when the defense does not ‘carry him’.

      Your stat is banal, irrelevant and demonstrates nothing whatsoever, except that you are the biggest troll on this website (as if it weren’t obvious from the fact you are the first to post in every Seahawk refo). Furthermore the fact you would write this shows you are dumb as a post at football stats.

      Seattle has a run-first team, possession-based offense, and when they allow 25 points it indicates a total team. Here are the ‘equivalent’ ‘statistics’ for other QBs:

      – Tom Brady when defense allows 40+: 0 wins (I made it up, may not be true)
      – Every other QB when defense allows 40+: 0 wins (made up)

      • jefferson

        (incomplete sentence should have read ‘indicates a total team breakdown.’)

      • Chris

        Seattle fan detected. Calm down bro.

        40 points? Sure no QB probably has a good record when his defense allows that many. But 25? 25 points is average. Wilson is 0-9 when his defense gives up more than the average number of points.

        Care to look up Brady’s record when his defense allows 25+? Or Peytons? Or Lucks? I bet they’re not winless. Because great QBs can overcome poor defensive showings. Wilson doesn’t do that.

        • snoth cambin

          To be fair Luck is 10-12 when his defense gives up 24+ points brady is 33-28 and peyton is 40-62

          • Chris

            So at minimum great QBs win at least 40% of their games when their defense is below average. Wilson wins 0%.

      • db

        Brady is 17/45 (37%) when opposing team scores 25+

    • David Stinnett

      Should we attribute that to Wilson, or O-Line and receivers? A Superbowl and NFC championship in consecutive years With just a defense and a running back? Get real.

      • Chris

        Get real? Getting real is that all other ‘great QBs’ can win at least some of the time when their defense fails to show up. I challenge you, look up the records of some other QBs when their defense allows 25+ (which is about the league average). And skip the elite QBs like Peyton, Rodgers, Brady etc, because we know Wilson isn’t of their caliber.

        Look up Luck, Big Ben, Rivers, hell even guys like Dalton and Cutler. I guarantee you all of them have some wins under their belts when their defenses fail to show up. Wilson is near unbeatable (something like 45-8) when his defense allows less than 25 points. But he’s winless when they allow 25+? Winless??? That’s an overall failure of the offense, and he’s the one leading that offense.

        He is definitely largely at fault for that number, and it was on display in the playoffs. Without GB Bosticking that onsides kick, Seattle doesn’t even score 20 in the CC and they lose that game. Then they only managed 24 in the SB and they lose.

        No other ‘competent QB’ has this problem. This is why Wilson is still a game manager.

        • David Stinnett

          Dude runs for his life all the way to the Superbowl, making throws on the run, and has good yards per attempt. Do you even watch? If you want to talk numbers do some research instead of cherry picking your facts. Dude is clutch. Check some other facts other than one that supports your opinion. You write a lot saying little–you speak of scores and the GB game. STFU

          • Chris

            Everything you just said was opinion, other than YPA which is a cherry picked efficiency stat. QBs who hand the ball off to all pro RBs a lot (Romo as well as Wilson) have inflated YPAs because the defense is so worried about the run that when they do playaction the whole field is open. This is such a tired argument that every RW3 supporter brings up.

            Yes he has good efficiency numbers because he spends all game handing off to the best RB in the league.

            Yes he wins a lot of games because he has one of the best defenses ever assembled behind him. But what happens when that defense doesn’t show up, as it’s done 9 times so far in his career? He can’t win.

            Seriously do you know how many QBs would kill to have a defense that only allows 25+ NINE TIMES IN THREE YEARS?? I forget the numbers from the last time I looked all this up but I think Luck has had that happen like 25+ times already.

            Wilson is 0-9 when his defense allows 25+. What would happen if his defense had done that 25 times already? They wouldn’t make the playoffs that’s for sure.

          • Real Nigga Patfan89

            Still crying like a bitch after the loss huh David

          • David Stinnett

            go sit on a spike. Not even about that game retard

          • Real Nigga Patsfan89

            Go sit on land mine hoe. Kiss the rings bitch.

    • David Stinnett

      He has enough very high scoring games to call in to question the meaning of that, not to mention game-winning drives and 4th quarter comebacks, historically good passer rating and high YPA. And much more:
      goo.gl/GTGygc

  • KAO

    I have never been more confused by the grades given to a QB on this site than I am by Brady’s from this game……. I get that the majority of the throws were schemed open and quickly. I get that its a short passing game so those two things will keep you low. Also both picks were terrible BUT CMON a negative 2.4???? Brady was as accurate as Ive ever seen him last night throwing around Dlinemen’s arms all night sometimes while getting hit and hitting his guys in stride almost every time. I’d have to go back and look but I feel like he made at least 6 above average throws to 3 below average ones counting the INTS. I can see him not having a huge + grade but he deserved at least a +1.
    I suppose you guys gave more blame to Simon and credit for Edelman than credit to Brady????

    • Chris

      From reading other articles I’m pretty sure they grade the difficulty of the throw, the placement of the throw, and how much the throw itself helped the team move the ball. So a short slant can be accurate (credit to the QB), but the throw itself is easy (credit to the WR and blame on the CB) and the WR does all the work after the catch (credit to the WR).

      Where QBs rack up high grades is completing accurate passes on intermediate/deep balls. He was 30/35 for 216 yards on short passes compared to just 7/13 on balls over 10 yards.

      Also it appears they penalized him heavily for the two picks thrown over the middle as well as some poor throws deep left. Excluding those he probably graded about +2.0.

      • Jason Williams

        agreed Brady made a lot of really great but not difficult throws. Wilson made some really terrific over the top throws.

        • Chris

          God that one that was dropped down the left sideline (Kearse maybe?) was one of the best throws in the entire playoffs. He dropped it into a bucket 25 yards downfield and the dude just dropped it.

          • Jason Williams

            it was a tough catch with a guy all over him and maybe obscuring his vision a bit but yes, a catch he probably makes more times than not.

      • AJ

        Interesting statistic I heard during the broadcast: in the 5 Super Bowls Brady played in entering yesterday, he was 1 for 22 on passes thrown at least 20 yards down field. I’m pretty sure he didn’t complete any such passes in yesterday’s game (I could be wrong though). I’m not sure why Seattle’s secondary was playing so far off the line of scrimmage on so many plays. Each time, when the ball was thrown to a guy with the corner playing off, the receiver was able to make the catch easily and pick up solid yardage.

        • Anonymous

          @AJ the TD to Gronk was a 22 yard fade route. I remember that one and I think the one to Edelman where he might have got concussed I believe they picked up 20 yards on a 3rd and 14. Other than that I don’t remember any 20+ yard throws being completed.

    • Jay

      They don’t take into account (because they can’t) the audibles that created those plays. There was one play in particular where he completely changed the formation and play after looking at the defense and found Amendola short that turned into a big gain.

    • Baron Zbimg

      What is Wilson’s grade ?

  • Dohkay

    So BB not calling timeout was all part of his master plan to trick Carroll into throwing on 2nd down, right?

    We were all robbed of the fantastic postgame presser where BB has to smugly explain his inexplicable decision of letting the clock run and not giving his offense a shot at the end for a game-tying FG.

    • Chris
      • Jay

        He made a great play. no need to blame someone for the call. They made a good call that was open and Butler made a great play he is still an NFL player at the end of the day.

      • Jason Williams

        that is a TERRIFIC shot of what Wilson is looking at when he pulls the trigger. what a great play by butler

        • Chris

          Really shows how Browner’s press completely negates the pick play they were trying to run.

        • Chris

          Honestly I think this is a completion if Wilson puts this behind Lockette and away from Butler, who is the only one in position to challenge the throw. Wilson led Lockette into the end zone, which led him right to Butler who was driving on the route.

          If he puts it away from the defender he likely catches it, there’s a collision at the goal line, and he may fall in for the score.

          • Jason Williams

            everyone knows I’m no Russell Wilson fan so I’ll just snicker by myself in a corner.

          • Chris

            IMO Wilson put that ball where you would put it to a guy wide open who would then take it 80 yards to the house. Like Tebow’s throw to Demaryius. You lead your guy on the slant when he has room to run.

            In that situation they don’t need any YAC. Put the ball away from the defender. Butler barely made it in time to pick it off anyway, if Wilson puts it more behind Lockette, Butler has no chance. Might be an incompletion, but no pick.

            Nitpicking as an armchair QB, but I still think he could have made that throw.

          • Scott West

            Based on the collision, a better placed ball probably bounces off his chest incomplete. But if complete he was still bounced down for no gain, and now the clock is ticking, so it’s time out for one shot by Lynch to get in for the game.

      • Dohkay

        I don’t care that the throw is there. It’s a risky play call to throw a quick slant over the middle. Lockette could bobble the ball and it’s an INT. it could be tipped at the line and it’s in INT. Or it can be a little bit ahead of the WR and it’s an INT.

        Run the damn ball with the guy who has carried you all season. If you are going to throw it should be a fade to the 6′ 5″ Matthews where it’s either a TD or incomplete.

        • Jason Williams

          could not agree more, which is what makes the way seattle lost just so sweet to me :)

        • Chris

          I mean I agree. The safer throw is to your tall receiver outside. But teams defenses area always more prepared for the “safer” call. Hell look at the 8 guys the Pats had on the LOS even though Seattle had 3 WRs split out. They were still expecting run even out of that formation.

          Plus, the Pats strength on defense is their outside corners, Revis and Browner. You really want to test one of them in the end zone in the Super Bowl? Or would you rather throw at an undrafted rookie on a quick slant pick play?

          Bottom line to me is the throw was there. It wasn’t the safest playcall, but given the game/timeout situation they had to throw sometime. Credit to Browner for blowing up the pick and Butler* for making a huge, huge play.

          • Jason Williams

            credit to Bulter you mean?

          • Chris

            Yea sorry

          • Dohkay

            Agreed the Pats strength is their corners. Their weakness is goal line run defense. Someone on Twitter noted that NE had faced 6 rushes from their 1 yard line this season and 5 went for TDs.

            On the flipside, the Hawks weakness is their short passing (much better with deep balls) and their strength is, well, you know. I’ll take the guy who leads the league in broken tackles and yards after contact. I don’t care if the box is stacked like it usually is.

        • Randy0101

          66 pass plays from the one yard line this year. Only one of them was picked off – and it was that one.

          • Dohkay

            Yeah I saw that stat. I also saw these two:

            “The Pats allowed opponents to score 81% of the time in power situations (runs on 3rd/4th & <2, or w/i 2 yds of goalline). Dead last in NFL."

            "SEA was second in the league in power situations, getting stuffed just 17% of the time. Lynch converted 17 of 20 3rd/4ths & short this year."

            I'd take my chances knowing I have one of the best RBs and rushing offense in the NFL against a defense that hasn't been able to stop it. Passing is a risky play in a situation that requires little risk taking.

        • Rick

          It’s only risky in hindsight. INTs on passes from the 1 yard line are virtually unheard of.

          • Dohkay

            As are fumbles, and unlike INTs, you can recover your own fumble which only further reduces the chance of a turnover. Carroll admitted they were trying to waste a play to run the clock down. If that was the goal, a run play is much safer.

      • Jason Williams
    • Jason Williams

      I think on BB not calling timeout – Bill is an old school coach he is always going to play to win the game now, not based on what happens under some uncertain outcome. He is always playing to win the next play and don’t worry about what happens after that. We may not always appreciate that about him, but it’s what he does. And I at least admire him for being consistent.

    • Chris from the Cape

      Your anti-NE bias aside, as a Patriots fan I know full well that the term ‘fantastic postgame presser’ is an oxymoron. You hate him because 1 He’s the best. 2 He knows it, and 3 He doesn’t care if you give him credit, because he’s already preparing for the next game.

      • Dohkay

        You got me. I hate NE. It’s why I said this on the PFF article breaking down the final play:

        “NE is known for their preparation and once again it wins them the game.”

        Or how about this anti-NE comment from that article:

        “BB and NE are known for their preparation and having a backup CB in the game who still recognizes the play with the game on the line is about as impressive as it gets.”

        Now, NE fans, on the other hand, appear to be the most sensitive and easily offended fans in the NFL. You are the shining example.

        • Rick

          You also savored over your hypothetical press conference in which you call Belichick “smug”, but to do so you have to treat a decision that turned out to be correct as if it were a failure.
          If that’s not hating, what is?

          • Dohkay

            Care to describe BB’s press conferences after a negative outcome in which he can be blamed? He doesn’t strike me as cheerful. He typically comes across as smug in that he refuses to acknowledge what happened and gives one or two word answers.

            I gave BB props for preparing his backup CB for the deciding play in a SB. That is remarkable and I can say with confidence that most coaches don’t go to that level of preparation. At the same time, BB made a bone-headed decision in not calling a TO. I can both compliment him and criticize him on the very same play. That’s not hating.

    • Rick

      The decision wasn’t “inexplicable”. He liked the matchup he saw on the field. He had the run defense in and Seattle didn’t have the right personnel to run. NE had an 8-man front and Seattle had 3 WRs. The kind of forces a pass.

      • Dohkay

        Except… NE was the team doing the last second subbing to matchup with Seattle. Malcolm Butler was sent in when they saw Seattle had 3 WRs. Seattle simply bailed BB out for his incompetent time management at the end.

        If your argument is BB wanted to force them to pass then he could have called timeout and STILL sent out the run defense to force them to pass. Then at least if he gives up a TD (as expected from the 1 yard line) he gives his HOF QB 30-40 seconds to get into FG range.

  • Jason Williams

    I do not believe that Tom Brady is a better QB than Joe Montana but boy is he ever close. I would love to see Montana against this Seattle defense. Only in Madden I guess.

    Sort of lost in all the postgame chatter is a couple related things :
    1) Julian Edelman and Amendola were absolute STUDS running those crossing routes, breaking the first tackle and then getting 5-10 yards.
    2) Seattle’s VAUNTED Legion of Boom gave up not one but TWO length of the field touchdown drives, MOSTLY THROWING, to the inimitable Tom Brady.

    Everyone knows I’m no Seattle fan so I apologize if I’m feeling more than a little smug this morning. I can’t help it. My two favorite targets : Seattle’s loud-mouthed defense and IMO over-rated quarterback lost that game.

    And I am enjoying life.

    • Chris

      I can’t wait to watch some film of this game later. The way you beat a cover 3 is either run multiple verticals over the top, or you clear out the corner with a fade and then run someone else into the vacated zone.

      I can’t count how many times I saw Edelman/Amendola catch a ball on a quick out after someone took Sherman/Maxwell deep. Then all those quick little receivers have to do is evade one LB and they have the extra 5-10 YAC you were referring to.

      • Jason Williams

        I never thought much of Edelman before last night – they alluded in the broadcast that he was also playing with an injury – what a beast that guy was.

        • Chris from the Cape

          I was at a Patriots training camp 5 years ago…After everyone else had left the field it was just Edelman…standing about five yards in front of a Juggs machine catching fastball spirals fired at him.

    • Dohkay

      Not sure how you fault Wilson in this game. Sure the throw at the end was a bit off but he made some impressive throws all night. He only had 12 completions but you can’t argue with the results as only around 25 of the 250 yards came after the catch.

      • Jason Williams

        i don’t but his pick sealed the game. I get it that it’s small and immaturish of me but that’s where I’m at this morning :)

      • Chris

        Wilson had a good game, I’m not going to argue that. The overrated part refers to the media seemingly crediting Wilson with steering Seattle to that 43-12 record.

        He wasn’t the reason they lost this game, but he did not carry his team to a win either.

        We’ll see what he’s made of soon enough, when he doesn’t have the 85 Bears defense playing behind him.

        • Dohkay

          Trust me I agree. He only had 12 completions and had he completed one more he’d have beaten Tom Brady and the Pats with 13. Any QB with merely an above average defense needs more completions than that to win a game.

          That said, he made the most of them. Can’t argue with that. Typical Wilson game, really. Doesn’t carry them but also doesn’t hinder them.

          • Jason Williams

            in fairness, Russell Wilson had almost twice the YPA as Brady, a higher QBR and Passer Rating. So it’s not like he didn’t make plays when they needed him to. Also as we discussed elsewhere, he had one of those downfield rainbows dropped that was nearly a perfect throw.

            as much as I don’t like Wilson, he played a damn good game right up to the pick.

          • Chris

            All 3 of those metrics measure efficiency, which can be boosted depending on how you play.

            A QB like Brady who throws 35 short passes a game, essentially replacing a running game, is going to have lower everything because of his volume of short throws.

            A guy like Wilson hands it off all game and then takes a couple play-action deep shots and his metrics are off the charts.

          • Jason Williams

            still – far more difficult to drop those deep balls where he did vs the short 5-10 yard laser strikes that Tom was throwing.

            I thought Tom’s second INT was a little more forgivable than his first. In the red zone on the opening drive and you just throw it up for grabs?!? Come on man… I was steaming mad over that pick.

          • Chris

            Yep terrible, terrible decision on that first pick. The second one was almost ripped away from Gronk (I think?) by the defender.

            And I agree. Wilson made some great throws on deep balls.

          • Kyle

            His throws were incredibly unimpressive except the one that Kearse dropped. He basically tossed it up and allowed his giant receiver to make a play. His game was a typical Wilson game, with a few nice passes mixed in with overthrows and a whole lot of handing off. He is nothing but a glorified Alex Smith.

          • Bill

            Funny, because Tom Brady was the one who Alex Smith’d his way to victory last night while Russell Wilson averaged over 19 yards in the air on his throws.

          • Chris from the Cape

            Down 10 points with 2 possessions remaining, Brady hit EVERY pass with NO threat of a running game…against the most hyped defense since the 00′ Ravens…to win the Super Bowl. Comparing that to Alex Smith is laughable.

          • joebuckster

            Funny how someone could make beating such a vaunted defense so unimpressive, eh? The Lane injury changed the whole complexion of the game, btw…

          • joebuckster

            *look so unimpressive’*

          • Rob

            Oh Russell Wilson fanboy, well the bum threw the DUMBEST INT IN SUPER HISTORY while Brady threw the gaming winning TD.

          • Jason Williams

            so on that throw, it looks like Malcolm Butler is at least partially to credit for that one as well : http://www.footballoutsiders.com/clutch-encounters/2015/clutch-encounters-super-bowl-xlix

            Check out the picture about a third of the way down the article

            http://www.footballoutsiders.com/images/Clutch/SBButler.JPG

          • Jason Williams

            I think that’s harder than you give him credit for.

          • JIMBO JET

            Yeah but when Russel Wilson throws one of those easy short passes he gets picked off. I’d say a different skill set.

          • McGeorge

            So what? As long as he produces.
            If Wilson completes a deep pass, and raises his teams chance of winning by 3% on that one play, then he added a lot of value.

          • joebuckster

            His metrics are only off the charts if he can drop a rainbow in the basket more often than not. Wilson can, Brady can’t – which is why they’ve built that style of offence around him. Most QBs could hit a high percentage of short throws sprinkled with some intermediate ones (Brady), especially if/when they have a mind like McDaniels directing the orchestra, and a Welker duo like Edelman/Amendola and of course a massive target like Gronkowski. Brady just doesn’t impress me all that much, but neither does Wilson. I get much more joy out of watching a Manning or Rodgers…

          • Samuel Hain

            Wilson threw HALF as many passes as Brady. Wilson throws 200 to 300 fewer passes than Brady, Brees, Manning, Rodgers etc in a season. He’s a game manager; any average QB could win with Beast Mode and that D.

          • Jason Williams

            I’m not a Wilson fan – I have said many of the same things as you about him in the past but the other night, he was throwing some pretty amazing deep balls.

        • Jefferson

          Wilson was in fact 1 yard away from carrying his team to a win, in his second Superbowl appearance, in his third year playing in the NFL.

          And this was despite throwing to sixth-string receivers, as he has done all year. The Hawks were already weak in receivers before this year and then suffered massive unexpected losses over the course of the year. Sidney Rice, Percy Harvin, Zach Miller, and then first draft pick Paul Richardson — all gone leaving Wilson with essentially an All-Undrafted and All-Scrub receiving core.

          But this is all too ‘in depth’ and complicated for a simple troll with zero football knowledge.

          By the way: Wilson WILL have the ’85 Bears defense’, as you call it, behind him for quite some time, something you might know if you followed the team on any level that you troll for fun. Most core players are locked up, or soon to be, and 11 draft picks soon to come.

          • Chris

            Hey it’s you again!

            Yes they have to skimp on talent at WR (and OL). You know why? Because they’ve stockpiled so many elite defensive players. There’s only so much money to go around.

            That would be why Lynch isn’t going to return. And sure most of those starters are locked up, right now. But you also have to pay your super awesome QB, who has been the biggest steal in the league making peanuts for 3 years, right now.

            How often do you see players sign big deals that are end loaded and then released later when those big cap years start to come around? Yes Seattle has invested big money in their defense. But they’re about to have to invest big money into their QB, and again there’s only so much to go around. Somethings gonna have to give over the next few years and I’m willing to bet it isn’t Wilson.

            Also, the defense was better last year. But people wanted more money. So what happened? Seattle lost all their depth on the DL and at CB. 5 starting caliber players left to start on other teams. These were guys Seattle used to be able to rotate in off the bench. Now they have actual bench quality players when they need to rotate or god forbid they have an injury.

            Last year Browner and Thurmond got suspended. Two of their top 3 corners. What happened? Maxwell and Lane stepped in and were great. What happened this year when Lame is injured? Simon steps in and sucks it up. Case in point the Super Bowl.

            So yes, the majority of the defensive starters are locked up. But there isn’t much depth right now and it’s only going to dwindle further after Wilson (and others) get paid. It’s a simple fact.

          • McGeorge

            Unless they draft well again this year. Then they can continue their dominance.

          • Chris

            Very well. Continuing to draft well is the only way to build a dynasty. Otherwise you’re just a flash in the pan after you end up paying too much for some players and skimping too much elsewhere.

          • eYeDEF

            Though they would have had enough to keep those players if they weren’t paying Percy Harvin his albatross contract on his minimal contribution.

      • Vladimir_Poutine

        Wilsons has such a beautiful deep throw.

    • Chris Smith

      Legion of Boom?

      More like “Legion of Noodle Arm!”

      (I’m still a little squicked by that picture of Jeremy Lane…)

      • Jason Williams

        glad I missed that. I still have nightmares of Anthony Munoz from decades ago.

      • Chris

        OMG his arm looked like Gumby!

    • Chmike

      Montana could barely beat a Cincinnati defense that was ranked in the middle (16th) and he was coached by the great Bill Walsh that was an offensive genius so I do not think he would fare well against that Seahawks defense !

      • Jason Williams

        The way I remember that game, Cincinatti’s defense played the game of their life and Montana was a bit off that whole day. He even blacked out during that final drive.

        Point being when he needed to be at his best they still won the title.

        Maybe I was just too young to know better but Montana always looked like a better QB to me than anyone I’ve seen since.

  • Jason Williams

    Seattle’s defense in the fourth quarter :
    9 plays, 68 yds, 4:15; 10 plays, 64 yds, 4:50

  • Alex

    Man, I really want to see the quarter-by-quarter ratings for this game. Do it PFF.

  • Jason Williams

    Re-reading the article – was Arrington benched?

    • Chris

      From the wording of it, sounds like it.

  • Football

    Hey [email protected]

    • Jason Williams

      dont poke the bear.

      • Patsfan87

        I agree [email protected] is crying like a bitch after the loss

        • Jason Williams

          did you guys see john clayton’s most recent mailbag? Someone named Scott in Seattle was blasting Russell Wilson and his forthcoming contract. Coincidence?

  • Jaguars28

    Wasn’t surpised it was Butler who got the pick. He was having a great game up until that point.

    A bit surprised by Simon’s grade. I thought he held his own, especially with Seattle’s non-existent pass rush. Although I’m not sure why Maxwell wasn’t covering Edelman on that TD pass.

    Speaking of Edelman, I would give him SB MVP. He was fantastic, making several clutch passes throughout the night.

    And finally- Seattle, you threw the game away! Oh well.

    • Jaguars28

      *clutch catches, Brady was making the clutch passes

    • Riffle,Rod&Fly

      Agreed about Edelman. The Halloween Groper had a great game.

    • Jason Williams

      Agree on Edelman – if Tom Brady hadn’t thrown a SB record # of completions, Edelman should have got it.

      Funny in hindsight how the broadcasters were saying that the Patriots were going to give the ball to Blount 40 times.

      • Rick

        Only really dumb broadcasters.
        Pats fans knew that the running game that worked against Indy wasn’t going to work against Seattle.

    • YouBarkIBite

      I thought Simon was pretty bad outside of defending a couple of passes straight down the sideline. Showed little to no side-to-side quickness. Losing Jeremy Lane in the 1st quarter (and leaving Marcus Burley, their only other true nickel CB, inactive) was huge.

      • Jaguars28

        Eh, Simon looked pretty solid in the second half to me. The middle of the defense was getting destroyed, though

    • SeattleBrian

      Oh well. Seattle will always be better than bum ass Jaguars

      • Jaguars28

        Eh, maybe if you had Chris Clemons and Red Bryant you would’ve won.

        • SeattleBrian

          Yeah maybe and maybe if you had the 07 Jags roster the Jags would be relevant in the NFL

          • Jaguars28

            I wholeheartedly agree

          • Coltsfan

            I don’t agree the Jags play like a bunch steroid high-school players just luckily got a chance to play in the N.F.L.

          • Jaguars28

            You clearly didn’t read my comment smart guy…

          • Coltsfan

            You forgot how much fucks I give Jag fan

  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    I never thought I would be so amused by a Pats win. I wonder if the old lecher will give this ring away to Kim Jong-Un

    • Chris from the Cape

      “Old-lecher”..sure you don’t want to add a anti-Semetic quip in there as well? I’ve seen the joy he had GIVING away playoff tickets to other locals (myself included) as well as donations in the form of a recreational center for disadvantaged youth here on Cape Cod.

      • Riffle,Rod&Fly

        Are you serious? Do you even know what lecher means? How is that even remotely anti-semitic? Also, you need to learn how to spell the word if you’re going to hurl it around like that.

        • Lord Mad

          You used a remark that doesn’t make sense with Kraft. He did the same thing with you.

          • Riffle,Rod&Fly

            I’m not aware of any other recent widowed owners who almost instantly began dating women half their age. Come to think of it, I’m not aware of any other owners who gave a Super Bowl ring to Putin either.

          • Lord Mad

            Almost instantly? Try to keep up with the timeline. Also, your descriptor doesn’t make sense still. Being widowed doesn’t mean you don’t need love still. None of what he did makes him a lecher. Don’t be a moron.

          • Riffle,Rod&Fly

            That’s very european of you to embrace lecherous old men. He is america’s Flavio Briatore. He probably takes being called a lecher as a compliment.

          • Riffle,Rod&Fly

            I take that back. Even Flavio won’t date someone who is LESS than half his age.

          • Lord Mad

            Yeah..you just throw around terms you have no concept of knowing. The above poster invoking the words they did are now apt. Good day internet troll boy. Don’t reply unless you’re an idiot.

          • Riffle,Rod&Fly

            None of these words are really that difficult. Which ones are you struggling with in particular?

  • AJ

    I’ve always had problems with attaching wins and losses to quarterbacks. Last night was a perfect example as to why. Hypothetically if the Seahawks handed the ball to Lynch on that last play and scored, would your perception of Brady change because the Patriots would be on the losing end? It shouldn’t because Brady has nothing to do with what happens on that series. This same thing also happened 2 years ago with the Ravens keeping the 49ers out of the end zone on the final series.

    This is not to say anything negative about Brady (he’s deserving of his praise), but it’s just to show how poor analysis it is to judge a single player on a team sport by wins and losses, no matter how important the player.

    • Jason Williams

      I’m not sure if Brady is a better or worse player if Lynch scores there, but one thing’s for sure, he doesn’t win the MVP.

      so play devil’s advocate there – who wins MVP if Lynch scores? Is it Lynch, Russell, Matthews? If they score on a throw, I think Wilson wins, if Lynch scores with 20s left, he gets it.

      • YouBarkIBite

        If Wilson throws to Matthews on 3rd or 4th down for a TD, it’s Matthews

      • AJ

        Super Bowl MVP is not really about who was the most valuable player in that game. It’s more about who made one or two memorable plays that stand out. Like last year with Malcolm Smith. He made a memorable pick-6, but Cliff Avril’s complete game performance was much better. But Avril didn’t make any one play that stood out; he was just consistently good.

        Unless some other player makes such plays, the MVP usually just goes to the QB of the winning team. Brady wasn’t particularly great in the game. He had mostly one-read wide open completions on very short routes. His 2 picks were absolutely terrible throws that could have been very costly (and a couple other throws that could have been costly). But his box score (which is very often misleading) looks good and is simple for people to understand, so he gets MVP. Butler would have been a better choice for his complete game performance.

        • Jason Williams

          agree the malcolm smith thing was a real head scratcher.

          • AJ

            Who knows if New England would have still won or not, but I’d be very curious to see how the game would have turned out had Lane not been injured. He was playing pretty well and was replaced by a guy who graded -4.7. That’s a severe drop-off that the Patriots exploited.

          • Jason Williams

            agree

          • Chris from the Cape

            No the 2nd pick was downright understandable given they NEEDED to make plays, but that first one, along with the 30 second TD allowed, caused me to terrify my dog, as well as to start losing my voice by halftime-

        • Kyle

          I think you meant Bennett, who was clearly the best defender on seattles incredible defense.

          • Anthony Bojic

            He was talking about last year’s Super Bowl…

        • Jack Casey

          Brady was exceptional. He had one terrible throw. The Wagner pick was a LB making a play very few can. He threw the ball fifty times. And he made one bad play? (Call it two if you want, I’ll take 48 out of 50)

          Brady was surgical. You can call them easy throws, but every team in the NFL runs similiar concepts. Why don’t other QBs put up 28 on Seattle? Also don’t forget why he gets good looks.. That because of his understanding of defensive coverages, and his ability to audible and command an offense. There are plenty of times when the first read of a play is open. Watch tape of RG3, Geno Smith etc Taking what’s there is what a great QB is supposed to do.

          You also have to look at Bradys footwork in the pocket. He did an amazing job in the second half stepping up and getting rid of the ball quick to negate the pass rush. These are all subtle nuances that aren’t ahown in the stat sheet. He scores one point less on his final drive with less talent than Manning did in a whole game.

          Let’s not forget a couple weeks ago people were talking about this Seattle defense and comparing them to the 85 Bears and Steel Curtain.

          • SeattleGuy

            Wow! You sure are pumped up about beating Seattle’s backups and injured ProBowlers. Brady had a passer rating of 24 before the Hawks lost their pass rush when Avril went out with a concussion; 99 afterwards. Mind you, Simon was already on the field then and he was very green vs. Lane. After Avril left, Brady was able to pass from a clean pocket. He exploited Simon for 2 late TDs to take the lead, but left Seattle with more than 2 minutes to win which they almost did. I wouldn’t call this exceptional or surgical just taking what the injuries allowed.

            To diminish how Seattle dominated Brady early in this game is to ignore how many major injuries the LOB was playing with. If I could let you choose 5 quality first string players on the Pats team, who would you name that would give you even a small chance of winning? Revis, Gronk, Edelman, Verheen, Collins? Just envision how incapacitated the Pats would be if all of these players had a partial tear of the MCL (Chancellor), a separated shoulder (Thomas), torn ligaments in an elbow (Sherman), concussion (Avril), and a gruesome broken arm (Lane).

            Every team has injuries and almost all players play with some degree of injury, but I have never witnessed a team compete at the level of the Seahawks in the SuperBowl with so many serious injuries and still be in position to win in the last few seconds.

            Enjoy your win this year. I hope Brady plays long enough for a rematch against a relatively healthy Seahawk’s team. Then we’ll see who does the surgery.

          • PatriotsGuy

            Stop making Excuses hoe ass Seattle Bandwagon prostitute fan- girl

      • AJ

        If Seattle won it should have gone to either Lynch or Michael Bennett.

    • Chris from the Cape

      Good point: Even as a Pats fan, it was what I was thinking after Brady threw the go ahead TD pass: that he would be widely called a ‘choking-cheating-loser’ UNLESS the defense held…

      • AJ

        Exactly. Whatever you think of him as a player should have actually been decided before that Seattle drive even began. He has nothing to do with what happens from that point forward.

        • Jack Casey

          I agree because Brady has been to six superbowls. Four he has won, the other two he lost he had his team up with minutes left in both, What was he supposed to do, play corner back and go get a pick to win the game? Or play DE and get a strip sack? Regardless of the goal line outcome against Seattle, Brady drove the Patriots the field and scored two TDs on the biggest stage against a defense that was being talked about in the same sentence with the 85 bears. He was incredible win or loss.

          And yes, he had two picks. One was a terrible pass. The other was a combination of excellent play by Wagner, a little under thrown and Gronk not going to get it. So Brady threw the ball fifty times, had one bad mistakes. That’s like shooting 98% from free throws.

          • SeattleGuy

            It’s funny how critical the masses are about Wilson’s ability. He missed winning SB49 by perhaps 3 inches and in contrast the “terrible pass” you’re describing was underthrown by 10 yards! It was precipitated by the Seattle pass rush and Brady simply panicked and tossed it up for grabs.

            Go back and look at the film of this pass at the end of the Pats first drive into the Red Zone and you’ll see it clearly. How can you compare Wilson’s effort, not planning for a throw-caution-to-the-wind, all out effort on Butler’s part to jump the slant versus Brady actually making a huge mistake in throwing his pass at all? Butler’s interception was the epitome of great situational football. If this were any other play in that game, he would not have risked being called for OPI. Each player has a right to the ball when it’s in the air and I have seen refs call OPI for exactly the same degree of early contact in normal situations. They justly swallowed their whistles and let the play stand or Seattle would have been granted a first down, scored and Butler would be called the game’s goat for giving the Hawks another chance.

  • Jason Williams

    One guy that a lot of analysts were expecting a big game from? Luke Wilson. Zero Catches. Zero Targets as far as I know.

  • Samuel Hain

    This loss couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of ghetto thugs.

  • bema

    PFF’s cumulative grade for NE was -18.6: -14.4 for offense, -5.1 for defense, and 0.9 for special teams.

    PFF’s cumulative grade for SEA was 14.7: 6.3 for offense, 7.6 for defense, and 0.8 for special teams.

    That’s a difference of 33.3 points in favor of Seattle. Maybe want to take another look at that grading…

    • Max

      33.3 points worth of coaching, I guess.

      • Chris from the Cape

        lol

    • Lord Mad

      Wow..the difference is pretty prominent. I bet someone will say “well..Seahawks won it but lost by a fluke play..so there!”

    • Jacob Basson

      it just doesn’t really work that way. five o-lineman and the QB and 4 other guys can grade positively on a play where the WR drops the ball…bad play for the team, good play for their ‘cumulative grade.’

    • AJ

      Grades are better to reflect individuals rather than teams. If you have all 5 offensive linemen preventing pressure on the quarterback but the quarterback gets sacked by an unblocked rusher, the offense as a whole grades positively because of the linemen while the defense grades a net negative (the unblocked sack won’t be rewarded that much and the other rushers will get negatives for not getting pressure).

      Another way to look at it (not from this game but just in general): getting a +10 by a quarterback is better than a +10 by some other position.

    • bema

      Wilson, 3.2; Brady, -0.4.
      Lockette, 1.4; Gronkowski, 0.9.
      Matthews 3.1, Edelman 2.8 (this one is maybe understandable)

      I think the real issue with PFF grading is that it rewards deep throws even if deep throws aren’t necessarily the best play. Which is better – throwing deep against four of the better DBs in the league, or throwing a short crossing route over the middle to a WR or RB that has a favorable matchup against a LB?

  • Riffle,Rod&Fly

    Does anyone have a GIF or image of the Pete Carroll death-stare we saw after the INT?

    • Football#2

      no, nobody cares

      • Riffle,Rod&Fly

        Feeling deflated?

        • fooball#2

          no are feeling bummed out

  • ME

    No axe to grind one way or another in the seemingly endless debate about Russell Wilson, but am more curious generally about PFF’s grading methodology. Historically, PFF has seemed to grade “50/50 / jump ball” type throws with a critical/skeptical eye. When you look at Wilson’s line, 122 of his 247 passing yards were on 3 passes that some might describe as more or less contested jump balls that the receiver won (including the last circus catch). How does PFF grade those passes: is there a distinction made between good vs bad “contest” balls, and if so what are the criteria? And are the criteria binary or on a scale? As a case study, this game seems to present a pretty fine line in grading when 50% of the passing yds come on a handful of attempts that have some gray to them. Of course, the drop by Kearse would mitigate some of this in the other direction, but this particular game seems a tough one to grade overall because so much rides on how you view 3 passes.

  • Barb UMihai Mar

    Malcolm Butler’s 202 snaps are defensive snaps or it includes his Special Teams work ? If they’re all defense those are a lot of snaps.

  • Anon

    PFF simply needs to re-evaluate their grading strategy. Grading Brady one of the worst players on the field and not clearly the best, shows this formula is LOST. Just totally wrong and lost. I mean what a joke, guy was incredible, best player on the field, most valuable player on the field and tore apart the best D on the planet and he gets a horrible grade. ProFootballFocus, I love the site, but you’re not going to remain popular when you throw out joke grades like that. It destroys the credibility of the entire grading system.

    • jjohnson

      Personally, i enjoy the non biased grading strategy. Helps remove the stardust from the eyes. Brady’s execution was outstanding, the difficulty of throws …not so tough

  • Jonathan Bennett

    Bennett’s grade sounds about right, but they seriously need to address all those off-sides penalties in the off-season (can you pick a worse time to go off-sides, even if the safety would have been tough to get?)

    I’m curious about Butler’s grade. He made some big plays, but he also got lucky that two plays didn’t go Seattle’s way if I remember correctly (got away with tripping Lockette after getting beat and I thought he was covering Kearse on the deep throw that he dropped.)

  • Jason Williams

    watch Lynch’s run before the pick again. If Russell Okung makes a better block on Hightower they score on that play. As it is Hightower just managed to clip Lynch’s leg to get him to the ground. But that was really close to being the touchdown that the Seahawks needed on that play. Credit to Hightower for shedding that block and diving at Lynch.

  • avikash chand

    Russell only won against… and made the playoffs .. all because off the defense they got…he’s not the best quarterback in the leauge

  • Nick

    the butler did it

  • kerry mccarthy

    I wonder if anyone could cite another game where they saw SEA run that particular play where CB Malcolm Butler jumped the route that Lockette ran from the half yard line to seal the game for the Pats? I don’t remember seeing SEA run that play before? How did the Pats know to practice that play for the two weeks leading up to SB XLIX? It was interesting to hear that Bill Belichek had just reamed Butler the practice before the SB for not being aggressive enough on his play.

    • eYeDEF

      I saw it cited somewhere that the play had been run 3 times previously during the year. The thing about Seattle’s offense is that they’ll often run similar plays with different personnel so as to not to expose the play pre-snap as being too similar in look to a from a play run earlier in the season. So it might not have been the exact same formation with same personnel run earlier on, but both Butler and Browner were able to decipher the play. Bevell’s really not creative enough. They need new blood and a new OC.