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POST-GAZETTE, FEBRUARY 6, 2015 Page7 SUPER OWL with Christian A. Guarino We Won (Continued from Page 1) four touchdowns, in the pro- cess earning the game's Most Valuable Player award for a record tying third time. The lone blemishes on Brady's night were two inter- ceptions, one that cost the Patriots points in the first quarter and another that led to seven for the Seahawks. Both could have cost his team the win, but in the end, when it mattered most, Brady proved why he is still the best in the business, and the greatest in the history of his occupation. Want proof? The numbers don't lie. In his 14 years as an NFL starter, Brady has led the Patriots to a record best six Super Bowl appear- ances, tying the record with four wins. In those six Super Bowls, Brady has thrown 13 touchdown passes, which is another record previously owned by his childhood idol, Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers. "Tom's the best ever," said Wide Receiver Julian Edel- man, "I'm a big Montana fan, but Tom's been to six, won four with the salary cap. It's hard to argue against that." With the Patriots defense completely shutting down Russell Wilson and the Sea- hawks offense on two crucial fourth quarter drives, Brady found the opening he needed. Trailing 24-14, with 12 minutes to play, he led his team 68 yards in a little over four minutes. The drive was kept alive by a 21-yard pass over the middle to Wide Receiver Julian Edelman on a third and 14 play. SIX plays later, Brady found Danny Amendola in the back of the end zone, cutting the Seattle lead to three, and giving the Patriots a chance. The next time he got the ball, Brady even outdid himself. Completing all eight of his passes, Brady capped off the drive and the record come- back with a three-yard toss to Julian Edelman. "A lot of guys made great catches. It was a team effort. There's never one player. It took a whole team. We blocked great all day against a great defen- sive front. We made a lot of great catches and a lot of critical plays in the red area. Guys overcame a lot of mentally- challenging moments, and I'm proud of the way we overcame it all." The Patriots now had retaken the lead, but a defensive stop would be needed to clinch the win. As they had in the NFC Cham- pionship game versus the Green Bay Packers, the Seahawks would not go down without a fight. When Wil- son got the ball with two min- utes to play, he breathed life into the sputtering Sea- hawks. This set the stage for the games two defining moments. Positioned at the New England 38-yard line, Wilson found a streaking Jermaine Kearse defended by Malcolm Butler down the right sideline. The ball reached Kearse, but was de- flected by Butler, and lin- gered in mid-air as the two players went down to the ground like spent heavy- weight boxers. The pass looked to be in- complete, bouncing off of Kearse a number of times before the receiver snagged it while lying on his back. It was a surreal moment, one that harkened back trau- matic memories. "I've seen two of them before," said a humorous Belichick in ref- erence to play and two other circus catches that had cost his team in the waning mo- ments of Super Bowls. The David Tyree helmet catch from Super Bowl XLII stole a perfect season and the Mario Manningham catch in Super Bowl XLVI took away another championship. How could the football gods be so cruel to once again snatch victory away from the Patri- ots in yet another Champi- onship game? Then, suddenly, and unex- 28 24 pectedly, fate intervened in the shape of a 24-year-old undrafted rookie cornerback. One-yard from a Super Bowl repeat, instead of running the football with their un- stoppable back Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks Head Coach Pete Carroll and Offensive Coordinator Darrell Bevell elected to call a slant pass to Wide Receiver Ricardo Lockette. The play was designed to work as a pick on Cornerback Brandon Browner leaving Lockette to walk into the end zone uncovered for the game-win- ning touchdown. Belichick and the Patriots defense were ready. "We were in our goa1-1ine formation, eight guys stacked at the line and three cornerbacks in man-to-man cover- age. We were prepared for that situation." At the snap of the ball, Butler bolted forward from behind Browner and stepped in front of Lockette,the force of which knocked the receiver to the ground, and came away with his first career inter- ception, argu- ably the most memorable in Super Bowl history. "I saw Wilson look- ing towards the receiver I just knew they were going to throw it, I just went with my instincts, with my mind and made the play." The 2014 New England Patriots faced adversity all season long. After a demor- alizing loss in Kansas City, they were the punch line of all their critics. Following a 12-4 regular season, a shamed opponent labeled them a.crooked team. They suffered through two-weeks of constant media pressure due to their alleged *defla- tion" of footballs. Despite all the commotion and detest surrounding them, they maintained the focus of a champion, never giving in to the harassment. "Every team has a jour- ney," said Brady following the game, ~and a lot of people lost faith in us. But we held strong. We held together." They arrived in Arizona for the Super Bowl with plenty of baggage, but walked off the University of Phoenix Stadium field triumphantly carrying precious cargo. Resilient all season, the Patriots now hold a Champi- onship trophy. 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