PHOENIX — In sports, the bottom line and the last word is the final score. Journalists spilled tons of ink turning deflate gate inside out, but on Super Bowl Sunday evening the New England Patriots sprayed champagne over each other, and Tom Brady and Bill Belichek and company get to take home another championship trophy.
A fourth touchdown gave the Patriots a 28-24 lead. Earlier in the 4th quarter Tom Brady threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Danny Amendola and the New England Patriots cut the Seattle Seahawks’ lead to 24-21 midway through the fourth quarter in the Super Bowl on Sunday.
Down 10 to start the fourth, the Patriots’ defense held as Rob Ninkovich sacked Russell Wilson to force a punt. After Brady was sacked on the first play, he drove the offense 76 yards to get New England within a field goal. Brady set an Super Bowl record with his 11th career TD pass to Amendola in the back of the end zone.
After Katy Perry’s colorful halftime performance, the Seahawks came out firing.
Wilson threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin after Brady’s second interception of the game and the Seahawks took a 24-14 lead over the Patriots going into the fourth.
Unknown receiver Chris Matthews had a breakout game in the first three quarters, making his first four career catches for 109 yards. Matthews, a cousin of Hall of Fame defensive end Reggie White, played in just three games before he made the crucial onside kick recovery in the NFC title game against Green Bay.
His first catch was a twisting 44-yard reception over Kyle Arrington to the Patriots 11. Two runs later, Marshawn Lynch scored on third-and-goal from the 3. Matthews’ next catch was an 11-yard TD with 2 seconds left in the second quarter. He had a 45-yard catch on the first series of the third quarter to set up Steven Hauschka’s 27-yard field goal for a 17-14 lead.
On the ensuing possession by New England, All-Pro linebacker Bobby Wagner stepped in front of Brady’s pass to Rob Gronkowski and returned 6 yards to the Patriots 34. Wilson had a 15-yard run and Lynch ran 14 yards before the TD pass to Baldwin, who drew an unsportsmanlike penalty for his celebration.
Brady, the first quarterback to start six Super Bowls, had only two interceptions in his first five. He threw his first pick in the end zone in the first quarter.
The teams got down to football under the open retractable roof at University of Phoenix Stadium after dealing with distractions far beyond typical Super Bowl hype over the past two weeks.
The Patriots are being investigated for using under-inflated footballs in their 45-7 win over Indianapolis in the AFC championship game.
Meanwhile, star running back Lynch was a daily sideshow for the Seahawks this week because he refused to answer questions from the media.
In the 12th matchup between No. 1 seeds since 1975 and the second in a row, the Seahawks (14-4) are trying to become the first team to win consecutive Super Bowls since the Patriots (14-4) a decade ago. Seattle routed Denver 43-8 last year.
Brady bounced back after his first pick to throw his NFL record-setting 50th postseason TD pass — an 11-yarder to Brandon LaFell on the next drive. Brady then tied Joe Montana’s Super Bowl record with his 11th TD pass — a 22-yarder pass to Gronkowski with 31 seconds left in the second quarter to give the Patriots a 14-7 lead.
But the Seahawks answered quickly. Wilson drove them 80 yards on five plays in only 29 seconds.
Robert Turbin ran 19 yards. Wilson followed with a 17-yard run. Wilson then connected with Ricardo Lockette for 23 yards and a facemask penalty away from the ball tacked on 10 yards.
Instead of kicking a field goal, the Seahawks ran one more play with 6 seconds remaining. Matthews beat Logan Ryan to make the catch.
Jeremy Lane made his first career interception on Brady’s first poor throw and weaved his way to the 14 before Julian Edelman knocked his own helmet off while making the tackle. Lane went to the locker room after being hurt on the return and was ruled out for the rest of the game with an arm injury.
The Patriots have tied Dallas and Pittsburgh for most Super Bowl appearances with eight. They’re trying to become the sixth franchise to win at least four. Brady and coach Bill Belichick — the only coach-QB combo to reach six together — led the Patriots to three Super Bowl titles from 2001-04, but lost twice to the New York Giants in 2008 and 2011.
Brady and New England’s prolific passing attack are facing a tough challenge against Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary. All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas were in the starting lineup after both were injured in the NFC championship game against Green Bay. Kam Chancellor, a three-time Pro Bowl safety, also started after hurting his knee in Friday’s practice.
After John Legend delivered a stirring rendition of “America The Beautiful,” Idina Menzel followed with a rousing performance of the national anthem. A pro-Seahawks crowd booed when Belichick was shown on the video screen during the anthem.
At halftime, the lights went out, and Perry took over the stadium with a spectacular concert that included Lenny Kravitz and Missy Elliott.