In what was a fantastic and thrilling finish between two heavyweights, the New England Patriots escaped with a narrow 28-24 victory over the Seattle Seahawks after a monumental interception from Malcolm Butler.

The game-winning play

After surrendering a 10-point fourth quarter lead and falling behind 28-24, the Seahawks marched down the field to the one-yard line with 26 seconds remaining in the game. They had one timeout left and Marshawn Lynch, the most feared ball carrier in the league, lurking in the backfield. But instead of handing the ball off, Seattle opted to pass, which turned out to be a Super Bowl-altering decision.

Russell Wilson dropped back and looked to hit receiver Ricardo Lockette on a quick slant, with the hope that his defender, Butler, would get erased by a rub from Jermaine Kearse. But Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner jammed Kearse at the line of scrimmage, giving Butler a direct path to the oncoming pass. Butler jumped the route and somehow managed to hold on to the ball for the game-clinching interception, despite simultaneously making contact with Lockette. The incredible play will go down as one of the biggest in NFL history and capped  a truly memorable game.

Brady conquers the “Legion of Boom”

The matchup between Tom Brady and Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” was the prominent storyline entering the game. And through three quarters, Brady’s play was uneven, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. But in the fourth quarter he elevated his play to another level and threw two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining. Ultimately, Brady completed 37 of 50 pass attempts for 328 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptins against an all-time great secondary. His performance earned him the MVP award.

Now Brady joins Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana as the only quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls, sparking a debate about his place in history among other legendary signal callers.

Patriots move into company of historically great franchises

The New England Patriots have now won four Super Bowl championships, which moves the franchise into a fourth-place tie with the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers (6), San Francisco 49ers (5) and Dallas Cowboys (5) have won more titles.

What did you think about the game-clinching interception? And how would you rank this game against other great Super Bowl games? Let us know in the comment section.

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