Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their thoughts after the New England Patriots' 28-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: Just like the Ravens did several weeks ago in the divisional playoff round, the Seahawks had the Patriots on the ropes and the league's most vaunted defense couldn't put them away. And then the Seahawks sealed their fate by not giving Marshawn Lynch the ball near the goal line with the game on the line, one of the most bone-headed play calls in Super Bowl history. Credit Tom Brady for leading the Patriots back from 10 points down in the fourth quarter and making a strong case that he is the best quarterback to ever play the game. Credit the Patriots defense for finally making a late stand after failing to do so in the team's last two Super Bowl appearances against the New York Giants. And credit the entire Patriots' organization for maintaining excellence and continuing to give themselves a chance to win championships. It was a terrific Super Bowl and the Patriots are worthy winners.
Aaron Wilson, reporter: No deflation for the New England Patriots, just pure elation as Tom Brady and Bill Belichick win their fourth Super Bowl title behind an electrifying comeback victory over a formidable Seahawks team. Despite the Seahawks' talent and an amazing tipped catch by wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Russell Wilson blew a prime opportunity to win the football game. Instead of handing it off to Marshawn Lynch and letting him run it in for a touchdown, they inexplicably risked a throw and Malcolm Butler anticipated it to preserve the win with an interception.It was a great football game and a welcome escape from all of the talk about "Deflategate." The Patriots deserved their win and displayed uncommon focus in doing so while under serious scrutiny from the league, from their opponents and the media.
Mike Preston, columnist: Football is really just an easy game, and coaches tend to make more out of it than needs to be made. Seattle had the best running back in the NFL in Marshawn Lynch and they failed to give him the ball when he is at his best on the goal line. Incredible. The Seahawks deserved to lose on sheer stupidity.
Jon Meoli, reporter: After losing a pair of Super Bowls in relatively ridiculous fashion, the Patriots finally had one go their way. The scrappy bunch from Foxborough didn't have the star-power or the hype behind them that the defending champion Seahawks did, but Tom Brady led a fourth-quarter drive that cements his legacy as one of the greats. The Patriots adjusted to the Seahawks' attack in a way the Seahawks' defense couldn't do, and when it mattered most, Brady came through.
Childs Walker, reporter: Pete Carroll needed to let Marshawn Lynch carry the ball with the game on the line, simple as that. Great game. The Patriots deserve credit for putting themselves in position year after year, Deflategate or no.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Tom Brady proved he could be Tom Brady at 12.5 PSI, but he couldn't have done it without throwing the interception that ended up knocking a big hole in the Seahawks secondary. I believe that's called irony. Oh, and for some strange reason, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson forgot that they needed only 1 yard to win the Super Bowl and had the toughest running back in football. Maybe he should have spoken up.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: That was simply the dumbest play call in the history of sports. You have the best short-yardage running back in the game, a guy who refuses to be stopped in Marshawn Lynch, and you throw the ball? The Seahawks go from being repeat champions to maybe never recovering from this loss. This could devastate the franchise for years and years to come.