But none of that happens if not for a catch in the middle of the field earlier in the second half.
With Seattle up 24-14 early in the fourth quarter, the Patriots were reeling and running out of time.
After a Seahawks punt, the Patriots got the ball with about 12 minutes to go. On the first play of the drive, Tom Brady got sacked for an eight-yard loss.
NBC showed several replays after the sack, and it was clear that the Seahawks secondary was smothering the Patriots receivers and nobody was open for Brady.
After a short four-yard pass on 2nd and 18, the Patriots were suddenly facing a 3rd and 14 to keep the drive alive against the NFL’s best defence.
According to one calculation, the Patriots had less than a 4% chance of winning the game at this point.
But then Brady stepped up in the pocket and threw an absolute rocket to Julian Edelman, who managed to hold on to the ball despite a huge hit from Kam Chancellor. The catch was good for 21 yards and a first down.
The pass was perfect. It hit Edelman right in the midsection and in stride. If the ball is to the right or left by another foot or so, Edelman either has to reach back and make a difficult catch or he has to reach out in front for the ball, leaving him unable to brace for Chancellor’s hit.
Still, even with the perfect pass, Edelman did an amazing job holding on to the ball.
The catch kept the drive alive, and more importantly, it seemed to give Brady his mojo back.
In the second half, prior to this play, Brady was just 6-for-10 for 48 yards, one interception and one sack on passing plays. However, starting with this Edelmen catch, Brady completed 13 of his final 15 passes for 126 yards, two touchdowns, and no interceptions or sacks.
Edelman finished the game with nine catches for 109 yards and the go-ahead touchdown with two minutes left. As a result, some feel he should have been named the game’s MVP.
Considering the Patriots likely don’t come back without Edelman’s huge third-down catch, they may have a point.
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