Malcolm Butler becomes unlikely star of Super Bowl XLIX

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At one point in the second half, it looked like Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews would go from obscurity to Super Bowl hero.

Matthews had a big game for the Seahawks, but he’s at least sharing the unlikely hero prize with Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler. Butler’s interception with seconds to play thwarted the Seahawks as they were a yard away from taking the lead and helped make the Patriots 28-24 winners in Arizona.

“I just had a vision that I was gonna make a big play and it came true,” Butler said to Michelle Tafoya of NBC Sports just after the final whistle.

Butler probably didn’t have much company on that vision quest. Butler overcame long odds to make the Patriots as an undrafted free agent who played his college ball at West Alabama and played just 15 snaps in the AFC Championship game victory, leaving him off the radar for plenty of fans heading into Sunday night.

Thanks to an expert read on Russell Wilson’s intentions, Butler has a much higher profile with the season at its end. In case you missed Butler’s reaction to the biggest night of his professional life, you can watch it below.

101 responses to “Malcolm Butler becomes unlikely star of Super Bowl XLIX

  1. I am willing to bet that 90% of Patriots fans (which, shockingly, have increased 10-fold in the last few hours), do not know who Malcolm Butler is.

  2. It might sound stupid but I make the kid the MVP…Brady is awesome but he gave one away in the end zone. They lose without this play being made.

  3. This was a great game between two excellent teams, and the Seahawks will be a force again next year. My hat is off to them as a Pats fan. Some quick observations:

    1) Brady is the greatest QB ever.
    2) Wilson is one of the few who will challenge Brady’s legacy in the decades to come.
    3) It’s particularly fun to watch the post-game celebrations and imagine the confetti as the tears of haters that will be up all night telling themselves that the game balls were deflated and Belichick had satellite photos of Marshawn Lynch’s cleats or something.

  4. was hoping he won MVP.. Oh man, awesome game, see ya in 2030 seattle fans. Have fun with your int machine, only so much your D can do. Bye bye

  5. I give carroll credit for taking the hit on the play call. As a Viking fan I remember chilly throwing everyone under the bus for the 12 man penalty against NO

  6. Dynasty? Seattle ends up like the Rams. One fortunate Superbowl win. Nothing more. Cheers New England.

  7. He broke up another pass to Kearse too that would have been around a 30 yarder.

    Did way better than Darrelle “burnt crisp by Baldwin”
    Revis and Logan “two feet tall” Ryan.

  8. And… Seattle ends their “dynasty” as classy as ever. Fighting, dirty play… must be the PED’s..

  9. 12th man is more like 2nd man now.. Enjoy your past super bowl. Its last one you will see in a long time.. Congrats to Brady, best ever.

  10. The worst part about this is that now we’ll have to hear how great Tom Brady and the Patriots are from all the insufferable fans when it was a Pete Carrol Epic Fail on the play calling that handed it to the Patriots.

    It was a well fought game, actually one of the better contests, but Seattle gave it away in the end.

    I see it time and time again coaches try to get cute with the play calling when simplest is best. You have the best running back in the league who’s been tearing it up all night and are on the 1 or 2 yard line. Just run the damb thing. Duh…

  11. When Jerome Bettis makes his HOF speech he’ll thank all the Steeler brass who lobbied his way in to the hall. He has nothing else to justify his induction on.

  12. Anyone who has been on the field with Tom Brady can say they’ve played with/against the greatest ever. He’s a gamer. And not a cheater. I’d start an expansion team with him tomorrow. And I’m not a homer.

  13. Oh please … Pats fans, calm down. You didn’t win; Seattle choked. And that will forever be the story of that game. Not that you won; but that Seattle blew it.

  14. I’m sure Brady himself doesn’t think he deserves that MVP. When interviewed on the riser at mid field, the first thing he brought up was his two picks.

    He better give Butler that truck.

  15. Every year, there’s some undrafted guy tabbed as the next star. Sudfeld, TJ Moe, Malcolm Butler. Nice to see one work out on the biggest stage.

  16. I’ll pay to fly him to Seattle to catch the fish in Pike Market with all the 12th Men present.

  17. Way to go Vancouversportsbro. You revealed Seattle fans have as much class as Seattle players. You attack players who held your midget QB to 12 completions the entire Super Bowl and forced him into a game losing Int. Your run is over. The only title you win is most unlike able team and fan base of the past few decades. Congrats delta bravo. You earned the title.

  18. armchairqb says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:41 PM

    Oh please … Pats fans, calm down. You didn’t win; Seattle choked. And that will forever be the story of that game. Not that you won; but that Seattle blew it.
    ——————————————————–
    Oh, that football intercepted itself???

    Tell the New England secondary about your “Legion of Doom”, again???

  19. 1) Brady is the greatest QB ever
    _________________________________
    Get over yourself.

    Joe Montana, 4 superbowls, 4-0, 3 MVP’s (threw the game winning td with 34 seconds left in the superbowl he wasn’t MVP), 11 td passes, 2 rushing td’s, no picks, no fumbles, qb rating of 128.

    Brady (longer career), 6 superbowls, 4-2, 3 MVP’s, 12 td’s, 4 picks, 2 fumbles, 1 safety taken, qb rating of 95.

    Maybe R. Wilson will give him a run for number 2? The only thing Brady has done that Montana hasn’t in a superbowl is lose games, throw picks, fumble and take safeties.

  20. Boston World Championships: 35

    Seattle World Championships: 3

    maybe you can catch up to us sometime before the sun blows up ..probably not

  21. HA ! HA !
    Twilight of the Evil Empire !!
    Sorry Seattle Seahogs !!
    HA ! HA !!

    Legion of Goons !!

  22. I’ve hated the Steelers so thanks PATS!!!!!!!!!! For breaking records and a great game. BTW I’m an Eagles fan first😝

  23. DaveKShape says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:25 PM
    I am willing to bet that 90% of Patriots fans (which, shockingly, have increased 10-fold in the last few hours), do not know who Malcolm Butler is.
    =============================

    about 95% of all trolls can’t spell Belichick’s name correctly, think that Bob Kraft owns Kraft cheese, think that New England is one state.
    Do you qualify

  24. armchairqb says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:41 PM
    Oh please … Pats fans, calm down. You didn’t win; Seattle choked. And that will forever be the story of that game. Not that you won; but that Seattle blew it.

    —–

    You and many others may see it that way, but I guarantee you every Pats fan (and Brady. Did you see his face?) that saw that crazy Kearse catch thought it was over (again). Then Butler read the play perfectly and played stronger than the WR to make that INT. That’s not all on Seattle. That’s also a rookie CB suddenly reading the game perfectly. Even if it’s just for that one play. That’s all you need.

    I will never disagree with anyone that wonders why Lynch didn’t get the ball, though. But like Carroll said, they had the 3 WR set vs. the Pats heavy Goal line set. It seemed to be a good idea. I still would have taken Lynch, though.

    And finally, because you’re obviously trying to troll it a bit…

    “Not that you won”? Uh, did you see them all wearing those (way overpriced) hats that said they did?

  25. Tom Brady’s legacy has been victimized by po0r defenses giving up big plays and blowing leads (2006 AFCCG, Super Bowls 42 & 46) or he’s have SEVEN rings, nice to see the defesne step up and make a play of once in the last 10 years.

  26. celticsforever says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:29 PM
    I’m not sure who the MVP should be but I know its not Brady. And I’m a Pats fan.

    Whenever there is no clear cut MVP, they just give it to the QB of the winning team.

  27. Legion of Boom?
    Please. They did most of their hitting after the whistle. The 15 unnes roughness cost them big. The offside was huge. An they top if off by gooning it up at the end.

    Congratulations Seahawks. The only team in the history of the SB to have a player thrown out.

    Stay classy…

  28. iamapatsfan says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:59 PM

    Not trolling. Just fact. Obviously, NE won the game.

    But this is the 21st century version of Norwood’s “wide right.”

    Not about a “positive” play, but a brutal failure.

    Be happy you won, but be realistic — the quick summation of this Super Bowl will forever be about what the hell the Seahawks were thinking on that play. And you know it.

  29. So NE won only because SEA choked? From that logic, we can assume that SEA should never have been in the Super Bowl to begin with?

  30. How in the HELL was Chancellor not called for helmet to helmet hit on Edelman? How In the HELL was Seattle LB coach Ken Norton not called for unsportsmanlike conduct after bowing up to Pats receiver on the sideline?

  31. Butler made an amazing play at the end but Brady deserves the MVP trophy. He threw a Super Bowl record 37 completions against the best secondary in the NFL. Blount played hard, but the running game never gained any steam. Brady put the offense on his back and the defense finally got the job done at the end. Go Pats!

  32. armchairqb says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:41 PM
    Oh please … Pats fans, calm down. You didn’t win; Seattle choked. And that will forever be the story of that game. Not that you won; but that Seattle blew it.

    No no; I saw the Lombardi trophy being held up by our players, and that’s the definition of winning. Enjoy being miserable for the entire offseason while we celebrate bringing the trophy back to New England

  33. NFL has seen its better days. Cuban is right, notice how 90 percent of the commercials were Hollywood movies, network shows and Internet companies. Very little in the way of real corporate sponsors. Welcome to 2 yard passes and GoDaddy.com. It used to be a good game. Nice job roger.

  34. Really nice read by Butler at end of the game. He also had a nice trip that should have been PI on the Seattle three and out just before the drive that put NE in front. Yeah, I’m sure Pats fans will rail about how that wasn’t tripping. My wife, who knows nothing about football saw the play and said “he can’t reach out and trip the guy can he”? Um, no. No, he can’t.

    But heck of a play at the end. Give the kid his props. Rookie, big stage, final seconds. Really nice read and a great pick. Well done Malcolm.

    And let’s face it. A great SB. The story was going to end well, no matter what. Either a repeat championship or four rings for B and B. The Pats earned this one by putting up 14 points against one of the so-called toughest defences of all time (they sure looked soft when it counted most – some big third down conversions in there).

  35. pau49ers says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:51 PM
    1) Brady is the greatest QB ever
    _________________________________
    Get over yourself.

    Joe Montana, 4 superbowls, 4-0, 3 MVP’s (threw the game winning td with 34 seconds left in the superbowl he wasn’t MVP), 11 td passes, 2 rushing td’s, no picks, no fumbles, qb rating of 128.

    Brady (longer career), 6 superbowls, 4-2, 3 MVP’s, 12 td’s, 4 picks, 2 fumbles, 1 safety taken, qb rating of 95.

    Maybe R. Wilson will give him a run for number 2? The only thing Brady has done that Montana hasn’t in a superbowl is lose games, throw picks, fumble and take safeties.

    ———————————————————

    get over YOURSELF.

    How many one and done’s for montana in playoffs?

    Where is Brady’s Rice? Gave him moss for 1 yr and he almost ran the table.

    Montana played on HOF filled teams. His weapons were 100x better then what Brady has had. sorry but montana only went to 4 because he wasn’t good enough to get to 6! BRADY GOAT!!!!!!!!

  36. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Feb 1, 2015 11:35 PM

    The worst part about this is that now we’ll have to hear how great Tom Brady and the Patriots are
    ————————————————————
    Actually, that’s the best part.

  37. pau49ers says: Feb 1, 2015 11:51 PM

    1) Brady is the greatest QB ever
    _________________________________
    Get over yourself.

    Joe Montana, 4 superbowls, 4-0, 3 MVP’s (threw the game winning td with 34 seconds left in the superbowl he wasn’t MVP), 11 td passes, 2 rushing td’s, no picks, no fumbles, qb rating of 128.
    ————————————————————
    Montana’s stats are undeniably fantastic, but it is notable that his period of Super Bowl excellence was condensed to just 1981-1989, and he only made it to 4 in that period. Brady’s sustained excellence of 14 years is unprecedented, and leading a team to 6 Super Bowls is a record that I don’t think we’ll ever be broken. Except by Brady himself, probably next year.

  38. I hope Brady gives Butler the MVP car!
    ===
    He probably will. Everyone knows Brady prefers AWD Audis.

  39. Did way better than Darrelle “burnt crisp by Baldwin”
    Revis and Logan “two feet tall” Ryan.
    ===
    Baldwin had one catch for a TD on an umpire pick round. I’d say Revis did a pretty good job.

  40. @pau49ers

    And Montana’s 4 SB wins came against an AFC that lost 10 out of 11 Super Bowls over Joe’s years as the Niners starter. Not as impressive in that light, eh?

  41. I keep hearing people say the pass was a bad decision. It wasn’t a bad decision, it was a GREAT PLAY. Carroll’s explanation of how the four downs would play out makes perfect sense. If that pass was incomplete, Lynch runs on 3rd down. If he doesn’t make it, timeout and another Lynch run on 4th down. Credit Butler, don’t blame Pete Carroll.

  42. As long as Roger Goodell is the commissioner, I won’t ever watch football again. Why play the game when he is just going to pick the winner?

  43. @pau49ers

    Due to your Brady/Montana Comparison

    Superbowl QB Rating

    Jeff Hostetler: 94.5
    Peyton Manning: 75.9

    Who is better?

    Oh Manning played in more Superbowls? Fine..

    Jeff Hostetler: 94.5
    Dan Marino. 66.9

  44. No bashing Seattle here. Worthy opponents. I hate the asterisk cheater trolls and I refuse to join there ranks.

    We’ll see you guys next year because your team is for real. The 2 best teams collided tonight and either team could have won it. One play. That was the seperation. That was a true display of smashmouth football.

    I fully expect a rematch next year.

    #thebestintheNFC

  45. Great play by the rookie to jump that route.

    Worst play call ever with time on the clock to score from the 1 yard line, and the games best hard nosed running back.

    Worst play call from one of the worst OC’s in the league..Mr. Too Predictable Bevell.

    Hats off to NE on another SB win.

    Seattle gives a SB win away…incredible.

  46. As a Pats fan (a real one who lived there), I have to congratulate Carroll for a game he almost pulled off. His explanation for all those quick-to-judge trolls was he had three more tries to get it in end zone. If the pass didn’t work (stop the clock), he still had Lynch for 3rd and 4th down, plus he had a time out for them. He had the right matchup (single cover). He obviously wasn’t thinking about Wilson throwing an INT. He was playing to win. Hindsight is everything, but if your throwing a quick slant against a rookie back, your thinking your chances are good. Heck, Brady does those all day. Thankfully, the Butler kicked them out of the house. Wilson is a lot like Luck…both really rookies. He’ll learn some game management after this one.
    Meanwhile, I’d like to see Brady get one more ring before he hangs it up.

  47. ballsoharduniversity52 says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:27 PM
    He’s the beneficiary of the worst play call, given the magnitude and situation, in the history of the game!

    ______________________________

    The Hawks were lucky to even be in that position with that circus catch. They have been the luckiest team I have seen all year and possibly ever. But you know what, luck runs out.

  48. iamapatsfan says: Feb 1, 2015 11:59 PM

    armchairqb says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:41 PM
    Oh please … Pats fans, calm down. You didn’t win; Seattle choked. And that will forever be the story of that game. Not that you won; but that Seattle blew it.

    —–

    You and many others may see it that way, but I guarantee you every Pats fan (and Brady. Did you see his face?) that saw that crazy Kearse catch thought it was over (again). Then Butler read the play perfectly and played stronger than the WR to make that INT. That’s not all on Seattle. That’s also a rookie CB suddenly reading the game perfectly. Even if it’s just for that one play. That’s all you need.

    I will never disagree with anyone that wonders why Lynch didn’t get the ball, though. But like Carroll said, they had the 3 WR set vs. the Pats heavy Goal line set. It seemed to be a good idea. I still would have taken Lynch, though.
    ————————————————————
    ————————————————————

    Even with a 3 WR set against a Pats goal line defense it is totally on R.Wilson that he CHOSE to throw the ball right into the middle of the defense where every Pats player was jammed into as they waited for the hand-off to Beast Mode. R.Wilson should have chose to throw the ball to the sideline (out, fly to the 8′ Matthews) and REALLY took advantage of the matchups. Instead he threw the ball into the middle of the entire Pats defense. Bad play call and even worse pre-snap read and decision of where he was going with the ball….

  49. Seattle 1-2 in superbowls.

    A losing record

    You need 2 more wins and no losses to get above .500

    Maybe you will do it but hopefully you will learn some humility along the way

  50. GOAT. Won a superbowl after spy gate. The balls were not deflated. We won. We are champs AGAIN. Now what are people gonna say and type to attempt to break up our beautiful patriot nation?????

  51. DaveKShape says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:25 PM
    I am willing to bet that 90% of Patriots fans (which, shockingly, have increased 10-fold in the last few hours), do not know who Malcolm Butler is.

    I am 100% certain that you would have lost that bet even before the Pats won this Super Bowl.

  52. Possibly the best Superbowl game I have ever seen.

    Very interesting contrast in two offenses. One team marching down the field with short passes to receivers who aren’t physically gifted, but who are able to get brief separation – enough for Brady to do his thing. The other team with a much superior running game and which relies more on longer passes to more physically talented receivers. NE was able to do a better job of sustaining drives, with a much better 3rd down efficiency, even though Seattle had more yards overall.

    I would not say Seattle choked – at all – it was just an unfortunate play result, as much as the bobbled catch by Kearse was fortunate. It really felt like NE deserved to win, due to their more methodical play. Apart from the interceptions, both QBs were excellent.

  53. Watching the kid and his reaction after the game reminded me of what sports are all about…..or were all about…

    Seeing Brady get a new truck, after all he has is disturbing….at least for me……feed a king, starve a peasant…

    Hopefully he gives it to the kid….or to a charity to auction it off…..

  54. As they say in the mystery novels, “the butler did it.” Darrell Bevell is the author of this best seller.

    Brady and Belichick – definitely best combo in the salary cap era and maybe of all time!

  55. Thank you Seattle for proving that the NEW YORK FOOTBALL GIANTS are the only team that can beat Brady’s Patriots in the big game!

  56. vancouversportsbro says:
    Feb 2, 2015 12:09 AM
    Worst performances in the super bowl by cornerback:

    1. Chump Bailey last year
    2. Darrelle Revis (owned by Baldwin)
    3. Logan Ryan (owned by Matthews)

    —————————-

    Revis was owned by Baldwin? Baldwin had one catch for 3 yards that was a TD because Revis got picked by the ref. If that’s someone getting “owned” to you then you haven’t watched much football. And Logan Ryan made one poor play, which was the TD to Matthews at the end of the half. I’ll give you that one play, but he was OK for the rest of the game. Kyle Arrington on the other hand…

  57. Malcolm Butler deserved the MVP. If he hadn’t stepped up and caught that interception then Seattle would have won. If he had just deflected it then Lynch probably would have ran it in on the next play.

  58. DaveKSharpe: “I am willing to bet that 90% of Patriots fans do not know who Malcolm Butler is.”

    And you’d be wrong. the undrafted free agent from West Alabama was the surprise player of training camp and the pre-season. As a result, he made the 53 man roster.

    He might not even have played in the Super Bowl, except Coach Belichick decided to dress all of his defensive backs for the game because he felt he would need them. This meant he took the place of one of my favorites, RB Jonas Gray, from ND.

    Just another example of the importance the Patriots put on every player from 1 – 53 and why Belichick is playing chess while other coaches are playing checkers.

    BTW. Its been reported that TB12 gave the MVP car to Butler.

    THAT’S another example of what makes the Patriots different from other NFL teams.

    Just do your job!

  59. Butler followup. Mike Reiss, the best Patriot beat writer by far, had reported that Butler came out of nowhere and was one of the stars of training camp. Here’s what TB12 had to say in retrospect after Butler signed with the team in may as an undrafted free agent. “We don’t put numbers on our jerseys, but this one player just kept making plays and I kept going ‘Who is that? Who’s that guy running down balls?’ He had great quickness, great speed, great jumping ability, played the ball so well, intercepting passes all season long practicing on the scout team, and got some opportunities as the season went along to play on defense. It all leads to that particular moment. You put a lot of hard work in over the course of the season and Malcolm did that.”

    I guess people outside of New England now know him as well.

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