Despite controlling the game for much of the first half of Super Bowl XLIX, the New England Patriots find themselves tied, 14-14, with the Seattle Seahawks at halftime. Both teams traded touchdowns late in the second quarter, with Russell Wilson finding Chris Matthews on an 11-yard touchdown pass with just two seconds remaining to tie it.
New England's offense has been methodical, slamming the ball on the ground with LeGarrette Blount (10 carries for 37 yards) and dinking and dumping on short routes with Tom Brady (20-of-27 for 177 yards, two scores and a pick). That's the plan they used to march 65 yards on nine plays in the second quarter, capping the drive with a 11-yard touchdown from Brady to Brandon LaFell with just under 10 minutes left in the half.
Seattle's offense couldn't get anything going early. Marshawn Lynch was being routinely stood up, and Wilson didn't complete a pass until there was five minutes left in the second quarter. But Wilson's second completion was a big one: 44 yards to Matthews to set the Seahawks up on the 11-yard line. Three plays later, Lynch rumbled into the end zone from 3 yards out to tie the game.
The Patriots responded by flying downfield in the final two minutes to retake the lead. Brady hit Rob Gronkowski with a perfectly lofted 22-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds left in the half to go up 14-7.
The Seahawks flew downfield themselves on the next possession, setting themselves up on the New England 11-yard line with six seconds left. Instead of playing it safe for a field goal, Seattle went for it. The gamble paid off: Wilson hit Matthews for a touchdown with two seconds on the clock.
The Patriots' only real offensive hiccup came in the first quarter on the tail end of a seven-minute drive. Feeling pressure from the Seattle D-line on third-and-6 on the 10-yard line, Brady lofted a poorly thrown ball into the end zone, and nickel corner Jeremy Lane hauled it in for a momentum-shifting pick.
Lane, who made headlines for trash talking Gronkowski two weeks ago, injured his left wrist on the play and is doubtful to return.