8. New England Patriots’ Malcolm Butler Becomes Super Bowl Hero After Game Winning Interception
Super Bowl XLIX pitting the Seattle Seahawks against the New England Patriots was a spectacle from beginning to end as the game came down to the final drive with only a minute left to go in the 4th quarter. Having marched down the field on the potential game winning drive, the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks seemed all but set to hoist the Lombardi Trophy once again. While in the opposing red zone, and with their best offensive weapon running back Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, Seattle elected to pass the ball instead of handing it off to beast mode, which might have been a sure touchdown.
Looking to hit WR Ricardo Lockette coming off a slant route in the end zone, quarterback Russell Wilson hurled the ball over, only to have the Patriots undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler make a miraculous game sealing interception, earning the Pats a 28-24 victory. Outside of the fact that the play is what earned the team their fourth championship trophy, Butler, had struggled to even make the Patriots roster months prior, and had a lackluster performance that game. The Super Bowl XLIX hero, Butler instantly became a household name and the Seahawks decision to not hand the ball off to Lynch has been heavily scrutinized to this day.