PHOENIX — NFL official Bill Schuster played the role of a dinghy and helped briefly rescue Seattle Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin from Revis Island.
Darrelle Revis allowed just one reception in Super Bowl XLIX, a three-yard touchdown to Baldwin midway through the third quarter. It was the only time Baldwin was even targeted by quarterback Russell Wilson.
Baldwin led Revis into Schuster, and used the umpire to set a pick on the New England Patriots cornerback during the score. Wilson waited for Revis to get caught up in the official to throw to his No. 1 receiver.
Ultimately, Schuster’s failure to get out of Revis’ way didn’t cost the Patriots, who beat the Seahawks 28-24.
Revis was almost too excellent, because he went unnoticed for doing exactly what the Patriots signed to him to do: shut down the opposing team’s best receiver.
Check out our Super Bowl takeaways:
MALCOLM BUTLER STEPS UP, DESPITE BEING PICKED ON
The rookie cornerback only played 12 coverage snaps, and he was targeted five times by Wilson. He deflected the football on four of those throws, one of which was caught by Jermaine Kearse after the Seahawks receiver had fallen on his back.
Check out our Super Bowl coverage stats:
CB Kyle Arrington: 3-3, 112 yards
CB Brandon Browner: 3-5, 40 yards, pass breakups
CB Malcolm Butler: 2-5, 39 yards, interception, two pass breakups
LB Jamie Collins: 1-2, 31 yards
CB Logan Ryan: 2-4, 22 yards, TD
CB Darrelle Revis: 1-1, 3 yards, TD
PATRIOTS CONTAIN, DON’T RUSH WILSON
The Patriots front seven’s biggest focus in the passing game was to make sure Wilson didn’t roll out of the pocket and pick up too many yards with his legs. The Seahawks quarterback rushed for just 39 yards on three carries, so the plan worked.
The Patriots were content to turn their pass rush down a notch in order to keep Wilson in the pocket, so their stats were down:
DE Rob Ninkovich: sack, hurry, QB hit
DE Chandler Jones: sack, hurry
CB Darrelle Revis: sack
LB Akeem Ayers: QB hit
LB Dont’a Hightower: hurry
DT Chris Jones: hurry
TOM BRADY AT FAULT FOR INTERCEPTIONS
Sometimes interceptions can be blamed on a receiver or pressure from the offensive line, but Brady’s two picks were all on him.
The Patriots quarterback was pressured on his first pick, but it was a terrible decision to try to force a throw that wasn’t there rather than throwing the ball away. Jeremy Lane snagged an easy interception, but he broke his arm falling on the ensuing return when Patriots receiver Julian Edelman cut out his legs. Lane’s injury forced cornerback Tharold Simon into the game, and he was burned for two touchdowns.
Brady tried to force a pass to tight end Rob Gronkowski in the third quarter, but linebacker Bobby Wagner was in perfect position to pick off the attempt.
Here’s how we break down the blame for Brady’s 13 incompletions:
Drops: 2 (Brandon LaFell, Danny Amendola)
Offensive line: 1
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images
GIF via NFL Game Rewind