GLENDALE, Ariz. -- We were having a big debate in the press box midway through the third quarter, just after the Seahawks had scored 24 points in under 15 minutes of game time.
The previously unknown receiver made his first catch of the season count -- a 44-yard leaping grab in the Super Bowl to change the flow of a Patriots-heavy first half. Then Matthews scored a touchdown to close out the first half and added a 45-yard catch early in the second half. The Patriots couldn't stop him. Matthews changed the game. For a while.
Perhaps the turning point of the second half didn't happen on the field. Perhaps it happened when Brandon Browner "begged" his position coach to cover Matthews.
"Well, we're big guys. It would be like him (pointing to a particularly short reporter) guarding me," Browner said.
Browner said he asked to take Matthews after Kyle Arrington gave up the 45-yard play in the third quarter. He noticed that Arrington was in great position, but wasn't big enough to stop Matthews. So he asked his safeties coach Brian Flores to cover Matthews, but his cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer didn't initially sign off on it. Boyer finally changed his mind.
Browner was prone to penalties all season, but his physical play made a difference against Matthews down the stretch. That was especially true with the officials letting both teams play aggressively.