"You know, whatever it takes," the record-setting Brady said after throwing for four touchdowns, including a 3-yarder to Julian Edelman with 2:02 remaining as New England rallied from a 10-point deficit. "Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us ... but we held strong, we held together, and it's a great feeling."
"It wasn't the way we drew it up," said Brady, who won his third Super Bowl MVP award. "It was a lot of mental toughness. Our team has had it all year. We never doubted each other, so that's what it took."
Seattle, seeking to become the first repeat NFL champion since New England a decade ago, was outplayed for the first half, yet tied at 14. The Seahawks scored the only 10 points of the third period, but the NFL-leading defense couldn't slow the brilliant Brady when it counted most.
It didn't matter how much air was in the balls, Brady was unstoppable when the pressure was strongest. While pushing aside the controversy over air pressure in the footballs stemming from the AFC title game, the Patriots moved the ball easily in the final 12 minutes.
Seattle didn't quit -- it never does -- and Kearse's 33-yard catch with 1:06 remaining got it to the 5. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 4 yards, then backup cornerback Butler, who was victimized on Kearse's reception, made the biggest play of his first NFL season with 20 seconds remaining.
"I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true," Butler said. "I'm just blessed. I can't explain it right now. It's crazy."
But thanks to superstar Brady and the obscure Butler, they are champions again.
"Malcolm, what a play," Brady said. "I mean, for a rookie to make a play like that in a Super Bowl and win us the game, it was unbelievable."
He also was picked off twice; Brady was intercepted a total of two times in his previous five Super Bowls.
Yet, he picked apart the Seahawks on fourth-quarter drives of 68 and 64 yards, solidifying his championship legacy.
Having never caught a pass in the NFL, Matthews grabbed four for 109 yards and a touchdown. Lynch ran for 102 yards, but didn't get the ball at the 1 on the decisive play -- a decision the Seahawks will rue forever.
"For it to come down to a play like that, I hate that we have to live with that," coach Pete Carroll said, "because we did everything right to win the football game."
The teams got down to football under the open retractable roof at University of Phoenix Stadium -- the first venue to host an indoor and an outdoor Super Bowl -- after dealing with distractions far beyond the typical Super Bowl hype. The Patriots are still being investigated for using under-inflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game.
It was a game of spurts by both teams before a crowd of 70,288 that was clearly pro-Seattle.
Wilson didn't get off a pass in the first quarter. When Brady completed his record 50th postseason TD throw, 11 yards to Brandon LaFell against Simon, it was 7-0.
Seattle went to its bench to help tie it.
Matthews' first career catch, a reaching 44-yarder over Kyle Arrington and by far the longest first-half play for Seattle, led to Lynch's bruising 3-yard TD run to make it 7-7.
A dormant offense turned dangerous in a span of 29 seconds, covering 80 yards in five plays, including a late gamble. Lockette caught a 23-yard pass and Arrington was flagged for a facemask, putting Seattle at the 10 with :06 remaining. Carroll went for it and the new Seahawks star, Matthews, grabbed Wilson's pass in the left corner of the end zone.
It was the most lopsided halftime tie imaginable.
"I've been at it for 15 years and we've had a couple of tough losses in this game," Brady said. "This one came down to the end, and this time, we made the plays."
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press