6. Malcolm Butler picks off Russell Wilson in XLIX
If it wasn’t for the unheralded Malcolm Butler, an undrafted free agent that was an afterthought for the New England Patriots for most of that season, Tom Brady might have ended up going 0-3 in his last three Super Bowl appearances. Ironically, it was Brady and the Patriots who looked like they’d be the victims of a clutch quarterback driving his team down the field with only a couple of minutes left to go in the game. Trailing 28-24 with 2:02 left in the game, Russell Wilson marched his Seattle Seahawks down the field, including completing a long pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse — who tipped it to himself and caught the ball while he was lying on his back — that got the ball down to the Patriots five-yard line with 1:05 left in regulation. Previously on that drive, New England hadn’t shown any ability to stop Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. But on second-and-goal from the five, the Seahawks called a pass play involving Kearse setting a pick for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette. But Butler read the play beautifully, arriving to the delivery point right as Lockette did, intercepting Wilson’s pass. The Seahawks decision to not run the ball with Lynch, and instead throw the ball, is still scrutinized to this day.