In a period of time spanning roughly seconds, Malcolm Butler became a New England Patriots icon and Super Bowl legend. His late-game interception on Russell Wilson sealed the victory for the Patriots in Super Bowl 49, the team’s first championship in a decade.
Butler explained his thought process and what he saw on that play from Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks that led to his iconic play to Jeff Howe of The Athletic. He said that he caught Wilson looking at him prior to the snap, which gave him the first indication that the play would come his way.
I had my head straight, but I could cut my eyes out of my helmet to see him, so I knew it was something,” the former Patriots cornerback said, via The Athletic. “He just kept looking over there…I knew the play was coming. I knew I was going to make that play. I always tell myself: If they ran that ball, hey, I’m a cornerback. I don’t know who’s throwing a toss to my side on the 1-yard line. You’re either running the ball in the A- or B-gap or somewhere up there. Once I saw the formation and I saw Russell eyeballing me, I said, ‘Oh, yeah, this is it.’ I saw the wide receiver take that jab step, and I just took it with him. I took off and made the play.”
The last time the Super Bowl was in Arizona, Malcolm Butler made one of the greatest plays we've ever seen 🔥@Mac_BZ | @Seahawks
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Butler beat Ricardo Lockette to the spot, picked off the pass from Wilson and fell forward out of the endzone. After that, his Patriots tenure went south and he was benched in Super Bowl 52. Still, everyone will remember him for that historic play.
With today’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles will take place in the same stadium where Butler made his play, we will see if another legendary play takes place.