Chris Matthews never had an NFL catch before Sunday.
He picked a heck of a time to finally break through.
Matthews, Seattle’s anonymous wide receiver who played the past two seasons in Canada and worked at Foot Locker to help make ends meet, hauled in a 44-yard bomb from Russell Wilson on the Seahawks’ first touchdown drive.
But Matthews did one better the next time he was targeted. He boxed out a much-smaller Logan Ryan and pulled in an 11-yard touchdown pass with just two seconds left in the first half.
Katy Perry’s lengthy halftime show did nothing to slow him down. On the Seahawks’ first drive after intermission, he hauled in a 45-yard bomb over Kyle Arrington, giving Matthews over 100 yards receiving for the game.
no gray area
Poor Jonas Gray.
A Sports Illustrated cover boy just a few months back, Gray didn’t even see the field in Super Bowl 49. The Patriots running back, who twice went to camp with the Dolphins, was a healthy scratch Sunday.
Gray, who rushed for 201 yards and four touchdowns in a game, lost his starting job the next week. LeGarrette Blount’s arrival had a lot to do with it. But Gray also landed in Bill Belichick’s doghouse after sleeping through a meeting.
Another former Dolphin-turned-Patriot — Brian Tyms — was also inactive Sunday, as was running back James White, who played at St. Thomas Aquinas.
the fast lane
Football is a game of highs and lows. For Jeremy Lane, he experienced both on the same play.
Lane intercepted an errant throw from Tom Brady in the first quarter, but when he went to the ground, the Seahawks cornerback landed awkwardly and sustained a grotesque wrist injury. He did not return.
His replacement was little-used defensive back Tharold Simon. Brady noticed and targeted Simon immediately.
Simon got burned twice on the drive — first on a 23-yard pass to Julian Edelman and then on an 11-yard touchdown strike to Brandon LaFell.
this and that
▪ It rained for nearly three days in a row in the lead up to Sunday, but the skies cleared and the weather was beautiful for the game.
The roof of University of Phoenix Stadium — usually shut for Cardinals games — was open, making the building the first to host both an indoor and outdoor Super Bowl.
The announced game-time temperature was 67 degrees.
▪ The guitars used by Perry’s band during the halftime show will be auctioned off to benefit Break The Cycle, a domestic abuse support group. The auction will be held at NFL.com/auction.
▪ There was much interest in just how long Idina Menzel would take to sing the national anthem after some sports books suspended wagering on the prop bet. As expected, she beat the over/under (1221/2 seconds).
Menzel sang for a little more than two minutes. John Legend performed a far brisker America the Beautiful.
▪ Seattle did not throw a single pass in the first quarter. In fairness, the Seahawks only ran six plays total in the period. Wilson finally completed his first pass of the game nearly 25 minutes in.
▪ The first half ended in a tie for just the third time in Super Bowl history.
▪ Brady threw his 50th career postseason touchdown pass in the first half.