Malcolm Butler couldn’t find the words.
As the Patriots’ cornerback jogged on the field after his interception secured the franchise’s first Super Bowl in a decade, tears filled his eyes.
“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true and I’m just blessed,” he told NBC’s Michelle Tafoya.
“I can’t explain it right now. I’m just ...” he said as his voice trailed off.
The rookie, who came to the Patriots undrafted out of West Alabama, intercepted Seattle’s Russell Wilson with 20 seconds left to seal New England’s 28-24 victory. Seattle was on the doorstep of the end zone when the play started.
“First of all, I just knew they were stacked. It all comes from preparation,” he said. “… I just went and made a play. It was crazy, man.”
Here is the play:
Quarterback Tom Brady was the game’s MVP, but he recognized how big Butler’s contribution was.
“Malcolm, what a play. For a rookie to make a play like that in a Super Bowl and win us the game, it was unbelievable,” Brady said.
Lineback Jonathan Casillas said Butler was not a big part of the Patriots’ game plan.
“But when he got his number called, he showed up like anybody could ever dream to show up,” he said.
Receiver Brian Tyms said the Patriots practice set up Butler to make the big play.
“Everybody gets a chance in practice,” Tyms said. “Sometimes he may start off a period where the backups are the starters just so you get used to making the plays. So when somebody goes down, there’s no ifs, ands, or buts what about it. Everybody’s ready.
“[Butler’s] been doing that all season.”
Cornerback Brandon Browner said Butler would tally the most interceptions in practice, crediting his football skills.
“He shows the best ball skills out of all our DBs, but he didn’t get any interceptions in the regular season,” he said. “His first pick comes to seal a victory in the Super Bowl. How awesome is that?”
Patriots receiver Julian Edelman had the other big catch in the game. He reeled in the the game-winning touchdown pass from Brady late in the fourth quarter.
“They’re a great team, we’ve got nothing but respect for them, but we made more plays, we executed when we had to. We have a mentally tough team that works their tails off, and it’s the epitome of what Boston’s all about,” Edelman said.
Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.