Patriots ran Seahawks' pass play in practice and Malcolm Butler got beat

This won't make the Seahawks or their fans feel any better: In the days leading up the Super Bowl -- and The Interception -- the Patriots' scout team ran the same pass play we saw from Seattle's offense late in the fourth quarter that made cornerback Malcolm Butler the unlikeliest of heroes.

And Butler was beaten.

“I was at practice, and the scout team ran the same exact play,” Butler told Dan Patrick on Wednesday, via PFT.com. “And I got beat on it at practice because I gave ground. ... Bill Belichick, he came and said to me, ‘Malcolm, you’ve gotta be on that.’”

This wasn't the first time Malcolm Butler had seen this play. (Getty Images)
This wasn't the first time Malcolm Butler had seen this play. (Getty Images)

Butler clearly took those words to heart; he broke on the ball like a grizzled Pro Bowler and made the impossible play look relatively easy.

Here was our view of The Interception from the press box (click on any image to enlarge):

"I knew they were going to throw it," Butler said shortly after the game. "Our defensive coordinator is real smart and with a goal line, three-cornerback formation we knew they were going to throw the ball."

Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady added: "It's an incredible play, and not only that, that's the type of plays Malcolm makes for our team. A guy like Malcolm who makes that type of quick, instinctive plays, that's one of his strong suits. I don't think it surprised any of us players because that's what his skill set is."

For what it's worth -- and we imagine not much -- Bill Belichick said Tuesday that Pete Carroll didn't deserve criticism for the decision to let Russell Wilson throw in that situation instead of giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch.

We talked about those final, fateful moments in the latest Eye on Football Podcast, embedded below (you can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes right here).

CBS Sports Writer

Ryan Wilson has been an NFL writer for CBS Sports since June 2011, and he's covered five Super Bowls in that time. Ryan previously worked at AOL's FanHouse from start to finish, and Football Outsiders... Full Bio

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