Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The Seattle Seahawks are 15 minutes away from becoming the first back-to-back Super Bowl winners in a decade.
Two interceptions of Tom Brady and a breakout performance from wide receiver Chris Matthews has helped stake the NFC champions to a 24-14 lead over the New England Patriots through three quarters of Super Bowl XLIX.
Matthews, who didn't catch a single pass while spending the majority of the regular season on Seattle's practice squad, has amassed 109 yards and a touchdown on four receptions to emerge as the surprise star of a Seahawks offense that came to life late in the first half after a slow start.
His touchdown catch, an 11-yard grab from Russell Wilson, came with just two seconds left in the first half and sent the Seahawks into the break tied at 14-14.
Steven Hauschka tacked on a go-ahead 27-yard field goal early in the third quarter, and Wilson's 3-yard pass to Doug Baldwin pushed Seattle's lead to 10 with under five minutes left in the period.
The last touchdown drive came moments after Bobby Wagner picked off Brady near midfield. The two-time Super Bowl MVP also was intercepted by Jeremy Lane at the goal line to thwart a Patriots' scoring opportunity late in the first quarter.
Brady did throw his 10th and 11th career touchdown passes in the Super Bowl, tying Joe Montana's all-time record, during a first half in which he finished with a Super Bowl-best 20 completions.
The Patriots grabbed a 7-0 edge on Brady's 11-yard touchdown toss to Brandon LaFell with 9:47 left in the second quarter, with the Seahawks knotting the score on Marshawn Lynch's 3-yard run with 2:16 to go before halftime.
New England answered on Brady's 22-yard touchdown strike to Rob Gronkowski just 31 seconds prior to halftime, but the Seahawks swifly countered by marching 80 yards in just five plays and drawing back even on Matthews' catch.
The Seahawks are attempting to become the first repeat champion since the Patriots won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004, while Wilson is bidding to be the only quarterback to win a Super Bowl in two of his first three seasons.
Brady, making a record sixth Super Bowl start at quarterback, would join Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the lone signal-callers to win the game four times if the Patriots rally.