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GLENDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - The Seattle Seahawks were left stunned after coming up one yard short of a second straight Super Bowl title on Sunday following one of the wildest ever finishes to a National Football League championship.
Seattle, who enjoyed some good fortune just to reach the Super Bowl, looked to have some luck left when Jermaine Kearse made a juggling catch for a 33-yard gain that put the Seahawks on the Patriots' five-yard line with 66 seconds to play.
But after Marshawn Lynch moved the ball to the one-yard line quarterback Russell Wilson had his pass intercepted in the end zone with 20 seconds to play in what would be a 28-24 loss.
"Obviously, it's a hard play because you just saw your dreams go down the drain," said Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett. "That one play doesn't determine the game. There's a lot of plays that everybody could have made a little bit better."
The Seahawks were outplayed during the first two quarters, where they had the ball in their possession for just 12 minutes, but a late touchdown had them tied with New England going into third quarter.
A 27-yard Steven Hauschka field goal and a three-yard Wilson touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin gave the Seahawks a 10-point lead that they held until near the midway mark of the fourth quarter.
"We worked so hard to get to this point and not to come out with the win is definitely disappointing," said Kearse.
Seattle would not have even been in this year's Super Bowl if not for some fortunate events during their improbable NFC championship win two weeks ago versus the Green Bay Packers.
The Seahawks erased a 12-point deficit with under three minutes to play en route to an overtime victory. During the late rally, Seattle enjoyed a fortuitous bounce to recover an onside kick to set up a go-ahead score.
But there was no such luck this time and cornerback Richard Sherman did his best to stay positive in the face of defeat.
"This is my fourth year in the league, second Super Bowl. So hopefully we'll have another chance to get here and have a different result," he said.
"I thought we had a chance, through God's grace. He always seems to be with us in these big games."
Reporting by Frank Pingue, editing by Gene Cherry