As the dust settles from Super Bowl XLIX, still the most memorable and talked about thing from the game was it’s ending, and the Seattle Seahawks, on 2nd down and one, choosing to pass the ball instead of giving it to Marshawn Lynch and run it in. Pete Carroll took the responsibility for the play call, and it’s not something that will go away any time soon.
Lynch hasn’t been the most efficient of running backs this season when it comes to one-yard situations before the end zone (1-of-5 punched through for a touchdown), but still, there’s a certain logic to everything. You have Lynch and the ball on the one yard line – you try to get through. Or at least make a play-action pass call and not a straight pass on a slant that was impressively intercepted by Malcolm Butler.
The conspiracy theory suggests that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a running play and Carroll changed it into a passing play at the last moment. The theory dives even deeper into tinfoil, suggesting the passing play was given so Russell Wilson would win the MVP and not Marshawn Lynch, who had a great game up to that point. But Carroll denies all these musings. It was never meant to be a run, which is even weirder.
We don’t ever call a play thinking we might throw an interception. We go with what we know. There was not a thought in my mind that we would make a mistake on that play. It was a tremendous play by the guy on the other side. I was so confident we were going to get it done. Making the call we made was just part of the sequence. We were very confident in the sequence. We had a very clear thought about what was going on. We thought about our personnel who were coming in the game after the first play, when we came up short, with three wide receivers in the game. We had thought about throwing the ball there. That was part of the reason we sent that group in. When they sent their goal-line guys in, I know we have the advantage on the matchups in the passing game.
Carroll wasn’t the only one making a mistake on that final sequence. Bill Belichick seemed to freeze, forgetting about the time running off the clock. But it gets hidden in the history and hysteria of criticism Carroll and the Seahawks are getting, deserving it 100%, for not doing the right thing. It’s not just about being a hindsight potato couch genius. Sometimes things are that simple, even for casual fans.