Almost immediately after Malcolm Butler intercepted Russell Wilson with less than 30 seconds remaining to secure the Super Bowl win for the New England Patriots, many in and around the NFL crushed the Seahawks’ decision to pass the ball.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll explained after the game that with three downs and just one timeout remaining, they weren’t going to be able to run the ball on all three (potential) plays and they weren’t going to get a better chance to throw the ball than with the defence presented by the Patriots on second down.
There was even some circumstantial evidence that supported the Seahawks’ decision.
For example, Marshawn Lynch, the player most thought should have gotten the ball, ran the ball from the one-yard line five times all season but only scored once. In addition, the NFL had 108 previous passes from the 1-yard line this season and none of them were intercepted.
Tony Dungy, who won a Super Bowl as coach of the Indianapolis Colts and is now an analyst for NBC, was a guest on “The Dan Patrick Show” and disagreed with the play call, saying the Seahawks went down without using their best weapon.
“You kind of understand [Carroll’s] logic,” Dungy told Dan Patrick. “But the way the game had gone, the momentum they have got there, Marshawn just made four yards on the last run, I think you get in, you bring in your big bodies in, you give the ball to Marshawn, and everybody believes he is going to get in there. You just hate to not have a chance to fire your big weapon in that spot. So, as it turns out, I think it was just the wrong call.”
Dungy also agreed that if the Seahawks didn’t want to run the ball, a better option was to throw a safer pass to the outside as opposed to the high-risk pass in the middle of the field.
Of course, nobody is criticising the Seahawks if Butler doesn’t make such an amazing play. But at the same time, the Seahawks had all the advantages with 25 seconds left and they didn’t use them.
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