Decision to pass leaves Seahawks befuddled

Josh Katzenstein
The Detroit News


Glendale, Ariz. — The decision could haunt the Seahawks and coach Pete Carroll for the rest of his life.

With 26 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX, Seattle had the ball at the New England 1, but instead of running it with power back Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks called a pass. And Russell Wilson's quick pass attempt to Ricardo Lockette was intercepted by Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler, sealing a 28-24 win for New England.

Carroll took the blame for the decision after the game, but it was among the hottest topic in the postgame interview room. And multiple Seahawks didn't agree with the call.

"I thought we were going to win the game, and then when they threw the ball and they picked it off, I was just like, how do you throw the ball when you got Marshawn Lynch to run the ball?" cornerback Tharold Simon said.

"We got Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the league," linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "And everybody makes their decisions, and unfortunately we didn't give him the ball."

"We had it," linebacker Bruce Irvin said. "I don't understand how you don't give it to the best back in the league on not even the 1-yard line. We were on the half-yard line, and we throw a slant. I don't know what the offense had going on, what they saw. I just don't understand."

Cornerback Richard Sherman didn't play the blame game, though, saying one play didn't decide the game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady also said a number of different plays could've determined the outcome of what was one of the most closely-contested Super Bowls.

Carroll said it was his decision to pass the ball on second-and-goal, a play that followed a 4-yard run by Lynch, who finished with 24 carries for 102 yards and a touchdown. He said the plan was to pass on second down and run on third and fourth.

Instead, when Wilson looked for Lockette over the middle, Butler stepped in front and made the play.

"In retrospect, we could have easily run it, and we wouldn't be talking about this. We might have got stuffed on third and fourth down," Carroll said. "I don't know. This is what happened."

While the Seahawks are left second-guessing, some Patriots were pleased with the decision, though others expressed confidence that the defense would make a stop either way.

"I'm happy they did (throw) because we were able to make a play on it," wide receiver Julian Edelman said.

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