Was it a great defensive play or a lousy offensive call?
If you’re fighting a big battle and have a Sherman tank in your possession, would you try to foil the enemy by using a Daisy B-B gun?
That seems to be the thought process used by the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX when they had the New England Patriots on the ropes with 40 seconds left in the game and Seattle behind 28-24.
But the Seahawks had a second down at the New England one yard line and big Marshawn Lynch in the backfield just raring to plow into the end zone to give his team the lead and a probable 31-28 victory.
When New England head coach Bill Belichick saw Lynch trot off to the right flank, he knew immediately the Seahawks would be passing like they often do on goal-line situations, and didn’t call the time out he would have called if Lynch remained in his tailback position.
Instead, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a slant pass over the middle intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette that was picked off in the end zone by rookie Patriots defensive back Malcolm Butler to give the pleasantly-surprised Patriots the football and the Super Bowl victory.
What resulted was the worst play in Super Bowl history called by Seattle’s offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell that prevented Seahawks’ head coach Pete Carroll from becoming the only coach in history to win two Super Bowls and two national titles in college football.
The Seattle loss also cost the Seahawks from becoming the first team to win back-to-back Super Bowls in 10 years and deprived Wilson the honor of replacing Brady as the youngest quarterback to win two Super Bowls.
New England under Belichick and with Brady at quarterback has won four Super Bowls by three, three, three and four points. The Pats also have lost by three and four points and should have lost Sunday by three points. Overall, the Pats have won four of the eight Super Bowls in which they have participated.
I don’t think the Patriots could have stopped Lynch from scoring that one-yard touchdown even if Belichick cheated and put 22 defensive players on the field in those last 40 seconds.
The Lynch touchdown was inevitable and Belichick’s game plan was to conserve as much of those remaining 40 seconds as possible and use Brady’s magic plus the Patriots’ remaining time outs to try for a tying field goal before time ran out.
Carroll nobly saved his offensive coordinator from being thrown under the bus and blamed for the loss (like he should have been) and claimed that he wanted to “waste” a pass play and use up all four downs and the rest of the time to score that elusive winning touchdown. But an incomplete pass would have stopped the clock and helped the Patriots in that situation!!
Even though the final score didn’t suit the Seattle Seahawks players or fans, the game had to be one of the most exciting finishes in Super Bowl history, especially the last two minutes of the first half.
The Seahawks responded both times that New England scored touchdowns in the first half with six-pointers of their own.
However their second touchdown looked to be a short field goal try with six seconds left and the Seahawks on the New England 11 yard line. But Carroll changed his mind and went for the touchdown.
Wilson took a quick drop and threw to his left for Chris Matthews, who made a leaping catch at the goal line for the tying score.
Matthews, if you recall, recovered that onside kick in the comeback win over the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago. He was working at The Foot Locker when the Seahawks called him for a tryout and signed him in February.
Seattle got the football to start the second half and marched downfield but had to settle for a Steven Hauschka 27-yard field goal to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game, 17-14.
After the ensuing kickoff, Brady threw his second interception of the game, this one picked off by Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner at midfield.
Wilson went to work and on the sixth play hit wide-open tight end Doug Baldwin in the back of the end zone to up the Seahawks’ lead to 24-14.
This is where Brady earned his Most Valuable Player Award by leading his team two a pair of fourth-period touchdowns and the 28-24 score that went down in the history books.
Brady tied his childhood idol Joe Montana by being voted MVP for the third time. And Belichick tied former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll as the only coaches to win four Super Bowls.
The best (and perhaps luckiest) play in Super Bowl history occurred in the final minute when Seattle receiver Jermaine Kearse and Butler went up for Wilson’s pass down the right sideline, and with Kearse on his back the football bounced off his leg and then his knee and onto his stomach where he controlled it for the catch.
That sensational catch set up the worst play call in Super Bowl history.
KWICKIES…The Seattle Seahawks played well despite having three members of their defensive backfield nursing aggravating injuries—Orange’s Earl Thomas with a separated shoulder, Richard Sherman with a bad elbow and Kam Chancellor with a leg injury. But it was the injured arm cornerback Jeremy Lane suffered after intercepting Tom Brady on the goal line in the first period that really came back to haunt the Seahawks. Lane’s replacement, Tharold Simon got burned for three New England touchdowns—to Brandon LaFell, Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman—that doomed Seattle Sunday. It was learned Monday that Sherman will have Tommy John surgery on his injured arm.
With Sunday’s Super Bowl victory, the New England Patriots join the Green Bay Packers and New York Giants with four, while the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers have won five Super Bowls and the Pittsburgh Steelers lead the way with six Super Bowls.
Johnny Manziel supposedly has checked himself into a rehab treatment facility to work on areas he needs to improve, like being a normal pro football player who learns his playbook and then remembers how to effectively use what he has learned.
A couple of players in Sunday’s Super Bowl who become free agents their respective teams hope to re-sign are Seattle cornerback Byron Maxwell who had to change positions when Jeremy Lane was injured and New England free safety Devin McCourty, who has been with the Pats the last five seasons.
A report on ESPN Monday afternoon stated that the NFL plans to investigate the Atlanta Falcons about “artificial crowd noise”.
JUST BETWEEN US…Seattle’s stunning loss in Super Bowl XLIX Sunday night personally cost me some big bucks because I participated in a big football pot and had Seattle l and New England 8 which would have happened if the Seahawks scored that touchdown like millions of fans thought they would and make the final score Seattle 31, New England 28. So Seahawks’ offensive coordinator Darrell Brevell owes me!!!