The Seattle Seahawks came one-yard away from winning the Super Bowl on Sunday, and I am still baffled by the end of the game. After the New England Patriots took a 28-24 lead with 2:06 to go, the Seahawks somehow found themselves with a goal to go situation in the final minute. Russell Wilson connected with Jermaine Kearse on a thoroughly ridiculous catch, and it looked like Tom Brady and the Patriots were going to lose another heart-breaker on a ridiculous catch.
The Seahawks had 1st and goal at the five, and they elected to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch. Beastmode gained four yards to set up 2nd and goal at the 1. I think most everybody assumed they would hand Lynch the ball and finish this thing.
And then that play-call happened.
The Seahawks elected to run a pass play involving Ricardo Lockette, Malcolm Butler made the great break on the ball and picked it off at the goal line, and that was that. The Seahawks had one timeout left, but with only 20 seconds on the clock, two Patriot kneel downs ended it.
After the game, all the talk was about that play-call, with Joe Staley tweeting that the Seahawks OC had cost them a Super Bowl. Pete Carroll fell on the sword for Darrell Bevell, but Bevell did make a good point later. He pointed to the play clock as potentially a reason for passing. There was 26 seconds left on the clock at 2nd and goal, and the Seahawks had one timeout left. Had the pass fallen incomplete, they could have run the ball on 3rd and goal, and if unsuccessful, called timeout and run it again on fourth and goal.
I actually get the strategy given the timeout situation, but the problem was the pass used. Steve Young made a good point after the game. He brought up the 49ers use of fades in their fateful Super Bowl 47 drive. He referenced that at least they were unlikely to be intercepted. It obviously does not make us feel better, but that's the case. For Sunday's game, if you feel you had to pass there, why not run a fade route to 6'5 Chris Matthews? He's a big guy, and was having quite a game. And a fade route is unlikely to be intercepted.
Of course, the counter is that if you can't get the ball in from the one with Lynch on second and third down, then maybe you just weren't supposed to win this year. Personally, I would handed it to Marshawn as many times as I could to close out the game. Odds are pretty high he was going to get into the end zone if given two chances from the one. Instead, the Seahawks are left to wonder what could have been.