By Matt Budkofsky
After Jermaine Kearse hauled in one of the best catches in Super Bowl history, Marshawn Lynch took the ball down to the 1 yard line and the Seahawks appeared to be on the verge of a 2nd consecutive Super Bowl Championship. But then the unthinkable happened. Russell Wilson threw the ball. Any sports fan in America could have made the call to give the ball to Lynch, let him run it in, and win the game. Any sports fan except Pete Carroll. As we all know now, Malcolm Butler went on to pick off Russell Wilson’s pass and seal the deal for the Patriot’s 4th Super Bowl victory of the century. So why didn’t Lynch get the ball? Let’s take a look:
1) Pete Carroll’s Post Game Explanation
After the game, Pete Carroll was obviously asked about why he chose the play he did. Carroll explained that the Patriots had their goal line unit on the field, so he opted to try and spread his guys out and waste a play to get to 3rd and 4th down. I’m actually okay with that. What I’m not okay with is running a play that is very simple, and very risky. If you want to throw the ball, throw a fade to 6’5” Chris Matthews. Put the ball in a place where only he can catch it, rather than throwing the ball over the middle of the field where a lot could go wrong. I credit Malcolm Butler for diagnosing the play and coming up with the interception, but this wasn’t an incredibly complicated play call. This isn’t even the first time a play like this has been under national scrutiny. http://www.cbssports.com/collegefootball/eye-on-college-football/24758285/penalty-negates-golson-td-pass-in-notre-dames-loss-to-florida-state I respect Carroll’s thought process, but in a situation like this you have to be much more conservative with the ball.
2) Lynch isn’t Money in These Situations
Believe it or not, the Seahawks have had 5 other goal-to-go situations from the 1-yard line where they handed it off to Lynch. You know how many times Beast Mode found the end zone? Once. Lynch was 1/5 (20%) in that exact situation this season. Look I’m not stupid, I understand Lynch is the most bruising running back in the game and I know it can take all 11 defenders to bring him down. But 20% isn’t the highest percentage for a back, and say Lynch does get stuffed now the Seahawks are out of timeouts with 2 plays left. I don’t know though, the Patriots were allowing more than 80% of their opponents to convert with their goal line D on the field. Even if you don’t want to give it to Lynch, let Russell Wilson run the zone read or ANYTHING ELSE. I had my sister asking me why the Seahawks were so stupid; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know to give Beast Mode the ball.
3) Malcolm Who?
Rewind to Jermaine Kearse’s juggling miracle catch. Now raise your hand if you had ever heard of Malcolm Butler before. If you’re raising your hand you can put it down because you’re only lying to yourself. If I told Russell Wilson before the game that he would have the opportunity to throw the winning touchdown on a 5th string undrafted rookie, he would be licking his chops. Wilson is typically one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the league, with a career 63.4% completion percentage. If Wilson puts that ball 2 more inches to the right, that ball is not intercepted and we would be praising him for being so clutch. This play just speaks volumes towards how well prepared everyone on the Patriot’s roster is. Credit Butler for being able to put so much together in his head and capitalize on his opportunity, but if I’m Russell Wilson I would have no problem going after Malcolm Butler rather than Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner.
4) The Conspiracy Theory
This one is a little more interesting for all of you who like to go to extremes. More and more people are starting to believe that Carroll wanted Wilson to be the one to make the game winning play, rather than Marshawn Lynch. It is no secret Seattle is growing tired of Lynch’s antics, but still, would Carroll really risk his job for his personal frustration with Lynch. Realistically, whoever ends up scoring that last touchdown is awarded Super Bowl MVP, and could you imagine Marshawn Lynch telling Erin Andrews, “I’m is all about that action boss”? If Lynch got his 2nd touchdown of the night, as well as Super Bowl MVP, the Seahawks are put in a tough situation about what to do with his contract in the future. Why wouldn’t they just let the humble Wilson take the torch from Tom Brady and become a demigod in Seattle? Oh yeah, right.
5) Pete Carroll is a MORON
I can’t even wrap my mind around the fact that the Seahawks lost this game. You have 3 plays to move the ball 3 feet, 1 timeout and MARSHAWN LYNCH. I don’t know what made Pete Carroll go with that play call, but if I were Russell Wilson in that situation, I would be cracking up like it was a joke of a play. This was probably one of the worst calls in any sport, ever. It was literally this easy: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10153043930093756
I really have no defense for Pete Carroll. Obviously it is easy for me to sit here and look back and tell him he was wrong, but if you have half of a brain Marshawn Lynch gets that ball and scores. Even if it takes him 2 tries. Or even 3. You’re guess is as good as mine here, because I really don’t know what went through Carroll’s head, but the man really might be fired or demoted after this one.
With all of this being said, the Super Bowl was one of the best games we have seen this season. It was back and forth the whole way and featured the biggest 4th quarter comeback in Super Bowl history. I just think as good as the Patriots were, the wrong team won this one. The Patriots did not win this game, rather the Seahawks lost it.