Pete Carroll takes blame, Seahawks question play-call

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll did what he had to do, even if it wasn’t necessarily the truth.

Carroll took the blame for the disastrous game-losing decision to pass at the goal line, which cost his team a chance to win the Super Bowl. Instead, quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception to Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, giving away a chance to win the game with 20 seconds left.

Carroll said after the game that since they had three receivers on the field, he didn’t want to take the chance to run it against the Patriots’ goal-line defense.

And that’s fine, and reasonable, except for a few things, namely, the timeout in their pocket and the Marshawn Lynch in the backfield.

Carroll was likely just jumping on the grenade for offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, though he insisted it was on him.

But the questioning of the play-calling from within was immediate.

Cornerback Tharold Simon summed it up succinctly, saying: “How do you throw the ball when you got Marshawn Lynch?,” via Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.

That’s a question that will haunt Carroll, Wilson, Bevell and Seahawks fans for years.

130 responses to “Pete Carroll takes blame, Seahawks question play-call

  1. He should fire himself, that was a terrible call.
    Way to go Pete keep chewing the gum, because you lost that game for your team.

  2. Reposting this comment from deadspin:

    Give Seattle credit. As the defending champion heel, they tried to get DQ’d at the end and keep the title belt. Ric Flair would be proud

  3. Did anyone notice the center bob his head for the patriots TWICE on the goal line when Seattle was called for encroachment?

  4. According to fan logic: Pete Carol is bad because of final call. Bill B is a cheater. McCarthy is a choker. Garrett’s staff wins him games etc etc. It’s amazing how not one NFL coach is serviceable to all of these Monday Morning Quarterbacks.

  5. We got within 1 yard of the win. If the pass had been complete, people probably would have thought Bevell was a genius. The ‘Hawks had a great season–firs team to go to back-to-back Super Bowls in 10 years. We didn’t win this one, but you can’t win them all. I salute the ‘Hawks on a great season. And congratulations to New England.

  6. After reading all articles leading up to Superbowl I’ve come to the conclusion the world would be a better place without sports reporters

  7. .
    play action, lynch…
    they do it every time and it works…
    why throw into the middle of the defense??
    there is no possible answer as to why…
    EXCEPT to try a brady play…

  8. Simon should be asking how he gets torched by Edelman on the same route he burned him on ten minutes earlier.

  9. The best thing about this SB was that one of these teams had to lose.LOL AT THE PED SHEHAWKS AND THEIR SLOW FANBASE.That choke might have been worse then the cheeseheads.

  10. That was a great game!
    Two great teams going down to the wire.
    The win would’ve been nice.

  11. Not to be extreme, but not crazy to think he gets fired. How could any player trust him again? He robbed his own team of a Super Bowl. Rip to bevells career also.

  12. Bevell is still Bevell. As a Vikings OC he would on a regular bases avoid not run on 3rd and 1 when you had a guy better than Lynch in the backfield and throw a 30 pass downfield sometimes it worked often the team punted.

  13. Wow, bevell is fired or a ton of Hawk fans riot. If Pats stop us twice with big 2-4 them at least they earn the win there, OC gave it away trying to be fancy. Dude is a bust.
    Go Hawks!

  14. That’s the Pete Carroll I remember from my days as a hapless ’90s Patriots fan. Before #BradyCentury.

  15. Stuff happens. Just like the catch that got the Seahawks all the way to the area. It’s easy to second guess many things that went down on the field.

  16. You win some and you lose some and that’s just life. There will always be the woulda coulda shoulda, but NE made a play and Seattle didn’t. As a fan, it hurts like hell but the Hawks made it to the dance (unlike 30 other teams fans who are likely talking smack) and fell short. Props to New England and there is no doubt in my mind that Seattle will come back bigger, faster, and stronger by using this loss as an additional chip on their already chipped up shoulders.

  17. If you could be guaranteed 2 Superbowl trips in 2 years you’d take it, even if you lost.
    Wilson was great, Brady was great, the game was great.

  18. The beautiful thing is the cheaters didn’t win but rather the chokers choked…. Shame pats fans have to know their team had to cheat to get to the game…. Forever tainted!

  19. That call had Bevell’s name written all over it.

    He thought he would come off as a genius fooling New England who thought he would just run Marshawn in on all three chances they had remaining.

    Can’t believe he told him to throw a slant in the middle from the one yard line. Reminds me of Favre against the Saints. Unreal.

  20. It was a great game. Vegas had Pats at 7-1 to win it all in April. Seattle shouldn’t hang their heads…… Just ask Buffalo and Minnesota you have to be good just to get there. Anyone want to suggest next years teams in SB 50….

  21. Wilson was exposed for what he is. A below average passer with no ability to go through progressions. He locks into his first receiver and throws to that target or runs. Those poor passing and decision making skills cost them the game tonight and when they have to pay him starting next year it will cost them their future, since the team won’t be able to pay for the talent they have put in place to compensate for those deficiencies.

  22. In 50 years of watching NFL football and knowing what was going on, it was the worst call that I’ve ever seen. Second down. 30 seconds left. Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, one timeout left in the back pocket, ball on the 1-yard-line. It’s like JFK’s assassination: I can’t wrap my mind around it.

  23. that’s they type of play that not only will lose you the biggest game but the confidence of your entire team. i don’t think beast mode will want to come back to seattle when they don’t feed him when it is an assured superbowl winning touchdown.

  24. floratiotime says: Feb 1, 2015 10:55 PM

    Nice of Pete to cover for Wilson’s epic choke job

    Wilson didn’t call the play.

    He also outplayed Brady, genius.

    Go sober up.

  25. No dynasty. The 12th bag will now abandon ship. Like Ron Wolf said after the Packers failed to go back to back….”now your just a fart in the wind”

  26. Worst call ever – not only with Lynch in the backfield for THREE MORE RUNS from 18 inches out – but Wilson could’ve run too – unbelievable.

  27. I always thought the dumbest call by a coach was the miracle at the meadowlands(merely a regular season game with no playoff implications.Pete Carroll will forever be known as the fool of SB49.

  28. Mike McCarthy just let out a huge sigh of relief. “Man…I thought I’d hear about ‘dumb play calling in a championship game’ all off-season. Whew…that was close.”

  29. What gift? That db made a great play when your coaching staff made the call to throw it. If anything Seattle got a gift on that fluke catch.

  30. The best thing about this SB was that one of these teams had to lose.LOL AT THE PED SHEHAWKS AND THEIR SLOW FANBASE.That choke might have been worse then the cheeseheads.


    A Minnesota fan commenting on the shortcomings of other teams. I guess when your team is used to being done after 16 games that they wouldn`t have the opportunity to choke anything away.

  31. Pete Carroll taking a bullet for someone else. Gotta respect that but dude that had Bevell’s fingerprints all over it. Saints vs Vikings anybody?

  32. hdahs143 says:
    Feb 1, 2015 11:13 PM

    Wilson didn’t call the play.

    He also outplayed Brady, genius.

    How could the guy who choked the game away outplay the guy who led the 4th Quarter comeback? Good to see the 1-2th man are still as delusional as ever!

  33. Wilson could have checked off on the stupid play call and he could also called time out to talk it over.But instead made the biggest choke throw in the biggest game of the year.All the football Gods are laughing now.Oh and now Brady is the best of all time because a third year QB makes a terrible throw.Give me a break.Montana never threw a pick in the Super Bowl.Brady throws 2 in one game.Best of all time?Yah right……

  34. its about execution. if russell completes the pass or runs it in himself , people are saying it was a good play. russell didn’t execute and made poor decision. thats not coaches fault thats russell’s fault. the coach didn’t throw the interception , russell ” overrated” ” tim tebow clone” wilson threw the interception.

  35. A once in a lifetime play for butler, awesome effort, bad play call oh well. thanks pete, never cease to amaze. go pats
    re-pete? more like same-pete

  36. That is a great play by Butler on a man who wasn’t even his after Browner got rubbed. Hindsight is 20/20, of course, we all know the Pats knew Seattle was running and had 8 in the box on 5. I get playing it safe, but let’s not act like no coach ever throws the ball on second and goal after the RB gets stopped on 1st and goal in this position. The fact it didn’t work in the Super Bowl makes it seem worse and less common than it really is.

    In reality, the difference between the success of run vs. pass is actually virtually the same in this situation, and a pass is called 30% of the time, which based on success rates, is lower than it should be. Why is assumed that the run would have scored? Everyone expected the run, wouldn’t that mean the Pats should be expected to stop a play they are overloading?

    And let’s not forget the fact that if it wasn’t for a miracle catch 2 plays before, the Seahawks aren’t even close to this chance.

  37. Marshawn Lynch scores he clearly would had been the MVP. You think Goodell would want that? I would had love to hear what 24 would had said on the podium.

  38. Five times this season Lynch took a handoff at the opponent’s one-yard line . . . and scored only once. The play call wasn’t as bad as people are making it out to be.

    Simon should keep quiet. The Patriots victimized him all game long. He shouldn’t be pointing a finger at anyone except the guy in the mirror.

    Richard Sherman took the right approach in his comments and needs to reel his teammates (Wagner, Simon, et al.) back in. Tough–really tough–means not making excuses or looking for scapegoats.

  39. Just an unbelievably stupid decision by the Seahawks coaching staff. Finally someone steps up to take the Goat Trophy away from our very own John Kasay after his shank in XXVIII. Kasay salutes you Bevell.

  40. An absolutely amazing catch for the Seahawks I was in awe. But someone messed up big time and cost the game plus wasting an amazing catch and everything before that stupid play. Nice try Seahawks and great job patriots even though I hate your cheating team

  41. Wilson is good–Brady was better. I look forward to seeing Wilson throughout his career.

    To whoever thinks the Legion of Whatever is the ’85 Bears: you can calm down now.

  42. So you attack a goal line defense by throwing the ball to where the whole defense is concentrated? Bad all the way around. Bad Call by the OC, bad decision by HC to sign off on it, and worst decision by Wilson to throw into such tight coverage when you had 2 more downs available. Brady had no problems throwing the ball away when his play isn’t there.. And though I’m not a Pats fan or Brady fan, the way he has won Super Bowls without the benefit of a top notch receiver has to put him in the conversation for best of all time.

  43. I watch the game in a bar in Northern Virginia. Of the 70 at half time and 40 or so at the end of the game there was only one (me) dedicated Seahawk fan and two Patriot fans. The rest were mostly Redskins or Cowboys fans with a smattering of Bills, Dolphins, Packers, Giants and Steeler folks.

    Outside of the three of us that had dogs in the hunt, most favored one team or the other based on AFC or NFC affinity, dislike of one or the other teams, coaches or certain player, or really didn’t care. All just wanted a good SB game. (I was in the same seat last year when there was only me and two Seahawk supporters left in the place for the fourth quarter.)

    We all got a great SB game. No one there could understand that play call. Even the Pat’s fans thought it would be a Lynch or Turbin run or a Wilson scramble.

    It was not a blow out that so many on both sides predicted; it was a great Super Bowl that came down to one all but final key play. Even though my team lost, I had a great time with a bunch of football fans. Congratulations to the Patriots.

  44. The Seahawks are also questioning why the game-ending interception wasn’t called a touchdown catch.

  45. At least you would expect a fake to Lynch and then a pass but nooo. Worst call in nfl history. He cost his team a super bowl amazing stupid. Lynch would have just pounded it in. I am speechless

  46. I’m a Seahawk fan and maybe I’m just tired and disappointed, but perhaps we should get down on our hands and knees and beg Mike Holmgren to come back…

  47. You have a qb that can run. How about a fake to Lynch and a bootleg no, lets do a shotgun and try to force the ball. That play calling was doomed from the start. How stupid

  48. If on the other hand the play had succeeded they would have scored and we would be hearing endless praising of Carroll regarding his “great ability to think outside the box” and take chances that pay off. Right? Yeah, you know I am right.

    Look, anyone who believes Bush was behind the 911 attacks should not be expected to make sensible decisions when the most important game of the season is on the line. Yes, Carroll is a truther, and a “man” who believes in the 911 conspiracies (even though we have solid evidence, real evidence, physical stuff and dead terrorists) cannot be trusted to make sensible plays for the most important plays of his life.

    How does a half-man, half-woman human like Carroll make it to the NFL and succeed? Well, by the hard work of people who came before him and by his caching staff, that’s how. It was these “others” who put the system together and recruited the best talent available to them. Carroll really had little involvement in those processes, and he ran away from an investigation at UCLA which would have effectively ended his career

    Folks, Carroll does not belong in the NFL. He MUST LEAVE post haste.

  49. So they offer Lynch an extension and then try to have a 5-9 QB throw it to a nobody WR with the entire front 7 in the way. No doubt the worst play call of all time..Its was 2nd down. A time out and 3 shots with Lynch they win. No one and I say no one would have called that play, other than who ever did. That will haunt everyone of those guys for ever and long after were all gone it will still be questioned as to why on earth they did that. Historic no doubt about it.

  50. I thought NE had it. looked away and then Seattle was at the goal line. Why the hell did Pete call a pass play on 2nd and goal?

    I don’t care for either team but I hate the Seattle trolls so I’m glad the Patriots won. Now the Seattle trolls can go the way of the Saints.

  51. What if they ran it and there was a fumble? I guess thats the coach’s fault not the player who made the mistake. Maybe it was a bad call, but Wilson threw the pick.

  52. So… how much did that little interception cost Russ in his contract negotiations. And… how good can he be when he and Lynch get their new and improved paycheques. Can’t wait to see how well the ‘hawks manage their cap.

  53. Why is it that Wilson throws that INT that loses the Super Bowl and nobody is giving him any blame? It all goes straight to the play call, but if any other QB had made that same throw he would be getting torched in the media for it.

    If Wilson is truly among the NFL’s elite QBs like some people want to believe he is, he should have never made that throw. He could have thrown it away, looked for another pass option, tried to run, or just changed out of bad play call before the snap. If he is in that elite group of QBs he should have full control at the line and be able to change the plays as needed like everyone else who is in the elite QB group does.

  54. If Bevell should be fired for calling the play (like some of you think he should), does that mean Seattle should get rid of Russell Wilson too? After all, what’s stopping him from calling an audible, using the final TO, or even doing something like keeping the ball himself? Roughly 20 seconds left in the game, one time out left, and on the goal line. Is it more important to keep the play intact and not risk any hurt feelings or change the play and put the team in a better position to win?

  55. This was ALL ABOUT Pete’s big EGO. He wanted to win the game with a spectacular play so he and his team would be remembered for the next 50 years. Sorry Pete, didn’t turn out that way.

  56. Nice of Pete Carroll to paraphrase the Mike Smith “I take full responsibility” tag line after a call like that. This is far worse than going for it on 4th and 1 from your own 28-yard-line in overtime.

    Wilson/Bevell: If you were going to throw it to somebody, at least throw a fade to the 6’5″ Matthews whom anyone not named Brandon Browner had trouble covering the whole game.

    Congratulations, Patriots…no matter what happens from here on out, Belichick and Brady are in rare air. Simon can kiss a starting job goodbye, and Bevell will never be a head coach. Too bad the Seahawks are losing the wrong coordinator, IMO.

  57. Regardless of the wisdom of calling a “pass” play with one remaining time-out, there can be no good argument excusing the decision to throw the ball directly into the “teeth” of the goal like defense. It would make good common sense to attack the goal line defense where they are NOT concentrated. Going directly up the middle with either a run or a pass seems ill advised and stupid. A “fake” handoff up the middle, with a play-action run/pass option toward either side would have been my call.

    I admire Pete Carroll for taking the bullet on this one. Ultimately, Russell Wilson and his poor execution lost this SB game for the Seahawks.

  58. spainforlife says:
    Feb 2, 2015 12:55 AM
    I’m a Seahawk fan and maybe I’m just tired and disappointed, but perhaps we should get down on our hands and knees and beg Mike Holmgren to come back…

    Your tired and disappointed. They were stacking the box so I get the idea of the call but Russ has to make the correct read and be aware in a stacked box jumping routes is typical. It was a risky call and in the end a major major mistake that they will live with far after thier gone. Super Bowls live in history, think of all of them. Norwood misses the kick for the Bills, Dyson comes up short, Montana’s drive against the Bengals, They simply never go away. I will say this, the Pats have had a few , 18-0 then loosing in the SB to a wild card Giants team. Only thing you can do is get back and win it but even then its always what could have been.

  59. Out of 53 guys on the roster, Simon is the one who should be the quietest. After his terrible play, he shouldn’t do anything to call attention to himself.

  60. I love how Pete basically says in the interview that if you don’t agree with his play call, it’s because YOU don’t know situational football. Hmm. So let me get this straight:

    1. You put your fate in the hands of a qb who was 12-22
    2. You have a rb that basically is the most reliable player you have (by far) and you still have a 1 timeout. AND HE ONLY NEEDS ONE YARD TO WIN THE GAME

    Clearly I don’t know football.

  61. If Pete Carroll wanted to pass the ball, the less risky play is a pass outside. If you throw inside, then you risk a tipped ball at the line or a deflection off of the WR’s hands. Too many bad things can happen. Just run the ball, like how Bradshaw did when the Giants beat the Patriots in the Superbowl.

  62. The football gods giveth:

    The ball miraculously lands in Kearse’s lap after Butler’s reflection.

    Two plays later the Seahawks attempt at deception fulfills Butler’s premonition that he would get the opportunity to make a play.

    Truly deflation turns into elation at its finest.

    Super Bowl lived up to its hype. ‘Bout time!

  63. Little did Butler know his “play” would go down in the history books as an epic game SEALER! Sweet victory for Pat fans!

    But the Seahawks have nothing, NOTHING to hang their heads about. They did everything right. They probably should have won the game but we will never KNOW FOR SURE now, will we?

    Carroll’s willingness to make a gutsy call looked pretty dang good at the end of the first half. At the end of the game…not so much.

  64. Following the obvious befuddlement of the Seahawks in snatching defeat away from the Pats, and Pete Carroll’s post game comments, the NFL needs to immediately expand the scope of their cognitive impairment investigation.

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