Count Seahawks outside linebacker Bruce Irvin among those wondering why Seattle elected to pass instead of run with just one yard needed for the go-ahead, final-minute touchdown in Sunday’s Super Bowl loss to New England.
After the Seahawks’ defeat, Irvin wondered why Seattle didn’t just hand off to tailback Marshawn Lynch.
“We had it. I don’t understand how you don’t give it to the best back in the league on not even the one-yard line,” Irvin said, according to an interview transcript furnished by the NFL. “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.”
Irvin also explained why he got involved in the altercation that led to his ejection in the final seconds.
“I was protecting a teammate. Emotions flew,” Irvin said. “I saw somebody hit [defensive end] Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high, and I apologize. But if it happened again, I would go protect my teammate. That’s just how it is.”
Irvin’s fight came at the end of a draining defeat in pro football’s signature game, and his comments came after that loss, when players are required to meet with media. Viewed through that lens, there is perhaps some context for those events.
It also might be prudent to cut the Seahawks a little slack for the play call ending in the interception. Players and coaches have to make so many snap decisions within games; sometimes, they work, and sometimes, they fail. This one didn’t happen to work, and it occurred when all of the chips were in the middle of the table.
That said, the Patriots worked under the same constraints in Super Bowl XLIX, and time and again, they made the right choices — and never more than when cornerback Malcolm Butler ran through wide receiver Ricardo Lockette to make the game-securing interception. Tested by stress, the Patriots did not break, and it was all the difference in how the final minute of a most memorable Super Bowl will be viewed now and in the history books.