Because it ended in the game-clinching interception in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks’ decision to throw on the New England one-yard line in the final minute Sunday night will be a part of NFL lore for years to come.
Criticism has fallen on Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for the second-down call resulting in an interception by Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, securing a 28-24 win for New England. And in the immediate aftermath, Carroll showed accountability, taking the blame for the call and explaining time and again to reporters why Seattle was throwing instead of handing off to Marshawn Lynch.
For his part, Bevell has also taken ownership of the call, per John Boyle of the Everett (Wash.) Herald.
However, Bevell also indicated wide receiver Ricardo Lockette — the intended target on the play — could have showed more strength finishing his route. Lockette was knocked off the ball by Butler, who ran through the receiver and made the pick in a spectacular effort.
“We could have done a better job staying strong on the ball,” Bevell said afterwards, according to Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune. (A nod to SBNation.com for finding the News Tribune‘s report.)
The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta also observed Bevell had suggested Lockette needed to be stronger, as did Boyle of the Everett Herald.
The lamenting about the Seahawks’ final offensive play won’t stop anytime soon. While Bevell might be right about Lockette, there’s no escaping that Seattle passed at a curious time — and failed.