Disbelief at final offensive play call reigned on Seattle sideline


Many Seahawks players didn’t hold their thoughts to themselves in the wake of Sunday’s Super Bowl loss to the Patriots and openly wondered why the team didn’t give the ball to running back Marshawn Lynch when they had second down on the New England 1-yard-line with a little more than 20 seconds to play.

Russell Wilson threw an interception on that play, of course, and the reaction on the sideline wasn’t too different. Paul Burmeister of NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk was on the Seahawks sideline at the fateful moment and told Mike Florio on Monday’s PFT Live that he was standing near two defensive starters who peppered their musings about the Seahawks having “Marshawn Lynch and you don’t run the ball” with four-letter words.

He also recounted watching coach Pete Carroll throw down his headset after the play and what he saw when Wilson came to the sideline.

“I was able to see a lot in that one minute. I went right from watching Pete to looking for Russell Wilson. He conducted himself the way you would expect. Helmet off, didn’t throw it and didn’t swear, just walked right over to Pete. I read the words ‘what happened’ and think he was explaining what happened to Pete Carroll,” Burmeister said.

Burmeister also reported seeing Lynch walk off the field with a grin that he described as “not the kind of grin when something is funny” but one worn when you can’t figure out what’s going on around you. It’s a feeling that plenty of people watching the game are likely familiar with and there’s not much reason to think that it is going to start making much sense anytime soon.

93 responses to “Disbelief at final offensive play call reigned on Seattle sideline

  1. Butler has said that he knew what was coming, because the Pats scout team ran it against them in practice. So, it wasn’t the first time they ran it all year. I have less issue with them running a pass play at that time, then running a pass play over the middle at that time.

  2. Tried to make Russell Wilson into a hero and an elite QB when he isn’t. Didn’t want Lynch to be the hero or the MVP when they are probably going to try to get rid of him this offseason. The decision to throw the ball was much more about politics than anything else… well we know how well politics work in Washington, D.C. and it worked about as well on that final offensive play for Seattle.

  3. The Seahawks had so many breaks this year … so many 50-50 completions … turnovers … trick plays … I think they just got enamored over their own brilliance. Pride comes before the fall.

  4. Maybe it was a cold war tactic. You know, like, we have nukes but we’re not gonna use them… we just wanna hold onto them so you won’t use yours. It’s really a brilliant strategy as long as you are not losing by 4-points in the last 30 seconds of a Superbowl game.

  5. “What happened?”

    You tried to make Wilson the star, instead of giving it the heart and soul of your team. That’s what happened.

    Lynch’s next interview response to any and all questions will be even shorter than usual……”Bye”

  6. Nice reporting Paul….nice, inside view and I bet there were more 4 letter words than you could count!

  7. The play call was fine for second and goal. Two things went wrong: 1) the throw needed to be perfect and it wasn’t, and 2) the Pats DB made a sensational, perfect read and react play on the ball.

    Now if it was 4th and goal that’d be different, but with the down and distance the call itself was fine.

  8. All Pats fans can sympathize with Seattle fans today. We have the Tyree helmet catch and the Manningham dime in our recent history. We came within 1 great play on D to also living with the Kearse curse.

    There are about 150 plays in the game, it is just remarkable how they all added up to that situation at the end of the game.

    And Belichick had them practice that very situation, that very play, so the D was prepared and executed. Just amazing how close we were from today’s elation of Patriots nation to living with the Kearse curse…

  9. In a weird way, it was the perfect ending for the weirdest NFL Season in memory. You just don’t know what to think.

  10. Maybe its just me, but after listening Pete Carroll, it actually made sense to throw that down. Per ESPN, Lynch only scored 1 out 5 attempts on the 1-yard line. If he was stopped, Seattle uses their last timeout. At that point the defense knows you are going to pass the next couple downs.

  11. Sometimes, people try to be too cute.
    I’m a PhD and sometimes the most basic algorithms solve stuff but nope, people want to make it all flashy BS.

  12. The Seahawks made the SB 2 straight years by keeping things simple, then at the most critical moment in those 2 games, somehow that philosophy was abandoned.

  13. Blame shouldn’t fall just on Wilson. There was 10 minutes left in the 4th and still up by 3 and they couldn’t muster a first down to take down some time.

    The FG to start the 3rd quarter. If they scored a TD, the Seahawks are kicking a potential GW FG instead of scrambling for a TD.

    As a Hawks fan, its a bitter pill to swallow, but no guarantee either that Lynch could have scored if they ran the ball.

    It was a good, exciting game from start to finish.

    Way to go Brady! First Ballot HOF for sure.

  14. Look, I don’t agree with the play call either… but there’s too much talk about the play call and not enough acknowledgement that Butler made a great play and Wilson made a throw he shouldn’t have.

  15. The Hawks didn’t need to make Wilson a star… he already is! Besides, he would not have cared about being Super Bowl MVP. He just wanted to win.

    Look, I think if you call THAT pass play in that situation, you make it so that Chris Matthews or even Luke Willson is the intended target. big bodies over the middle are harder to defend against. They only had one timeout and 26 seconds left with the clock running, so a pass play on 2nd down wasn’t killer, the execution of said play was. BUT THAT CALL… absolutely dumb!

  16. If you are going to pass there, you have to run a fade to the back of the end zone. If Bulter doesn’t intercept that, it could get tipped up into the air. They got too cute for their own good. The Seahawks got got caught up on their own hype….

  17. Seattle took too much time waiting for New England to call their timeout which was a reasonable expectation.

    By the time they realized it wasn’t happening they either had to call a run with one timeout left and 20 seconds and be forced to pass on 3rd & 4th down ……

    call their timeout right then and be forced to pass on 2nd, 3rd, 4th. They could have used a down to spike it after a run but to waste a down when you won’t get anymore isn’t worth it.

    It’s Seattle’s fault for not recognizing soon enough, Belichick put them in a bad spot by design or maybe just some dumb luck. Either way its genius and it worked ha.

    If you look at it basically as 2nd & goal from the 1 then yes it was a bad play call but given the situation with the clock and the number of timeouts if they failed, a pass on first down is an acceptable play call, especially since the decision was made under duress.

  18. Pete Carroll tried to outsmart Belichick, but he ended up outsmarting himself, much like Vizzini outsmarted himself against the Dread Pirate Roberts.

    If only Pete had remembered “never trust a sicilian when death is on the line.”

  19. Weird… Lions should have beat Cowboys. Cowboys should have beat packers…packers should have beat Seahawks…Seahawks should have beat patriots….NFL for entertainment purposes…. Got that right!

  20. Some ppl are really dumb around here… Some of you guys really think Pete is thinking about letting Wilson score rather then lynch like its a popularity contest? The play questionable or not was actually a good play.. Rookie undrafted DB that no one ever heard of in a pick play situation I’ll take that 10 out of 10…

  21. Why second guess the call made by the coaching staff who won last years SB and had a chance to win again this year. Feel bad for Carroll, Wilson and Lynch. If the catch is made then we are talking about what a great call that was and winning the chess match against Belichick.

    Stop assigning blame and give praise to a kid who made the best defensive play I have ever seen in a SB. Butler sold out completely and made it happen. Give him credit and give credit to Belichick who is always hammering these guys about situational football.

    Great game by two Outstanding football teams.

  22. The call was fine. But Butler made the play, and Belichick knew it was coming because Carroll wanted to stop the clock but not use a timeout. Thats why Belichick didnt used a time out and let the clock run.

  23. Wilson isn’t a very good passer, get over it..
    Good with the legs.
    Below average with the arm.
    Nothing more to it.

  24. Wilson needed to put that ball in Lockette’s gut, not out in front of him. Obviously got tunnel vision on Lockette and didn’t see the field. Lockette didn’t seem to be going hard on the route either. Horrible call, worse execution.

  25. First they wouldn’t have even been there without that miraculous fluke of a catch.

    That aside, apparently Seattle ran the ball 5 times this season from the 1 yard line and Lynch scored once and got stuffed 4 times.

    I think Carroll outcoached and overthought himself by going for the pass instead of just running it 3 times and most likely scoring.

  26. Pat D was better than the vaunted Legion of Boom. Simple as that. If they could muster a stop anytime in the 4th well than maybe… But the media all week picked the Hawks D to win a championship and crowned them before they actually won it. Heck they crowned themselves until that interception. Yup defense wins championships just not yours this time. What the laugher is that all the fans were screaming all week about the defense, this and that. Now they make excuses for their team because of “injuries”. That’s a way out I guess if you cant deal with the fact that the Pats cut your heart out and then your D was stupid enough to jump offside. I don’t think I would be blaming it all on the offense and the play calling. Just sayin.

  27. 109 passes were thrown from the 1 yard line this season and that was the first interception .

    Lynch had 5 carries from the 1 yard line and only scored once .

    I have no problem with a pass being called . Just don’t throw it in the center of the goal line .

  28. fbfanman

    “Tried to make Russell Wilson into a hero and an elite QB when he isn’t. Didn’t want Lynch to be the hero or the MVP when they are probably going to try to get rid of him this offseason. The decision to throw the ball was much more about politics than anything else”

    Could not agree more, this was all about Seattle brass trying to show the world that Wilson is elite, he is not elite, he is at best above average. If not for two playoff games where his defense bailed him out of some of the worst playoff games a qb has played, saints last year, packers this year, then we would be talking about if Seattle would even want him back.

    Most over rated qb in the game next to Newton, both average qb’s who can run.

  29. If you want to throw on 2nd down, fine. Fake the hand off or roll Wilson out. Give him a run-pass option. Make it easy to throw the ball away. Don’t let him throw a pass he’s not good enough to throw to a receiver who is not good enough to save his bacon.

  30. “Couldn’t have thrown it to a more confident and sure-handed receiver!”

    – Brandon Bostick

  31. I imagine this is going to haunt the Hawks players and coaches for the rest of their lives. If you had just given the ball to Lynch chances are the city of Seattle would be celebrating its second straight super bowl victory and subsequently have the bragging rights of being one of the few franchises to have repeat super bowl wins.

    A very tough pill to swallow, indeed.

  32. Besides the play call I wouldn’t be surprised if some Seahawk players are questioning the coaching and management on something earlier in the season. Two words…Percy Harvin. Once they showed him the door they did opposing defences a big favor. Both the Packers and Pats were able to deal fairly effectively with the 3 pronged offence: Marshawn Lynch running + Russel Wilson running + long passing game when there is one on one coverage. No way would those defences been able to have dealt with Percy Harvin in the mix. Worth at least a touchdown – probably more – in each of those games.

  33. Let’s give some Credit to Butler here. Dude smacked the snot out of Lockett and snatched that ball like a Pit bull. He wanted more.

  34. You can count on a few fingers the amount of things that could go wrong if you run the ball on the 1 yard line..with 30 seconds left in the super bowl…you need a calculator to count the things that could go wrong if you try to pass it.

    should have given it to lynch

  35. We can focus on the horrible call to end the game (which it was) but let’s not ignore the number 1 ranked Legion of Boom defense that squandered a 10-point lead at the beginning of the 4th by giving up 14 points..

  36. So what if Lynch was only 1 of 5 from the 1 yard line this year. Using that kind of logic would have kept Seattle from throwing to Chris Matthews. He hadn’t made a catch all year! From my perspective New England tried to muscle up on Lynch all day and couldn’t stop him. I would have given Lynch a shot.

  37. FIX. Why didn’t NE call timeout with one minute left if Seatt scored all they needed was a field goal to tie with 2 timeouts left the fix was in let the clock run down to 28 seconds Knowing Seatt had M Lynch and Seatt had Timeout left I smell something and I don’t like it one bit . SCRIPTED looks like Wrestling or the NBA .. You can’t logically explain shy nE wouldn’t call timeout to conserve time for their next drive You CANT

  38. Having watched all 49 Super B’s this rates as the biggest brain cramp call of all time!! If I was the G.M. Or owner this would really make me question Pete C’s play calling!!!!!

  39. Let’s not foreget with Six minutes left the NE defender was burned and tripped up the WR who was wide open to make a catch for 25-40 yds and the refs missed it .several people have brought that up as the turning point in the game Seatt went three and out NE scored the go ahead TD with two minutes left ? That call alone cost Seatt the SB terable

  40. I guess maybe not a lot more talk about Bevell getting a Head Coaching position somewhere soon.

  41. I’d take Lynch on all three downs… Belichick told the media at the press conference that he would’ve called a timeout or so.

  42. First of all the pass should have been attempted. If you are going to throw in that situation, Russell should have been under center, faked the handoff to Lynch, then threw a pass. I do feel sorry for Carroll though. The guy won’t be able to even go grocery shopping for a long time.

  43. I understand the reason for passing in that situation, but I will never understand the reason for such a high-risk pass. I also don’t understand why Belichick didn’t call time out after Lynch’s first down run. He takes that T.O. and the Seahawks probably win. Well, I guess after crushing so many others’ dreams over the past 2 seasons (3 if you include the Redskins), it was our turn to get sadfaced. Man, this one hurts. Great game, Pats.

  44. Acting nonchalant no sense of urgency during the last 59 seconds and with Two timeouts Seattle deserve to loose

  45. Gosh, earlier in the game the Seahawks had the ball on the Pats 4 yd line and threw a TD pass . . I don’t recall any of the announcers saying that was a stupid play then . . . . . does anyone recall anyone objecting to the pass play then, even though Lynch was available to run?????

  46. people are surprised that the QB that isn’t very good at throwing the ball, threw an INT when trying to force the ball into coverage?

    people need to stop with the rose colored glasses with Wilson. he is a running QB, he isn’t a good passer. He typically throws to his first read, if he isn’t open right away he runs around and throws the ball downfield to a scrambling WR. all his passes are behind the line of scrimmage or deep balls to one on one coverage. basically they dumb it down for him.

    stop acting like he is joe Montana.

    Quick, think about how many passes Wilson makes after a 5 stop drop in the middle of the field in tight coverage? you cant. its bubble screens and deep throws.

    Wilson is basically RG3 minus the injury bug

  47. rpiotr01 says:

    The play call was fine for second and goal. Two things went wrong: 1) the throw needed to be perfect and it wasn’t, and 2) the Pats DB made a sensational, perfect read and react play on the ball.

    Now if it was 4th and goal that’d be different, but with the down and distance the call itself was fine.


    sorry but thats absurd… it’s 2nd and goal from the 1/2 yard line with < 30 seconds left, 2 TOs and, Beast just got 3.5 yards on first down, and he's been running wild all night..

    you don't run the Beast 3 more times to get 1/2 a yard to win the SUPERBOWL?! throwing a slant was a 'fine' call in that situation? maybe in game 1 of the season, but in the SB, you run Beast 3 times and certainly take home a trophy

    that slant was the most ridiculous call in history and every professional NFLer who has said anything about it has said the same thing. Collingsworth said the strongest condemnation of a play I've ever heard him say.

  48. Wilson had been exposed the last couple of games! He’s NOT a top qb in the league! You’ll start seeing the decline of Wilson

  49. lunchbox92 says:
    Feb 2, 2015 1:58 PM

    Look, I don’t agree with the play call either… but there’s too much talk about the play call and not enough acknowledgement that Butler made a great play and Wilson made a throw he shouldn’t have.

    Best comment right there….

    Butler made a great play! There’s no taking that away. I saw another angle on it today, and Butler was actually taking off to that spot before Wilson even threw it. He knew the ball was going inside on that slant.

    The only other thing, if Wilson would have thrown that behind the receiver. He could have used his body to shield off Butler. He puts the ball right on the body, or behind a bit, and it’s 6…

    I would say it’s was an awesome play by Butler, or a badly thrown ball by Wilson, more than I would be apt to blame the play call.

  50. As a diehard Patriot fan and U of Wisconsin Badger alumni, I was torn a bit in this game. But what a game it was! I am ecstatic that the Patriots won. And supremely proud of how my fellow Badger, Russell Wilson played. Wilson firmly established himself in the Elite class of perhaps 5 NFL QBs. One that is capable of carrying a team and dominating a game on his talents alone. This gift will play out in spades in the 2015 season IMO. As he will become more responsible for Seattle wins than even that vaunted defense. Tom Brady followed the same pattern in his 3rd and 4th years at NE. WIlson is by far the best young QB in the NFL and in his class. Yep! Heads and shoulders over Luck, Griffin, Kaepernick, Tannehill, Newton, Bortles, Bridgewater and all of the rest. I would take him over any of them. And you can even throw both Mannings, Flacco, Rivers and Big ben in that group too. Brees only because of his age. Only Brady and Rodgers exceed or match his clutch potential IMO.

    I congratulate the Seahawks for taking my Patriots to the very outer edge of their legacy. IMO what we witnessed was the end of an old dynasty last night. And the birth of a new one. Wilson and those young Hawks will resist the urge to finger point, fight amongst themselves and disunite. But use that loss as fuel to return to the Super Bowl next year and annihilate some team. And Russell Wilson’s splendid leadership ability will be what holds them together and unite them on a common mission. The Seahawks didn’t blow that game. New England won it. Butler made a gigantic play. So did Browner. So too did Revis (who played huge last night). Just like Seattle beat Green Bay! Great Game!

    So go Patriots! The perfect crown to cap their remarkable run. Brady’s numbers last night were prophetic! 4 TDs with 2 Ints! Matched his unmatched championship record of 4 wins and 2 losses! It was written in the stars to happen like that folks.

  51. If they had scored on that play everyone who is questioning that call now would be calling Carroll a genius. I think it was a fine call, but the NE DB made a great play on the ball and ended up with it.

    The ball could have been thrown better, but then, Lynch could have fumbled on that play if they had went with a run, and then everyone would have been wondering why they didn’t throw.

    I just know that there are a lot of NFL caliber head coaches hanging around this site.

  52. The coaching decisions on both sides in that last minute showed that there WAS a predetermined outcome of this game. I just think the Hawks were supposed to win it on Wilson’s pass, and the rookie free agent defender determined the surprise outcome of the game because he wasn’t informed of his proper “role”.

    The telling quote from Pete Carroll when first interviewed after the game was along the lines of “he just made a catch (or play) that HE WASN’T SUPPOSED TO MAKE”. That was such a weird comment that I rewound and listened to it two more times…who says something like that? Not “great defensive play” or something along those lines….but “a play he wasn’t supposed to make (or a catch he wasn’t supposed to make)”. That line alone is the cherry on top of the season filled with bad calls that changed the outcomes of so many games.

    I think the NFL has fallen so in love with it’s image of being America’s favorite sport that they don’t even bother to handle the fixed outcomes with any plausibility anymore. As long as the TV ratings are sky high, they hope the average viewer doesn’t have the football IQ to see past the obvious.

    Or, perhaps this was Russell Wilson’s big payday? Could have been more than what his new contract promises to be? I don’t put anything past any of these people anymore. I just hope that rookie who won the game for the Pats doesn’t end up on the cover of Madden’s hit list, errr “game” this year.

    And no, I don’t wear a tin foil hat.

  53. Let’s get serious. Lynch had 102 yards rushing, he’d just ran for 4 yards, there’s 26 seconds left, you have one time out. You go big on 2nd down and give it to Lynch. If he doesn’t score, you use your last time out and set up a pass play. But not that pass play, obviously. If that is incomplete, you probably still have more than 10 seconds left to give Lynch the rock one more time.

    What they did makes absolutely no sense. Congrats to the Pats, and shame on our coaches for calling that play.

  54. The call was one thing but Pete also failed to call time out wince he had second down at the one yard line. Somehow the Seahawk sideline lost control and have themselves to blame.

  55. That last play by the Seahawks is the reason my Sundays will be free next football season. Probably will not watch college football either. The fall is great for fishing in the Pacific NW!

  56. The Seahawks will compete for many years to come with that defense. Wilson is only going to get better, and was mostly impressed with what I saw last night. The Green Bay game was an aberration.

    Brady is clearly the better quarterback, but I’d take Wilson over any of the other quality running QB’s in the game.

  57. Yes, it’s inherent if having a conspiracy theory that you’re not educated and can’t spell – good catch.

  58. Anybody who questions Russell Wilson’s accuracy is an absolute moron. He is the next Tom Brady already and will win atleast two more rings. He might have the prettiest deep ball I’ve ever seen. Enough with your overreaction calling him a bad passer. How do you think Seattle even won the superbowl last year? Wilson.

  59. Falcon’s missed Super Bowl one one last play against SFO ….hey it happens
    Then we hit the cap and lost a lot of our players….. It was not the play but the execution that happened . Football is a game of surprise and while this was not a great call Sea is still a great team….get over it….if you start trying to kill your heAd coach your going to kill your chances to be great next year

  60. bevell is responsible for this stupid play call he has done other stupid play calls in other crucial situations like the NFc championship game in 2009

  61. Its sad when you would rather lose the SB than give Marshawn MVP because you don’t like the way he is with the press. They deserved to lose if that’s the case.

  62. No matter what Pete says about the game situation, you’ll never convince me that the play call wasn’t about giving Russell Wilson the glory of the winning TD in the SB. Oops…

  63. Seahawks shouldn’t have been in that game anyway. They were only in it because of GB’s ineptness.

  64. Greatest defensive play in Super Bowl history, maybe in NFL history. Can anyone name a better one?

    The kid was coached up, knew what was coming, made the jump, blasted the receiver out of the way and was not going to be denied.

  65. Carroll did basically the same thing at USC. do you guys remember when Carroll pulled reggie bush against Texas? same result, maybe Carroll is trying to prove something to himself.

  66. They didn’t want Marshawn to score the winning touchdown, and their pass selection was poor: choose one that allows you to throw an incompletion out of the back of the end zone if necessary. The last thing Seattle management wanted was an enigmatic front-man for the franchise with the label ‘The Man Who Scored the Winning Touchdown’. As a Patriots fan, I certainly hope Mr. Skittles DOESN’T wake up and make his way to Indianapolis. Colts would be near unbeatable in the AFC with him and Luck.

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