Cliff Avril: Seahawks started questioning Pete Carroll after Super Bowl interception

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Did one play call derail a potential Seahawks dynasty?

It may have, according to former Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril, who says that the team began to doubt coach Pete Carroll and his staff after losing Super Bowl XLIX.

Avril said on Dave Dameshek’s podcast that “a lot of guys got turned off” to Carroll when the Super Bowl ended with Russell Wilson throwing a game-losing interception to New England’s Malcolm Butler, rather than the Seahawks calling a handoff to Marshawn Lynch, which Seattle players thought would have given them a game-winning touchdown. Avril said that if the Seahawks had won that Super Bowl, which would have been their second in a row, they probably would have won another one after that, too, because the team would have been more united.

“If we win that Super Bowl I think we would have won another one,” Avril said. “I do think the team would have bought in more to what Coach Carroll was saying, instead of going the opposite way.”

As it turned out, the Seahawks began to decline amid reports that key players were increasingly not on the same page. After losing that Super Bowl after the 2014 season, the Seahawks lost in the divisional round of the playoffs in 2015 and 2016, then failed to make the playoffs in 2017. Avril attributes that decline directly to seeing players start to wonder whether Carroll’s coaching was still effective.

“Guys started kind of questioning him more instead of following his lead if we had won the Super Bowl,” Avril said.

This offseason the Seahawks have parted ways with several older veterans, perhaps in the hopes that they can move on from the players who were no longer buying in to Carroll’s way of doing things.

116 responses to “Cliff Avril: Seahawks started questioning Pete Carroll after Super Bowl interception

  1. The Seahawks’ players execute that play and win the Super Bowl … is how it should read. Players and fans tend to hook onto their “coulda, woulda, shoulda” schtick and blame ONE play for the Seahawks’ loss. Again…there is no guarantee that a running play to their crazy running back would have yielded any different result, unless, guys like Avril have fully functional crystal balls. All I saw was a play NOT executed by players … not Pete Carroll … who is something of a pain anyway.

    Blaming the play call is dumb. Packers fans have been second guessing Mike Holmgren’s decision to allow Denver to score in the waning minutes of Super Bowl 32 forever. I, on the other hand, can find 4 plays during that game that had more to determined the outcome of that game than the last few minutes.

    Guys like Avril (who was a heckuva of a player) need to turn that accusing finger inward. Seattle fans need to feel lousy about their teams’ missed opportunities but also need to shut up about it. Karma’s been pretty good to that team over the last decade.

    Pete Carroll and the Seattle O.C. (though a dork and average coach) did NOT lose that Super Bowl. The players did.

    Incidentally, as is Super Bowl 32, the Broncos got paid to play too as did the Patriots. Seattle, like Green Bay in 32, GOT BEAT AND OUTPLAYED. The other team gets paid to play too.

  2. ESPN will do a 30 for 30 on that play some day and how it disbanded a potential dynasty. “What if I told you that one play could change a team forever. In Seattle it did.”

  3. Ironic that Belichick’s benching Malcolm Butler against the Eagles may end up having the same effect on the New England Patriots.

  4. If this is true, what idiots. But it’s hard to believe on any level that a team would have won “two more Superbowls” if one play would have been different.

  5. Sure, if only the players were happy they would have won the next SB. And the next and the next. Blaming Pete for that one SB loss is OK. Blaming him for you not not having a dynasty of SB wins makes you sound like a baby.

  6. They are just sour to be cut and not on the team anymore. They didn’t say anything after that. Before Carroll came along they were a crappy team. They should be thankful rather than whiny. NFL has become very soft.

  7. So the moment adversity hit they turned on one another? Sounds like a Pete Carroll team to me.

  8. If Cliff Avril thinks that every decision made by a coach is always going to be 100% right, he and his teammates who tuned on the staff will have a hard life once they are out of football. Your coaches made the best decision they thought to win the game. You stand by them. I doubt Carroll and the staff wanted to lose the game on purpose. What happened to winning as a team; losing as a team? In life you don’t always make the right decisions 100% of the time, here’s hoping Cliff Avril makes all the right choices from here on out.

  9. On the other hand the Patriots did have the line stacked in front of Lynch because they were looking for that. That play call did fool 10 of 11 defenders. IMHO they give the ball to Lynch and he gets stopped these same critics would be ripping Carrol for making such an obvious play call that the defense could so easily know it was coming like that. What I also know is that had Butler not made that one play and they gotten the TD all these same experts would have been waxing on about how brilliantly Carrol outfoxed the Patriots.

  10. So they make the playoffs the following 2 seasons yet the players questioned whether Carroll’s methods are effective. Give me a break. Go see how effective Hue Jackson’s methods are Cliff.

  11. It was a perfectly acceptable play call. They had plenty of time left in the event of an incomplete pass to just run it in on a play afterwards, and with pretty much everyone watching expecting a run, catching the opposing team out by throwing a sly slant pass with a distraction elsewhere is a pretty commonly accepted, understood and accepted strategy that you’d see like a dozen times a season without anyone batting an eye, especially when you have downs and time left if you don’t make it. The playcalling wasn’t the problem. The problem was #83, Ricardo Lockette, putting in a poor effort on the play and great plays from first Brandon Browner, who bumped him hard at the line of scrimmage and disrupted his timing and then, after Lockette seemed open, from Butler in jumping the route.

    The play call was a legitimate choice that gets a bad rep from armchair coaches who think they can do better, and doesn’t give nearly enough credit/blame to the three guys who actually deserve it.

  12. Yeah a split locker room and questioning the coach are always solid game strategies to win games.

  13. I bet on NE that game, and sat there thinking I doomed…then almost came out of my chair in disbelief !

  14. It’s kind of ironic that the guy who caused the Seahawks to lose with that interception is the same guy who was benched and many people think caused the Patriots to lose in the last Super Bowl.

  15. If that one decision caused any player to not give 100% to preparing and competing, then I hope they have been identified and are no longer on the roster.

  16. Wait, he gets them to SB’s in a row and one play makes them question his abilities? Says more about the players then Carroll.

    Oh, and since then, since they started questioning him, how has the team done? Have they gone back to the SB?

  17. The decision by Carroll to pass and not give the ball to Lynch, who the Patriots had not been able to contain all game, has to be the dumbest ever in Super Bowl history! Therefore, it is understandable for the subsequent loss of confidence for Carroll that then developed.

  18. So only players can make mistakes, not the head coach.
    From Afar I think they had too many egos on defense who weren’t team players and had their own agenda. Apparently “lift a brother up” only applies to the D, not the offense.

  19. Their was nothing wrong with the pass on the goal line,it’s time for people to understand and accept that Malcolm Butler made a great play.
    Had it worked Carroll would have been considered a genius for calling the unexpected.
    Marshawn Lynch was continually getting stopped on goal line short situations the entire season. That play is still stuck in the heads of this organization and fans and likely will be so forever.

  20. Since the average age of a Seahawks fan is 15, I doubt most of them remember their 1 year dynasty from 5 seasons ago.

  21. That’s such a myopic view, you would expect a player to know a bit more about situational football. Because of time/timeouts remaining they HAD to throw it at least once. Lynch didn’t have much success all season long from the one. The Pats put in a big goaline D, which made them vulnerable to a pass. Brandon Browner was on the Seahawks the year before and recognized the play and told Butler how to handle it- Butler made the play, but no Browner no Butler.

    By throwing on that down it would have given Lynch TWO cracks at it instead of one. The real arguement was the type of throwing play they called.

    Did Averil forget that they were only in a position to win was due to a freak play? If he/they didn’t allow Brady to shred that great D (and it was great) in the fourth quarter we wouldn’t be having this conversation- that’s (partially) on him not Carrol

    The Seahawks were a great team at that point, but even a diehard ‘Hawks fan must see that them sort of coming apart was inevitable and in the teams DNA with all of those big personality, outspoken players.

  22. And again we see the media chasing the ultimate Monday Morning Quarterbacking play of the millennium. And what would we be discussing had they handed the ball off to Lynch three times and he fumbled on third down?

  23. There is a reason why players play and coaches coach. How successful do you really think a team would be if a vote amongst players was taken each time a crucial play had to be called?

  24. Your comment is awaiting moderation. says:
    May 26, 2018 at 6:38 am
    Lynch is hard as hell to bring down, but who knows what would have happened. My money was on marshawn dragging 2-3 DLinemen in the enzone!!!
    But the reason Carroll tried to mix it up on the Pats (with a play so obvious Pats D had practiced it) was that Hightower had totally stuffed Lynch’s previous effort. You’d have lost that money.

  25. So the the best defense in football that could not hold on to a ten point lead with less than a quarter remaining had less to do with them losing the Super Bowl than Pete Carrolls playcall?

    I am sorry but the reason the the Seahawks lost that Super Bowl was the Defense of which Mr. Avril was a part. Citing the playcall as the reason they did not win more Super Bowl is the real reason they did not win more Super Bowls: Mental Weakness.

    Two years later someone showed them how to win with almost no offense. Not only did the Denver defense account for most of the points directly and indirectly, they also did what Avril and his buddies could not, hold on to a lead in the Superbowl(and Brady in the AFC Championship).

    Go find a mirror Avril if you want someone to blame.

  26. The play call lost the team.. LOL. Why would you want a player that only performs well when he agrees with the coach. The rest of the time he isn’t all in? For that matter, the rest of the team isnt all in? LOSERS! I’m not a Seahawk fan but I actually like them. I can see why they are dumping these guys. I would want all of them gone.

  27. Only reason it was even close was because of all the Seahawk injuries. Sherman had 1 good arm, Chancellor a torn MCL, Thomas a separated shoulder and Lane and Avril were out for the 4th quarter. No pass rush and weak coverage. The LOB was a shell of itself.

  28. Ya, you know what was shocking to me, they are in the SAME division as the 49ers and had already seen them make the EXACT SAME MISTAKE. Jaw-droppingly bone-headed and inept, beyond belief.

  29. Sounds like a out grapes from Avril after being cut..

    Yes, the decision to pass it there was very questionable, and it cost them the gsame, but who said it was Carroll’s call? The OC has to be obmn the hook for that one, as well as Wilson who should have thrown that ball much lower than he did.

    Lastly, saying they likely would have won a 3rd SB had they won their 2nd is a huge stretch. A lot of Seattle players likely would have left after that for more money, and the chemistry of the team would have been different, not to mention how difficult it is to win one SB, let alone 3 in a row.

    Like l said, sour grapes is in effect here….

  30. Maybe Cliff and the gang should have tried to stop Brady from shredding them for 14 unanswered points in the 4th quarter

  31. Darrell Bevell should have been fired on the spot when he made that horrible slant pass call on the goal line in the Super Bowl. That was idiotic. You don’t make that call in that situation. It cost Seattle big time, and the results are still being felt.

  32. Your comment is awaiting moderation. says:
    May 26, 2018 at 6:38 am
    Lynch is hard as hell to bring down, but who knows what would have happened. My money was on marshawn dragging 2-3 DLinemen in the enzone!!!


    Literally the play before, he was taken down by a single linebacker.

  33. Physically strong and mentally weak. It was the right call under the game circumstances at the time, it was just the wrong result. Wilson throws that ball away and they have time for 2 more cracks at the end zone. Run there and get stuffed and they need to burn the timeout and only get one more shot. Lynch was 1 for 5 that season on 1st & goal and the Pats were the second best goal line D in football that year.

  34. justadude71 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 9:51 am
    So the the best defense in football that could not hold on to a ten point lead with less than a quarter remaining had less to do with them losing the Super Bowl than Pete Carrolls playcall?

    I am sorry but the reason the the Seahawks lost that Super Bowl was the Defense of which Mr. Avril was a part.

    Seahawks D was playing with multiple injuries, including Avril, who had to leave the game just before the team started to give up that lead. The loss was anything but his fault.

  35. Good god, give it up already. It was all R. Wilson’s fault. 2nd down with only 1 time out left. You throw the ball first an under no circumstances you throw an interception. Rookie like mistake. Incomplete pass and you have 2 more downs with one time out. If you would have run the mall and not made it, you would have use your last time out. Options after that would be to either run again. If you don’t make it game over. It’s called time management.

    If Wilson threw an incompletion, you would still have 2 plays to run it in. Repeat after me: YOU COULD NOT RUN IT 3 TIMES.

  36. How do we come up with this narrative that Marshawn Lynch was running amok the whole game and the Patriots couldn’t stop him???

    He averaged a 4.2 yards per carry the whole game, which was less than his 4.7 average he had that year. He may or MAY NOT have scored against the Patriots stacked line, but we will never know will we….

  37. Prime Marshawn Lynch was an outstanding RB who was entertaining as hell to watch. Weird thing about him was that I recall his short yardage conversion rate that season to be surprisingly low. There were real reasons to make the call to throw. Butler’s read on the play was out of this world. He deserves more credit than Carroll should get blamed.

  38. Seattle should not even be in that Super Bowl. It got extremely lucky in the NFC CG against Green Bay, making some miracle catches and recovering an onside kick. The Butler did indeed end the Seattle dynasty, but the SeaDorks were already on the decline because of their continued leaching of talent after “winning” the Defensive Holding Gate Bowl.

    They lost Golden Tate, Sydney Rice, Percy Harvin and Zach Miller after Defensive Holding Gate Bowl. The pass that was intercepted was thrown to Ricardo Lockette, a backup receiver. It may have worked if they had these other receivers from the previous season. Besides these players on offense, they also lost a lot of defensive players, including Walter Thurmond, Red Bryant, Chris Clemons, Clinton McDonald and Tony McDaniels. To make things worse, they traded away their pro bowl center for Jimmy Graham and his big contract, making their salary cap situation even worse. The loss of talent continues every year, to this date. It is no surprise that they missed the playoffs last season, as their entire O line and D line starters for Defensive Holding Gate Bowl are gone. If is a surprise that they had a chance to go to the playoffs last season, with so little talent left. Things will be different this season. They will be lucky if they have an 8-8 record.

  39. Pretty telling sign youve got a bad group of guys if they can’t get over a play three years old, and the fact that they won the super bowl the year before.

  40. Does everyone forget that Seattle still had a timeout to use? That’s the one thing no one has ever said: if Lynch gets stuffed, they can just call a timeout and then pass the ball. It’s basic football 101.

  41. Everyone wants to beat up on Pete The Cheat, but the numbers don’t lie – Marshawn Lynch was less than stellar in GL situations throughout his career and simply abysmal that particular season. Obviously, with the benefit of hindsight, it looks like a bad call. But, I have to give Carroll credit here. The easy thing to do would be to give him the ball. If Lynch were stuffed at the goal line, or lost yardage, (like he’s done on 60% of his career GL carries) no one would have criticized the decision. But in playing the numbers game, he made a choice that he knew he would be barbecued for if things went sideways (like they did).

  42. I’m not so sure about a dynasty. And we can’t overlook the fact that the Seahawks defense fell apart in the 4th quarter.

    BUT, that particular pass play was the single dumbest play call in the history of the Superbowl. A different pass play might have worked. Fake the handoff to Lynch, then roll Wilson out and let him do something with his legs.

    Instead, you have the shortest QB in the league throw over the middle in a crowded goal-line situation to a sub-par receiver who was not know for using his body to box out defenders, nor was he known for fighting for the ball. The fact that Carroll and Bevell still to this day won’t admit it was a mistake is one of the main reasons Bevell never landed a head coaching job.

  43. They were a more takented team but had the misfortune of playing the greatest coach and qb of all time. Same as falcons and rams. Panthers and eagles 04 probably weren’t quite as talented, but eagles 18 were, obviously.

  44. I have literally thought about this play each day since that Super Bowl, replaying it in my mind.

    Yesterday, Today, the day before Yesterday, the day before that, and Tomorrow, the day after Tomorrow-

    It Never Ends.

    It is a living Hell, frankly.

    Bevell: 20% of the blame. Bevell called the play based on his play chart and situational football, but Bevell is professionally paid to include context (in this case, a 2nd consecutive Super Bowl victory is one short yard away), rather than simply deferring to a lifeless spreadsheet.I mean, a fetching slant pass into the middle of the line??? Really? This is not game 3 of the Regular Season vs Chicago.

    Carroll: 40% of the blame. Bevell called the play thru the headset. Carroll could have stopped it; Carroll let it go thru. Carroll is ultimately responsible.

    Wilson: 30% of the blame. Wilson was our last chance to prevent disaster. Bevell called the play, Carroll let it go thru, and now we are at Wilson. Wilson could have and should have audibled out– as he did on the game winner two weeks prior– or simply gone schoolyard and said “fetch this, I’m handing the ball to Marshawn.” The NFL network picked him up on tape earlier in the game saying to Bevell: “I want you to go to me at the goal line.” Wilson was locked into a QB mindset of throwing TD passes, rather than a mindset of simply winning the fetching game. Frankly, Wilson was not thinking clearly as the clock ticked down and victory was one short yard away.

    Which brings us to…

    Lynch: 10% of the blame. Some of this I am convinced is on Lynch– he could have and should have shot a look at Wilson in the huddle like “this play is going to me or else” that would have let Wilson know in his gut that Beast Mode was not playing around. Why did Lynch not do this? The goal line is fetching one yard away; why did Lynch passively accept the play call?

  45. Look, i’m from Pittsburgh and Mike Tomlin leads the NFL in boneheaded stupid decision making play calls, sometimes upwards to 5-6 a game; whether against Winning teams or losing teams, big games, unimportant games, it doesn’t matter. I honestly don’t know if the players gave up on Tomlin, or they collecting a check or they believe just enough, but I do sincerely believe that any number of bad decisions by your head coach can get under the grill of the players. How can it not? I mean all fans can do is throw popcorn at the screen or scream into a sofa cushion until the hair falls out, but I can’t imagine being a player in that situation. Pete Carroll did screw up, it was probably one of the most disappointing super bowl losses I’d ever seen given how close Seattle came to pulling off a Patriots upset. However, I would really appreciate you all doing the same on Mike Tomlin. They guy has had such a stellar roster since he took over as head coach, and no matter what the circumstance, he blows it. Because either the team looks unprepared or similar to a jv high school foot ball team, or Tomlin steps up to the plate only to drop it at the most crucial moments, and everyone loves the guy. At this point, players should cut Carroll some slack because we got it way worse in Pittsburgh and everyone seems jaded by ol’ Mike. If it weren’t for Ben Mike would have been kicked out years ago

  46. Carroll has always been predictable in his play calling on critical plays. He ran that same play in others games in similar situations that year and Patriots had practiced against it and were ready for it. In USC National Champ game against UT on a 4th and 1 to ice the game he called a play to White that every player on UT defense knew was coming to the point that the safety said he did not even carry out his assignment on the play he just went for White because he knew he would get the ball. Not to mention that on the play in question Reggie Bush ( the college Reggie Bush who was great) was on the bench watching. Carroll is a defensive coach. Terrible play caller on offense.

  47. With Pete, it was ONE potentially bad play call. With BB, it was a WHOLE GAME gone bad due to 1 POOR ‘coaching decision’ that could have been rectified at any point. Yet Bill just watched it continue to happen. His defense being beat over and over, and more often than not it was Butlers replacements getting torched. If he had come to his senses at halftime, the Pats could possibly have walked away with a win. Benching Butler was a much bigger blunder than the one poor call by Pete.

  48. phillyphever says:
    May 26, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Does everyone forget that Seattle still had a timeout to use? That’s the one thing no one has ever said: if Lynch gets stuffed, they can just call a timeout and then pass the ball. It’s basic football 101.

    The problem with that scenario is Lynch was not good all year facing Goal Line D packages which the Pats put in. If he gets stuffed, the Pats know 100% that the next play will be a pass. A lot transpired between the Kearse catch and Butlers interception, much of it subtle mistakes on Seattle’s part and definitely Not so 101.

    Most every Head Coach would have thrown it in that situation- the difference is they would have called for a Fade or would have rolled Wilson out. Also- lets not take away from Browner and Butler who made a spectacular play.

    As an aside which never gets talked about is post interception Seattle had a real chance to get a safety on Brady if they were a little more disciplined D. A safety there gives the the ball back to Seattle with 1 timeout and they could have won with just a field Goal. At the very least they would have had a chance at a Hail Mary.

    Again, not really 101 stuff.

  49. It is intetesting how the aging players at the end of their careers all of a sudden become experts.

    Re: hhe super bowl play, any seahawk fan will tell you Marshawn was terrible at goal line all year…the real culprit on yhe play was jerome kearse who have asses it and was caught watching the play vs getting between malcomb butler and the line

  50. marvin1958 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 6:56 am

    Did you know that the Packers decision in SB32 was due in large part to their loss to the Colts that season. In a similar situation the Colts ran down the clock and kicked a chip shot FG to win.

    As a Denver fan I can tell you giving Farve 90 seconds was scary as heck. The truth is no one should second guess that choice as it was the Packers best chance.

    SourGrapes says:
    May 26, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Fair enough regarding the injury to Avril(even if he is the one throwing the blame). However that defense talked the talk beyond the point of excess. That part is objectively quantifiable. When it came time to walk the walk, they simply did not do it. Sadly, they then started throwing blame to this day.

  51. I understand what Pete was trying to do, out-Jedi the other coach who is a Jedi himself. But it backfired terribly, and that one play will probably highlight his coaching career. One-year dynasty as a result and what a waste

  52. In Seahawks history, it will be seen as a turning point. Marshawn got them to the one-yard line and almost scored. He deserved to be the one to punch it in, especially since the Patriots defensive line was the team weak link that year.
    Pete Carroll wants to be known as a run-first coach. Pete Carroll is always too cute in moments like that. Thank god he finally took a RB in the first round of the draft this year.

  53. Russell Wilson made a poor choice on the throw. You can’t blame the coaches for that.

    The Patriots have a very legit reason to question Belichick after the last Super Bowl. Benching your best CB, who had played almost all the defensive snaps in the regular season, for entire Super Bowl was beyond comprehension. Nothing has come to light about the situation that shows Butler should have been benched at all.

  54. There was nothing wrong w the call – for all the reasons posters above have noted. It’s always easy, in hindsight, to criticize something that didn’t work, esp when you can point to an unknowable and say that would’ve worked. I’m a hawks fan, and don’t fault it at all. It was much more an incredibly good play by Butler, than a terrible call by the Hawks.

    What has become pretty impossible to deny, and it’s still kind of hard for me to believe, is that the play was such a turning point in the fortunes of the franchise. I knew right when it happened how big it was – b/c winning back-to-back SB’s makes your team kind of historic – but I didn’t foresee, w what seemed like such a young team, that it would be the start of a downward trendline.

    Team didn’t immediately fall apart – made the playoffs the next 3 years – but that one play did have a crazily outsized impact. Can’t think of another one in football history quite like it.

  55. tedbundysson says:
    May 26, 2018 at 12:49 pm
    Carroll has always been predictable in his play calling on critical plays. He ran that same play in others games in similar situations that year and Patriots had practiced against it and were ready for it. In USC National Champ game against UT on a 4th and 1 to ice the game he called a play to White that every player on UT defense knew was coming to the point that the safety said he did not even carry out his assignment on the play he just went for White because he knew he would get the ball. Not to mention that on the play in question Reggie Bush ( the college Reggie Bush who was great) was on the bench watching. Carroll is a defensive coach. Terrible play caller on offense.
    They only ran that play 4 times all season. Butler just made the play of a lifetime.

  56. Pats were able to defend the play because they were prepared for it. Because it was statistically the best call for Seattle even if NE expected it and they assumed Carroll would make the best call. BB is on record as saying he would have made the same call.

    That being said…with all due respect to the the Pats being prepared and Butler executing the play…the interception resulted mostly because Lockette put in lackluster poor effort on a SB deciding play. That is utterly unacceptable and an incomprehensible failure.

    Wanna play somebody? There’s where your blame should be directed.

    And after nearly winning b2b Super Bowls, any Seahawks player who quit on Carroll after that is a damn fool who should be playing for Hue Jackson or Marvin Lewis or Ben McAdoo instead.

  57. The look on Pete’s face when Wilson threw that pick is something I will never forget. That and most of the Seahawks fans who post here deserved that guy wrenching loss. I feel sorry for most of the players, but that’s about it.

  58. It’s weird that Butler may have been directly involved with the ultimate downfall of both the Seahawks and the Patriots. When the Belichick era is over in New England, I suspect that his bizarre Super Bowl benching of Butler will be widely considered the beginning of the end.

  59. Also, the defense was hamstrung in that superbowl. Chancellor played on one leg with a torn MCL. Thomas played with one arm because of a torn rotator cuff. Sherman played with one arm because of a torn ligament. Lane broke his arm intercepting Brady in the first quarter. Avril left the game with a concussion. So Brady’s “great 4th quarter comeback” wasn’t so great when you consider Bennett was the only pass rusher and everyone but Maxwell was hurt in the secondary. And even then Seattle could have won it. It’s akin to the 18-0 Patriots losing to the Giants really. One of the greatest teams to not win a SB.

  60. I definitely believe what Avril is saying. If you throw, it has to be the fade to the back of the end zone, where only your guy can make the catch or it falls incomplete, out of the field of play. Even the back-shoulder is safer than throwing a slant in the MIDDLE of the field!!! Just dumb and Carroll & co have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

  61. I never saw Carroll as an NFL coach. The success of the Seahawks is from the front office and player acquisition. They hit it big for about five consecutive years in the draft. They had a stinkload of cheap talent which has since aged and in decline. Any mediocre coach could have been successful with that roster.

  62. They should have run a play action rollout with the tight end leaking into the flat and a wide out crossing in the endzone. That way, their highly mobile QB with the best pump fake in the league could have a chance to either hit the tight end or the WR depending on the coverage, or run it himself if they were both blanketed.

    But a slant? One of the most predictable plays ever? And to Ricardo Lockette, a talented but not very big receiver who played mostly special teams?

    Running it with Lynch would have been my second choice to a play action pass, but a slant would be very low on my list of options. That’s a quick play that you call in a panic. The defense was in a goal line formation, you had plenty of time. If you’re going to pass, and you don’t want to run play action, why not try a fade? That way your QB can put the ball out of bounds or make it unreachable if the WR cannot get to it. I would have run the ball anyway-it was second down with more than 20 seconds left. You had time, and if you didn’t get it, you still had an extra down to clock it and think about a fourth down play. I’m not a coach, obviously, but there’s no way that call made sense to me.

    I’m seeing people here blame the players, saying that we can’t blame the coach. Here’s the deal-players lose games, but coaches do too. It’s a TEAM effort. In this case, blame falls largely on the coaches for losing that play-and it happened to be the biggest play of the game.

  63. bigal1952 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 7:15 am
    Ironic that Belichick’s benching Malcolm Butler against the Eagles may end up having the same effect on the New England Patriots.


    I doubt this very much. The AFC is very weak, compared to the NFC. The Patriots have an easier path to the SB than Seattle. Take last year for example, despite all the drama mentioned in the Wickersham article between BB, Brady, Garappolo and Mr. Kraft, the Patriots still managed to reach the SB. Once you get to the SB anything can happen. This team was a Brady’s fumble away from perhaps the sixth SB despite all the drama. Unless there is a challenger in the AFC, the Butler effect will not be significant.

  64. I’d put the best 3 teams in the ‘weak’ AFC, NE, Jax and Pitts against ANY team in the NFC.

  65. tedmurph says:
    May 26, 2018 at 5:12 pm
    I’d put the best 3 teams in the ‘weak’ AFC, NE, Jax and Pitts against ANY team in the NFC


    All would lose against,

  66. flviking says:
    May 26, 2018 at 5:21 pm
    tedmurph says:
    May 26, 2018 at 5:12 pm
    I’d put the best 3 teams in the ‘weak’ AFC, NE, Jax and Pitts against ANY team in the NFC


    All would lose against,


    Well the Pats pummeled the Saints last season so you are wrong as usual. As for the Vikings…..please child…..they frighten nobody.

  67. The Pats would be favored over all NFC teams at a neutral site, with the possible exception of Philly.

  68. From that one play, the chances of Seattle becoming a ‘dynasty’ evaporated. Pete Carroll, known for developing a run-first, power running identity, had the chance in that second Super Bowl to put an exclamation point at the end of an identity statement. Yet he did not use Lynch in the critical moment. Lynch, who consistently and actually realized that power running identity for Pete Carroll, had damned near scored on the previous play. With one timeout left, Seattle should have given it to “the man” to finish the job. He deserved it.

    The players saw what Pete chose to do in that moment and were absolutely stunned. A pass to Ricardo Lockett?
    I’m with Peter King on this: “Worst call in Super Bowl history.”

  69. Nah, they derailed because they were morons with big egos.

    There’s no guarantee Lynch would of scored. None, whatsoever.

    It’s easy for them to look back and blame someone who wasn’t on the field. Was it the wrong call, sure. But that doesn’t mean they would of scored, or they would of won another Superbowl had they simply run the ball.

    It’s just big egos looking back and blaming others for their mistakes and pretending their egos wouldn’t of gotten in the way.

    It would of, because it did even with 1 Superbowl, let alone if there was 2.

  70. One thing is for sure. Wilson handled that loss with dignity and class. Unlike a certain Carolina QB.

  71. So the Seahawks locker room wilted like a bunch of picked daisies after a heartbreaking SuperBowl loss? What does it say about the mental toughness of those Bills teams in the 90s? They lost to the NY Giants on a missed FG, yet came back to play in the next 3 SuperBowls.

  72. Did they question him about whether jet fuel can melt steel beams? Pete knows things, man. Dude knows things.

  73. The Patriots prepared for that play all week in practice. Belichick told his,team they would see it. And on the final play, they did. The only difference is Butler didn’t screw it up like he did in practice all week.

  74. The Patriots were riddled with injuries throughout the season and did not have their best defenders, their best WR, and their first round draft pick.

  75. Pats fan here.

    After seeing what the Hawks did to Denver in the previous SB I was glad the Pats lost in the AFC finals. Denver’s D in that game was the best I ever saw, including the 1985 Bears, and I saw them dominating the game for at least 2 more years.

    Fortunately they disintegrated to an extent the next year, like the 1986 Bears, and by the SB they were eminently beatable, which the Pats did.

    But not without some help from Carroll. That was the worst callI I’ve ever seen. Carroll owned up to it and Wilson took the defeat with class, but it is what it is.

    Now they’re falling apart. I’m not surprised.

  76. Bill has pulled a Pete, he’s losing the locker room fast. Tom and Rob aren’t showing up for practice, Bill has to acquire players in trades because they won’t willingly sign any more..

  77. 1historian says:

    Pats fan here.

    But not without some help from Carroll. That was the worst call I’ve ever seen. Carroll owned up to it and Wilson took the defeat with class, but it is what it is.
    Carroll did not call that play. Derell Bevell did. Carroll is just covering for him.

    Now they’re falling apart. I’m not surprised.

    If you consider 6 straight winning seasons, 5 playoff appearances, 2 Super Bowls multiple division titles and 1 Lombardi “falling apart” I guess.

  78. Coulda, shoulda, woulda.
    Engage in that exercise long enough and you can “justify” why the Browns should have won three Super Bowls… ( Well, if you have a REALLY long time…)

  79. People do not understand why Petey called a pass play instead of a run in that situation. In fact, you can credit Tom Brady for that call, even though he was sitting on the bench. To prevent Brady from making a last minute come back (indeed Brady almost pulled off a last second comeback against the Eagles in the last SB), Seattle was using as much time as possible driving down field. By the time they ran that last play, there was so little time left that they could not have run the ball, knowing that they may not get another play off if they didn’t score. Seattle should have trusted its defense, and gave itself more time to try to score. Perhaps you can blame Petey for not trusting his defense, but the pass play was the right call in that situation, although the execution was bad.

  80. onthewarpath28 says:
    May 26, 2018 at 7:22 am
    Who killed the LOB? The Butler did it.


    Who killed the LOB?
    The Butler did it, in the end-zone, with a pick!

    You’ve got to get ALL of the clues in there!

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