Pete Carroll explains terrible play call on goal line, takes blame
The Seattle Seahawks made one of the most questionable calls in Super Bowl history and lost what could have been a championship ring as a result.
Seattle had the ball second and goal from the New England 1-yard line down 28-24 in the final minute of Super Bowl XLIX. They had one timeout, meaning they could have run the ball and taken the lead with a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch, one of the most powerful backs in league history, was in their backfield and had just rushed four yards to take the ball down to the one. Everyone was expecting them to run it again, but instead they spread out the formation and decided to pass.
And guess what happened? Undrafted rookie Malcolm Butler jumped the slant route and intercepted the pass to seal the victory for the Pats.
After the game, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll explained the mystifying play call:
“What happened down there, it’s really clear … they went to their goal-line package, we sent in three receivers, and we had plenty of downs and we had a timeout,” Carroll said to NBC after the game. “Really we just didn’t want to run against their goal-line group right there. We were going to sub and do our stuff on third and fourth down. Really clear thought we used our timeout and would have taken those shots and that’s it. We called a play and it’s a miraculous play the kid makes to get in front of that route. It’s a play that really tries to keep him from making that play.
“I told those guys that’s my fault totally. Cuz everybody was just like, ‘why don’t you just run it’? That’s a real good thought. But we had plenty of time to win the game and in our minds we thought we would have done it on third and fourth down. That’s how — we were playing for third and fourth down. Give them no time left and it would have been just right, but it didn’t work out that way.”
Carroll is an incredible coach and right up there with Bill Belichick as one of the best in the league, but that is a moment he will never live down. From the sounds of things, he was more concerned with the next play calls rather than just trying to score right away to take the lead. That was a huge mistake and it cost his team the game.
You can see the entire interview here: