Another year and another Super Bowl Sunday has passed as the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in a classic.
Super Bowl XLIX was the fourth Super Bowl championship for New England head coach Bill Belichick, quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots organization. Conversely, it was almost the second championship for Seattle; however, the Seahawks fell one yard short after quarterback Russell Wilson threw an interception that will be remembered for years. Seattle was one yard away from being the first team to repeat as champions since the Patriots did it in the 2003 and 2004 seasons.
Super Bowl XLIX ended as a coronation of Tom Brady possibly being the greatest quarterback of all time, a debatable topic that will go on forever. With his third Super Bowl MVP, Brady showed his greatness in the big moments as he brought his team back from a 24-14 deficit in the fourth quarter. He executed two scoring drives on one of the greatest defenses in history to win. Throwing 37 of 50 for 328 yards for four touchdowns is one of the best performances in Super Bowl history. Instead this game will be known for Seattle’s decision to throw the ball at the goal line.
After the incredible acrobatic catch by Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, it seemed inevitable Seattle would score giving New England déjà vu by losing another Super Bowl in Phoenix Stadium because of an incredible catch.
The question remains as to why Seattle elected to throw the ball at the goal line instead of handing the ball to the best power back in the NFL, Marshawn Lynch. All night, Lynch could not be stopped, averaging 4.3 yards a carry. Yes, the stats show Lynch was one of five scoring from the one-yard line during the season; but when the game is on the line one would think a team would go to their best player. Seattle’s best player did not get the ball.
Hall of Fame head coach Vince Lombardi once told his Packers team, ” If you can’t get a yard you don’t deserve to be a champion.” The Seahawks did not get that yard, as a result they will not be called champions and hoist the trophy that bares Lombardi’s name.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll took credit for the final play call, so did offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and Wilson, who took credit for the pass. After the game, Carroll said that what he saw the Patriots had for a defense wasn’t right for a run play.
Carroll’s thoughts were made clear during his post game press conference.
“It’s not the right personnel for us to run the football. So on second down, we throw the ball really to kind of waste a play,” Carroll said.
Why a head coach has the mindset of wasting a play, down four points, at the goal line, in the Super Bowl does not make sense. With one time out left, one would think a team would run it on second down. If stopped, they could call timeout, pass on third down, and then make the tough call on what to run on fourth down. Yet Carroll is a Super Bowl winning coach, who has coached football longer than many fans have been alive. Carroll knows more than anyone else watching on a screen in their living room.