It’s almost 48-hours since the end of Super Bowl XLIX and the so called “stupid call” heard round the world. Just in case you missed it, the Seattle Seahawks, trailing by three points with twenty seconds left, had an opportunity to punch the ball into the end zone from the one-yard line and virtually ensure themselves of a victory.
They have one of the best running backs in the game, Marshawn Lynch, so this was a gimme, a no brainer, the proverbial slam-dunk. But for reasons known only to Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, they decided to throw the ball instead. Sure enough it was intercepted and the New England Patriots were able to run out the clock and hold on to the lead and victory.
The criticism of Carroll’s play choice has been nothing short of cacophonous; many stating it is the worst play call ever. But part of me likes to play the role of devil’s advocate, so let me put this to you: what if the pass wasn’t intercepted? What if the receiver snagged the ball in the end zone and gave the Seahawks a three point lead with only twenty seconds left?
Let me suggest that the same Pete Carroll would have been hailed as a genius. A modern day Vince Lombardi. A ballsy guy. He would have explained that with all the attention being paid to Marshawn Lynch and his running skills, passing the ball was the way to go.
I think the problem was as much one of execution – I don’t think the ball was well thrown – as play selection.