Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll may take his time returning to Washington State after Sunday’s devastating Super Bowl loss. Carroll’s controversial call to throw rather than run the ball at the one yard line with a mere 26 seconds left in the game has left many fans and critics angry and baffled.
The toss from quarterback Russell Wilson to wide receiver Ricardo Lockette resulted in a Patriots’ interception by undrafted rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler, sealing the Patriots victory and causing Carroll to go from hero to goat in a matter of seconds.
Even Carroll’s own players were in disbelief that the head coach would choose to throw the ball rather than turn to the league’s leading running back, Marshawn Lynch. Seahawks cornerback Tharold Simon, still reeling from the epic failed call after the game, called out Carroll on his questionable choice.
“How do you throw the ball when you’ve got Marshawn Lynch? People were screaming and hollering, ‘Why not run the ball?’ and stuff like that. When you’ve got Beast Mode, why not run the ball three times down there?”
Pete Carroll is known for his risky play call style, and in fact, it was that type of bravery which helped the Seahawks secure a win in the NFC Championship against Green Bay. This time around, however, that gutsiness didn’t pay off, and sneaky Pete is the first to admit it:
“I told those guys, ‘That’s my fault, totally.’ But we had plenty of time to win the game… we were playing for third and fourth down, give them no time left… but didn’t work out that way,” Carroll stated in the NBC post game coverage.
Marshawn Lynch, the powerful player many felt should’ve been given the opportunity to run the ball, was kind in his response to the controversial play call by Carroll stating, “Football is a team sport.”
Seahawks fans, nicknamed the “12s” because their record breaking noise at Century Field causes opponents to feel as though they are fighting an extra player, undoubtedly feel like the “team” was let down by Carroll.
One analyst, however, suggested Pete Carroll’s call was the right one that just happened to go the wrong way.
Matt Bonesteel with the Washington Post presented some compelling data regarding Lynch’s overall record of success at converting to points from the one yard line that would indicate Carroll’s decision was the more logical one. According to the Bonesteel’s analysis, in the five times Lynch was given the ball at the one yard line this season, he was only able to convert it to points on one occasion.
So perhaps while many are still sitting around today shaking their heads and mumbling about the Seahawks’ inability to pull off the win, Pete Carroll is more confident in his call that went wrong than he was in the Lynch’s ability to score.
Did Pete Carroll drop the ball on this one? Let us know what you think!
[Photo courtesy of Seattle Pi]