Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll simultaneously defended and took blame for the goal-line passing play that ended his team’s hopes for a second-consecutive Super Bowl victory. Some of his players blamed him, too.
Cornerback Tharold Simon asked, “How do you throw the ball when you got Marshawn Lynch?”
The Seahawks, with 26 ticks on the clock and a timeout at the ready, decided to pass rather than roll their bowling ball of a running back into the endzone. Patriot nickelback Malcolm Butler, an undrafted free agent, stepped in front of a short slant with 20 seconds left in the game.
“We have a great match up,” Carroll reasoned. “We have an easy chance to throw a touchdown pass.” He called the play “terrific” but acknowledged it just didn’t work.
“I think we all were surprised,” Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin divulged after the game. “We still had a timeout and felt we should take a shot. I don’t know, man. I’m just trying to make up an explanation.”
“We had it,” an ejected and dejected Bruce Irvin explained. “I don’t understand how you don’t give it to the best back in the league on not even the 1-yard line. We were on the half-yard line, and we throw a slant. I don’t know what the offense had going on, what they saw. I don’t understand.”
“We’ve got Marshawn Lynch, one of the best running backs in the league,” Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner reasoned. “Everybody makes their decisions, and unfortunately we didn’t give him the ball.”
The play similarly perplexed New England Patriots players on the field at the time.
“I was definitely shocked,” confessed Pats cornerback Darrelle Revis on the NFL Network, who dubbed the play call a “mistake.” Vince Wilfork admitted, “I was kind of surprised by it.”
Tom Brady conceded that Carroll must have saw a matchup that he liked to call the play. “I love the choice they made,” Brady said on the NFL Network. “I love that choice.”