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It was 2nd and goal from the 1 with 26 seconds at the snap. SEA had 1 timeout. If SEA runs the ball on 2nd down and fails to score, that means they must call their final timeout to save time for 3rd and 4th down. And that means they must pass on 3rd down for there to be time for a 4th down.

Passing on 2nd down allows SEA the option of running on 3rd down if necessary, and forces the NE defense to respect both options on all potential remaining downs.

Lynch is a beast, no doubt. He was born for that moment. And he would make a great decoy on 2nd down. It was simply an excellent play by NE’s Malcolm Butler, and it was the one outcome that could backfire on SEA’s decision to pass.

The play call itself, I can't account for that. Perhaps it was a go-to play that they felt confident about.

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  • Guest - Jonathan

    Running the ball on 2nd down would have meant either passing on third down (defeating the purpose of the whole GIVE IT TO BEAST MODE YOU GUYZZZ strategy) or snapping the ball about 15 seconds earlier to give yourself time to RUN BEAST MODE, GOYZ WE HAVE BEAST MODE on every down.

    A touchdown on that second down passing play would have been worth 0.95 WP. A TD on a handoff to Lynch would have been worth 0.93 WP. A non-turnover failure would have also been slightly more valuable with less time on the clock.

    Passing was a perfectly defensible decision there. Probably not optimal, but also not awful. I really can't imagine it's remotely easy to intercept a bang-bang fastball from a yard past the LOS--probably the easiest INT to drop. And importantly, zero risk of a sack.

  • Guest - MJK

    Two things. First, if it had worked, how many of the critics would be lauding Carroll and co for thinking outside the box and winning with creative, unexpected play calling? So much of this backlash is outcome based, not process based. I think it was the wrong call, but not historically bad.

    But the thing that was bad is the point you make about time being a factor and forcing at least one pass. It didn't need to be. They could have easily gotten that 2nd down play off with 30-40 seconds, plenty of time to leave run/pass options open for all four downs. The Seahawks are the ones that let the clock tick down to 23 seconds before running the play. If keeping future play all options open is your mindset, try snapping the ball with 33 seconds or so.

  • Guest - Michael

    I think that in a vacuum it's not that crazy of a decision to pass there. However, given that the strength of Seattle's offense is Marshawn Lynch, it makes sense that they would run there. However, it's important to point out that the turnover rate of passes on the 1 is about the same as it is for runs on the 1.

  • Guest - Xavier Pellerin

    Am I the only one who think this pass wasn't so stupid? Considering the way how the Pat's defense was organized versus the Seahawks's formation, and Lockette (even if he is not one of the best receivers, he's still tall) was against a rookie who only have for stats 15 tackles during his season. All the Pat's backer were too far too had an impact, if Butler didn't had this unpredictable boost. Also I don't know if the scheme for this play but it seems Kearse was suppose to be between Butler and Lockette, but he was late cause Browner kind of bump him. Can someone just take a look at the video and tell me if I'm just crazy? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fb2AcS6Rdi4

  • Guest - John

    I don't think anybody has explicitly mentioned that Carroll may have called the play not so much for the matchup on the field (though that is kind of what he said), but more that he wanted to run a play with no more than 20 seconds left so that if he did score, it gives the Pats much less time to come back. now, could he have run with 20 seconds left? say the play does not score a TD, and it they call timeout at 17 seconds. they then run the third down play (assume it is a run). they are now hurrying to get the fourth down play. so perhaps he wanted the best of both words (assuming a non sack and non turnover), run a play with a little over 20 seconds left, and also stop the clock with a non touchdown.

  • Guest - Ara

    Do EPA and WPA differ on this particular play (2nd down only)?

  • Guest - Michael

    "Lynch is a beast, no doubt. He was born for that moment. And he would make a great decoy on 2nd down" Unfortunately, they sent him in motion to the far side and 11 defenders breathed a sigh of relief. I'm fine with a read option, play fake or even an option run/pass for Wilson, but, to ask Wilson to do the thing he does worst, throw from the pocket, while Marshawn is basically out of the play, is just about criminal. And please don't forget to mention why Seattle had only 1 timeout, they wasted two of them on that drive. Both coaches made terrible, game costing mistakes in that final minute and they deserve to be chastised.

  • Guest - Daniel Davis

    The route called for the play was what made it such a bad call. A quick, bang bang play over the middle in the end zone off a pick play, so that the relevant defender's actions are shielded from Wilson's line of sight. Seattle doesn't have strong receivers who you trust to win a slant, and Wilson isn't the most accurate QB. They were asking to be abused.

    Should have been play action to Lynch, and roll out, giving Wilson a run/pass option on a clearly isolated receiver on the side he is rolling to.

    Take an easy pass or an easy dive to the end zone if they are there, and if not, throw it out the back of the end zone. Don't make a play, don't get cute, this play is entirely about taking a clean shot if it is there, to add another chance at a TD to the two runs to Lynch which will follow.

  • Guest - Zach

    How about if SEA ran a play without letting the clock get to 26 seconds?

  • Guest - Tim

    The idea that seattle made the right call in that situation because they were forced into it is off base for 2 reasons. First, seattle chose to ran off time from the clock before snapping the ball. If they would've gotten off the play just 10 seconds earlier, there would've been plenty of time to run the ball on 2nd, 3rd & 4th down if they wanted with their timeout. Second, the belief by the seahawks that they were going to trick the pats in sending anything other than their goal line D when the ball is on the 1 is absurd. They put themselves at an unnecessary disadvantage with poor personal package selection. bottom line is, seattle wanted to pass because they wanted to pass.