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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.