Was it a bad call or great play? You decide
|Ap Photo/Kathy Willens|
The fallout of the call heard round the world has been huge. No one can understand why the Seattle Seahawks would dare attempt a pass in that situation with one of the best running backs is sitting in the backfield.
I understand the disbelief but at the same time I don't think the play call was the cause for the Seahawks loss. Malcolm Butler just made a hell of a play in a big moment.
When the Seahawks line up, the Patriots counter with their goal line plus three corner back look. Wilson then decides to motion Doug Baldwin to the other side of the field to which Darrelle Revis follows him. That shows him the Patriots will be playing man to man coverage.
Now that he knows that, he turns his focus back to the right side of the field. Jermaine Kearse's job is to take Brandon Browner up the field and essentially pick Ricardo Lockette's man. In this case, Malcolm Butler.
At this time, Wilson has what he wants. Patriots have 8 men in the box to focus on the Lynch if he gets the ball while playing man to man on the outside. With his pre-snap read complete the ball is snapped.
As soon as the ball is snapped, Browner jams Kearse hard. That doesn't allow Kearse to get up the field to effect Butler at all. Before Wilson even throws the ball Butler breaks towards the point of attack.
If Butler hesitates at all then theres a good chance that's a touchdown. But since he didn't hesitate he is able to get to the point of attack first and intercept the ball.
Some might say that that was a horrible call and it should never have happened that way. But in reality, the Seahawks had exactly what they wanted in the play. In fact, in the NFL this year, the pass from the one yard line had become a relatively low risk play. It resulted in either a touchdown or an incompletion. Only one time did it result in a turnover. That just happened to be at the biggest moment of the season.
There were 109 passes thrown from 1-yard line in NFL this season. Russell Wilson's in closing seconds of #SB49 was the only one intercepted.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 2, 2015
So, was it a bad call or an incredible play? If you ask me, saying it was just a bad call takes away from all the hard work in practice and studying that Malcolm Butler did to be able to be in the right place at the right time.
Lost in all of this is the fully inflated balls that Belichick had to not let them score and to trust the defense to make a play to win the game. But that's a discussion for another time.
Follow me on Twitter @ETthomehome
Read more of my work here