By Ashley Dunkak
CBS DETROIT – With one minute and six seconds remaining in the Super Bowl, the Seattle Seahawks lined up on the five-yard line of the New England Patriots, and running back Marshawn Lynch rumbled down to the one-yard line.
One yard stood between the Seahawks and a second straight Super Bowl championship. Instead of running Lynch again on second down, however, Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a short pass into the teeth of the defense, and it was intercepted. Head coach Pete Carroll has taken responsibility for calling for the pass rather than going with Lynch.
Chris Collinsworth, the analyst on the call of the game, was as flabbergasted as the rest of the nation.
“Every once in a while in the NFL, you think you’ve seen it all,” Collinsworth said. “I will never get over throwing the ball in that situation.
“I can’t believe the call,” Collinsworth continued. “I cannot believe the call. You’ve got Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. You’ve got a guy that’s been borderline unstoppable in this part of the field. I can’t believe the call.”
That obvious tactical error by Seattle overshadowed a fantastic football game, one that stood in stark contrast to the blowout in last year’s Super Bowl. The game was tied, 14-14, at halftime, and the Seahawks led by 10 points before New England’s fourth-quarter comeback.
While the call by Carroll is all anyone will be talking about Monday, there were several other noteworthy moments in the Super Bowl, including a couple of the unfortunate variety.
With 18 seconds remaining, a fracas broke out. The officials labeled Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin the instigator and gave him a 15-yard penalty and ejected him from the game. Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski also got involved.
“From Seattle’s standpoint – whatever. From New England’s standpoint, you’re 18 seconds away from a Super Bowl championship. You don’t throw a punch under any circumstance here,” Collinsworth said.
Another side note to an otherwise remarkably competitive game was the touchdown celebration of Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin. He caught a touchdown pass from Wilson with five minutes remaining in the third quarter, and as a celebratory gesture, he evidently squatted down as if using a toilet. The television camera cut away from his bizarre display, and the officials disapproved of the move as well, giving him a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike contact.
The Breakout Performers
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was named MVP of the game, but several of the best performances came from players of whom few had heard before Sunday. Seattle wide receiver Chris Matthews had not caught a single pass in the NFL before the Super Bowl, in which he snagged four passes for 109 yards. New England cornerback Malcolm Butler, who started the season as an undrafted rookie free agent, made the interception that sealed the game for the Patriots.