Marshawn Lynch had just run four yards behind Russell Okung to the Patriots' 1-yard line. The Seahawks had 1:06 left, trailed by four late in Super Bowl 49 but were a mere yard from taking the lead. They began letting the clock roll to keep New England's Tom Brady from getting the ball back in regulation.
As the clock got inside 30 seconds, Russell Wilson sent three receivers out to his right in a bunch formation, with two tight ends a Lynch as the lone back. The Patriots had gone into a beefy, goal-line defense and Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and coach Pete Carroll wanted to spread those big guys out on this second down play.
That, they say, is why they called a pass to the No. 3 wide receiver Ricardo Lockette at the goal line with the league championship on the line.
"I made it. I made the decision. I said, 'throw the ball,'" Carroll said. "So we went to the play we thought would give us a chance to get in the end zone. We had great matchups in that regard with that route, the call that we made. But it didn't work out. They made a better play than we did."
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What happened was Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler sensed the quick route was coming inside, and he bee-lined straight back to Wilson after it. Lockette shied away his shoulders from Butler's charge. The aggressor won -- not only the play but the Super Bowl, as Butler intercepted the pass just inside the goal line.
Lynch finished with 102 yards on 24 carries. But we'll never know what carry No. 25 could have brought. Another Super Bowl-championship parade on Wednesday through downtown Seattle with the star running back throwing Skittles into the crowd, perhaps?
"They changed their personnel so that's why we threw the ball so we wouldn't get outmatched," Carroll said.
“We could have run it and got stuffed. We could have run it and scored. We could have scored against their goal-line (D), as well,” Carroll said. “It just wasn’t a great football thought at the time.
“In retrospect, we could have easily run it – and we wouldn’t be talking about this.”
Even some of Seattle's defensive players joined you in wondering why the ball didn't go to Lynch from the 1 there.
""We had it," said pass rusher Bruce Irvin, who was so frustrated by the fateful play he got ejected for roughing Patriots after the whistle on Tom Brady's series of knee-downs in the final seconds. "I don't understand how you don't give it to the best back in the league and not even the 1-yard line. We were on the half-yard line. And we throw a slant. I don't what the offense had going on, what they saw. I just don't understand."
Stand in line, Bruce.
"It's going to kill me," Irvin said. "I'm think I'm about to just go lock myself in a room for about two weeks. This one will hurt because we had it. We had it."