Monday, February 02, 2015

Why Seattle Passed

In hindsight the Seahawks should have run the ball – they had perhaps the best running back in football in their backfield. Throughout the playoffs no one had been able to stop Lynch in that situation. Seattle only had one time out with 20 seconds remaining. So why did they pass? The Seahawk play-caller knew several things:

Had the Hawks run the ball on second down and not scored they could have lined up quickly and run another play on third down. They would’ve had to run it again against the same run-oriented defense the Patriots had on the field. If the third down run didn’t work Seattle would’ve had to quickly call time before the clock hit zero.

Or Seattle could have run the ball on second down and not scored they could’ve called time out. Then with no more time outs they would’ve almost had to throw the ball on third down, and New England would’ve been ready for it. After the game Seattle QB Russell Wilson said that based on the defensive front the Patriots had in there at the time, that pass play should have been open.

Knowing this, the Patriots would’ve been least expecting a pass on second down. That may have been the reason the Seattle OC called the play he did. In hindsight the call was the worst call in Super Bowl history – but these coaches are professional who eat and sleep play calling. Plays are called based on many factors: down and distance, what kind of defensive personnel is on field, what worked earlier in the game, etc etc etc. Little was mentioned of the great call by Seattle to pull the field goal team back and go for the touchdown.   

Perhaps if Lynch hadn’t been such a jerk with the press earlier in the week he might’ve scored there at the end of the game. I know the two things aren’t related, but sometimes these things have a way of working themselves out. Lynch may be an introvert who has an especially hard time dealing with so many people taking in every thing he has to say. Like most public figures he was probably misquoted in the past. Everyone is different and some people take things harder than others. If so it is unfortunate, but with great talent comes the other parts of the job, like dealing with the press. Someone could’ve advised him to handle the media day differently.   

Anyone comparing this play call with UGA’s play-calling in the South Carolina game (1) shows how little they know about football and (2) needs to get over it. They aren’t funny. Two completely different situations. Seattle had the game on the line with 20 seconds remaining. UGA was further away from the goal line with the ball with lots more time on the clock. It may have even been the third quarter. And besides, Mike Bobo is no longer at UGA. Those fans got their wish. We’ll see how the new UGA OC works out for them.  

THE REST OF THE GAME: So Obama is the first president to brew beer since George Washington. At least they have one thing in common. Fox News made a big deal about a woman reporter having to interview the president in the kitchen, but I think that is taking things too far. But why wasn’t the chef in the background wearing gloves?

As usual, I missed the national anthem en route to the party. We did make it for the coin toss.

Seattle got at least five breaks and New England perhaps only one. The first break was the roughing the kicker no call. All the announcers agreed. Hard for the referees to be perfect – they don’t have the super slow motion.

Seattle’s second break was the interference / pushing off no call. Their tall receiver made the great catch. NBC showed the replay from five different angles. One of the angles showed the receiver push the DB in the back with both hands, just before he caught the ball. Clear interference.

Breaks 3 and 4 were the two interception that Brady threw, allowing Seattle to take the lead. But as much momentum as Seattle had, Brady and the Pats fought back – scoring two fourth quarter touchdowns to retake the lead. But had they scored too quick? The Seahawk offense went 59 minutes without turning the ball over, putting themselves into position to win. On the first and ten after the kickoff new England put all eleven defenders up on the line. Not exactly a prevent defense. Wilson found Lynch covered by a linebacker, and the mismatch burned the Pats for a big gain.  

Break five for Seattle was the circus catch. Announcers Collinsworth and Michaels smartly compared it to the miracle plays the Giants had twice pulled to beat the Pats. Brady could only shake his head. He had done all he could do. With the first and goal I knew that only a miracle would prevent a Seahawk win.   

The big fight showed the Seahawks true colors. Reminded me of the fight in the Keanu Reeves football movie The Replacements.

I was in the minority rooting for New England. Will and Ceil liked Seattle, as did most at our party. My friend Reid also rooted for the Pats. Some liked Russell Wilson because he gave God the glory. I shared some of the detail I’d learned about both QB’s.

Katy Perry put on a good halftime show. I think the Book of Revelation talks about that beast she came riding in on. You had to like the dancing sharks. The singing beach balls looked under-inflated to me. When Katy flew around the stadium many hoped she would just fly completely out of the stadium.

Did you know: For a short time the AFC champs were known as the Bay State Patriots. The Seahawks were almost named the Sockeyes. This was the first Super Bowl where both teams where both teams wore blue pants.  

Had the Pats put up 40 or 50 all the Falcons fans would be irate at the head coaching choice. As it was the Seahawks allowed two fourth quarter touchdowns. Despite the Seattle loss the Falcons new coach looks to be a good hire.

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