Seattle's decision to throw leads to Pats' clinching pick
Feb. 02, 2015
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — A late-game interception by defensive back Malcolm Butler saved the Super Bowl for the New England Patriots.
That the pass was thrown at all might haunt Seattle coach Pete Carroll.
A quick rundown of the play that clinched Sunday's Super Bowl, won by the Patriots 28-24:
The Patriots took a 28-24 lead when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hit Julian Edelman on a 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:02 left.
The Seahawks started the next drive at their 20-yard line and moved 75 yards in five plays. Jermaine Kearse had one of the greatest catches in Super Bowl history during the drive, juggling the ball before hauling it in while on his back.
Kearse's 33-yard grab put the Seahawks on the 5 with 1:06 left, seemingly plenty of time to go in for the winning score.
Seattle ran another play after Kearse's catch, reaching the 1 on a run by Marshawn Lynch.
The Seahawks still had 26 seconds left, but instead of running again, Carroll called for a pass.
The play was supposed to be quick-hitting, with Ricardo Lockette ducking inside Kearse to interrupt New England's coverage.
Butler reacted quickly, though, going around Kearse and teammate Brandon Browner to reach the ball at the same time as Lockette. Butler ran into Lockette around the goal line and came up with the ball, falling forward after making the interception.
Carroll has been known as a gambler and he rolled the dice with success at the end of the first half, calling for a pass play with 6 seconds left that led to a touchdown.
With the Seahawks seemingly in position to win their second straight Super Bowl, Carroll took another risk by deciding to throw the ball instead of running.
Seattle had some success running the ball and Lynch, who ran for 102 yards on 24 carries, is one of the NFL's toughest running backs to tackle.
Lynch gained four yards on the play after Kearse's spectacular catch and the Seahawks still had 26 seconds left, enough time to run the ball at least twice more.
Instead, Carroll called for a pass and Butler picked it off to seal the Patriots' fourth Super Bowl title.
"For it to come down to a play like that, I hate that we have to live with that," Carroll said.