Six Reasons Why the Seahawks Were Not Wrong For Their Decision at the End of the Super Bowl
Posted by Brent Lee on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 12:00 AM By Brent Lee / February 4, 2015 Comment
Reason #1 - Russell Wilson rarely throws interceptions, and Marshawn Lynch is not fumble proof.
Reason #2 - Marshawn Lynch was not guaranteed to score.Critics seem to assume that, if handed the ball, Marshawn Lynch would, not only not fumble, but automatically score as if the Seahawks had some sort of magical "Get Into The Endzone Free" card up their navy blue and neon green sleeve. However, scoring goal line touchdowns in the Super Bowl is hard, and the statistics indicate Beast Mode is more human than his nickname might indicate when faced with short yardage situations. In plays from scrimmage at the opposing team’s one yard line — the exact situation the Seahawks faced on Sunday night, Marshawn Lynch scored just once in five attempts (20%) in 2014, and on just five out of 12 tries (41.7%) over the course of the last three seasons. “But it’s the Super Bowl!” critics will shout, “Lynch would have just willed himself into the end zone with all his might since the game depended on it!” It was the Super Bowl for the Patriots defense, too. Whatever extra oomph Lynch would have been able to muster on that play would have been reciprocated by Vince Wilfork and the New England defensive front.
Reason #3 – A large part of effective play-calling in football is calling plays your opponent doesn’t expect.On Monday, EVERYONE — including the TV talking heads and pigskin pundits — seemed to be saying they “couldn’t believe the Seahawks threw the ball!” This is, ironically, one of the best reasons for an offensive coordinator or coach to call pass play in that situation… You are supposed to call plays the defense doesn’t expect! Nobody seemed to be complaining two weeks ago when the Seahawks called a(n unexpected) fake field goal that went for a touchdown during their comeback win against the Packers in the NFC Championship. And no one was a naysayer when, just a couple minutes earlier in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl 49, Russell Wilson threw an (unexpected) over-the-shoulder ball down the sideline to his streaking running back Marshawn Lynch for a 31-yard gain. Both of these plays were highly unconventional. And they both worked for big plays only because NO ONE saw them coming. Sometimes calling a pass when everyone is thinking you’re going to run is a very prudent choice.
Reason #4 – Malcolm Butler just made an exceptional play. Period.Other than an awesome coach like Pete Carroll taking silly criticism from rubes across the country, the most unfortunate aspect of the coverage is what is not being covered. Malcolm Butler made an incredible play! He gambled big by jumping the route, blew up the receiver, and made a difficult catch — all in the most critical moments of the most watched football game in TV history. Russell Wilson’s throw wasn’t even that bad. Butler just made a lightning-quick, split-second, once-in-a-lifetime play that will never be fully appreciated due to the distractions revolving around this latest fake “controversy” in the NFL.
Reason #5 - If the pass was incomplete, the clock stops without the Seahawks needing to take a timeout.
Reason #6 – Hindsight bias is stronger than you realize.
“Hindsight bias, also known as the knew-it-all-along effect or creeping determinism, is the inclination, after an event has occurred, to see the event as having been predictable, despite there having been little or no objective basis for predicting it…A basic example of the hindsight bias is when, after viewing the outcome of a potentially unforeseeable event, a person believes he or she ‘knew it all along’.”No matter how a game turns out, and no matter what the hard data says about the prior probabilities of theoretical outcomes, some large percentage of the self-proclaimed football experts in the world will always claim the coach obviously made the wrong call due to the hindsight bias. If the Seahawks just fed the ball to the Marshawn “Automatic Touchdown” Lynch — as the masses now indicated they obviously “should have”— and he had been stopped for a loss on two consecutive plays, then we would have had to hear Trent Dilfer drone on about how Seattle should have thrown the ball since everyone was expecting the run and Vince Wilfork is an elite run stopper. Instead, an interception happened, and the human brain just so happens to have evolved in such a way that it now feels pretty damned obvious to every football fan in America that “OF COURSE that was going to happen!” when you anger the orthodox football gods by not handing the ball off. Photos courtesy of: Wikipedia -- Keith Allison -- andrewtat94