Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell says the play call that may have ultimately cost his team the Super Bowl was made with the game clock in mind.
The Seahawks had second-and-goal at the New England 1 with 26 seconds to go Sunday, but instead of giving the ball to Marshawn Lynch, Seattle ran a slant route intended for Ricardo Lockette that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler in the 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots.
“We were conscious of how much time was on the clock and we wanted to use it all,” Bevell said. “It didn’t turn out the way I hoped it would.
I’ve read more convincing defenses of Shelby County. Let’s think this through, shall we? Four things can happen if you throw in that situation:
- Incomplete pass. Since this stops the clock, this is…distinctly suboptimal when it comes to burning clock.
- Pass complete for TD. Does not burn substantially more time than running for a TD.
- Pass complete short of the end zone. Much less likely than a run short of the end zone, so again, if the idea is to burn clock what the hell?
- Interception. Disturbingly likely when you throw a slant into congested coverage to a receiver of, ah, modest accomplishment. On the upside, the time-remaining-on-the-clock problem takes care of itself! On the downside, you lose.
As a commenter noted, this belongs next to the “Moops invaded Spain” variant of anti-ACA litigation in the Making an Indefensible Argument Worse Hall of Fame. If you buy what seems to me Bevell’s excessive focus on burning clock with less than a minute left and Belichick not using his timeouts, this counsels even more strongly for a running play. For that matter, a read option or play action pass — calls that actually would be perfectly defensible — would burn more clock than a quick slant. There’s no possible way this justification can make any sense.
While we’re here, I mentioned this in an update to the other thread, but also when you cost your team the Super Bowl you should probably avoid attacking your players in the media. I think Bevell needs to be Grady Littled.