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The Superbowl Miracle
Dateline, Vancouver, February 2015
I'm tired of hearing the Seattle Seahawks fans complain about how they were robbed in this year's Superbowl, and about the worst play call in the history of football. The Seahawks weren't robbed, the Patriots weren't lucky, and that was not the worst play call in history or even in that game.
It seemed like a no-brainer for the Seahawks to run Lynch when they are on the 1-yard line. He's the toughest runner in the NFL and this is what he's there for. And at the same time a pass play from the 1-yard line seems dumb, when the defenders are all bunched up like that.
But the fact is, the pass play is the higher percentage play in that situation. A pick play from the 1-yard line is nearly impossible to stop, and statistically has been more sucessful than running plays from the 1 this season across the NFL. Even Lynch, has been weak from the 1, scoring on only 1 of 5 attempts this season. And when they lined up, the Patriots had their run-stop defense on the field. They were expecting Lynch and would have stopped him.
That's why passes are more sucessful, because defenses line up to stop the run in that situation. The Partiot defense was lined up to stop the run and the Seahawks coach made a reasonable guess that the pass play would be more sucessful. That same play has been run innumerable time this season and nobody had complained before.
But what nobody foresaw, was a brilliant reaction by a rookie defender. Butler reacted to the play as soon as the ball was snapped, coming up behind the receiver so the receiver never saw him coming. This wasn't a miracle or even luck, it was a player doing what he was trained to do.
Seahawks fans have a very short memory. Just two weeks earlier, the Seahawks won the NFC Championship game because of a bonafide miracle. They were down by two touchdowns and the Packers made a series of ridiculous errors that can only be classified as miracles - intercepting the ball then kneeling instead of running it, 3 run plays for negative yardage, dropping an on-side kick, not blocking a touchdown pass. That was the miracle that got the Seahawks into the Superbowl in the first place.