Last play will linger but Brady's class showed in Pats' win

Mon Feb 2, 2015 9:29am EST
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By Simon Evans

GLENDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Caroll won plenty of praise for his brave decision making in the NFC Championship win that took his team to the Super Bowl but was facing the heat after Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots.

Just as they did against the Green Bay Packers two weeks ago, the Seahawks had come back from a slow start, finding their rhythm on offense and it looked as if a second straight Super Bowl win was on the cards.

Despite being the second-best throughout the first two quarters, Seattle went in level 14-14 at half-time, thanks again to Carroll's positive approach.

With six seconds remaining in the half, many teams might have settled for a field goal but the Seahawks used the opportunity to the full - with Russell Wilson finding Chris Matthews with an 11-yard touchdown pass.

But few will remember that call after the strange decision at the end of the game which practically gifted the win to the Patriots.

Trailing by four and on second down, a yard from goal, the most obvious decision would have been to hand the ball to Marshawn Lynch, who having put up 102 yards on 24 carries, was averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

Instead Carroll went for a pass play and quarterback Russell Wilson's attempt to reach Ricardo Lockette with a low zipped pass turned into disaster as undrafted rookie corner Malcolm Butler showed brilliant anticipation and agility to make the interception.

It was game over and to most observers and the millions watching on television, it was an inexplicable decision from Carroll.   Continued...

Feb 1, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll during the second quarter against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports