Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Breaking Down The Super Bowl’s Controversial Ending by Joshua Liao

Breaking Down The Super Bowl’s Controversial Ending
Joshua Liao
                It’s the week after the Super Bowl and all anyone who watched the game can talk about is how the game ended. Everyone has their own opinion on the Seattle Seahawks’ last play. With just 31 seconds left in the Super Bowl, the Seahawks had a second down from the Patriots’ 1 yard line down by 4 points. They had three tries to score a touchdown that would all but win the game for them. However, on that fateful play, Patriots cornerback Malcom Butler stepped in front of Seahawks receiver Riccardo Lockette, intercepted the ball, and ended the Seahawks opportunity two chances early. Then everyone went nuts. Why, the question became, would the Seahawks choose to put a ball in the air when they had one of the NFL’s best running backs and the NFL’s best running quarterback? They were one yard away with a timeout left. If they at least tried to run and failed, they could stop the clock and try again. No one would have blamed the coaches and the Seahawks most likely would have scored.

However, if you think beyond the surface reasoning, it was actually a very smart and the more reasonable decision. Everyone knew the Seahawks were going to run the ball, including the Patriots. Before the play, they had seven of their eleven players guarding the run, with just four defenders guarding the pass. Two of them were playing deep so deep they couldn’t come up and stop a one yard pass if they had to. The Seahawks figured rather than to run at seven defenders, they should take a shot at the weakness. With two of their own receivers essentially lined up across a single Patriot’s defender, it should have been a walk-in touchdown. The play began and the outside of the two Seahawks receivers ran into the single Patriots defender nearest to him, preventing him from making a play on the inside receiver, Riccardo Lockette. Lockette was all but ready to catch the Super-Bowl winning touchdown when Malcom Butler came sprinting in from 5 yards deep in the end zone. Still Lockette was in better position to catch the ball and fall into the end zone. Butler was just too far. Then came the part that started all the controversy. Butler ran to the ball and in the process knocked Lockette out the path. An absolutely phenomenal football play, something that very rarely happens. Most defenders try to ruin into the receiver and make him drop the ball. If Butler had done that, Lockette would have caught the ball in the end zone and won the Super Bowl. But Butler made the best play humanly possible in his situation, something that no one could have predicted. If the play would have worked, Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seattle coaches would have been called geniuses. Sure the Seahawks could have tried to run the ball, but in the mind of a coach, in the heat of a Super Bowl, with the Patriots packed in to stop the run, a pass would have been a much more reasonable call in that situation.  

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