How Pete Carroll’s Bad Call in Super Bowl XLIX Has Haunted Seattle
Retired Seahawks player admits that the last-minute, goal-line interception cratered confidence in the head coach.
Late in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLIX, the Seattle Seahawks were at the one-yard line with moments left to play in the game and on the verge of winning their second straight NFL title. To take the lead and win, all Seattle had to do was hand Marshawn Lynch the ball and let him run it in. Instead, Pete Carroll had Russell Wilson throw a short pass, which was masterfully intercepted by Malcolm Butler. The stunning turnaround cost Seattle the game and gave the New England Patriots the Super Bowl win.
By snatching defeat from the jaws of victory with that decision, Carroll sent the two franchises in opposite directions, with New England continuing to excel and make Super Bowl appearances, while Seattle slowly crumbled. At least that’s been the narrative spun in the years since that night in February of 2015.
In an appearance on the “Dave Dameshek Football Program” this week, retired Seahawks defensive end Cliff Avril confirmed that notion and admitted Carroll’s counterintuitive, goal-line game caused dissension in the Seahawks locker room and led to veteran players ignoring their coach.
“You think about what could have happened—if we win that Super Bowl, I think we probably would have won another one in the two years that went by,” Avril said. “The situation sucked regardless of who took the blame. It’s just the fact that we were so close and we weren’t able to get it, so I think a lot of guys got turned off by the message.”
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