BY Art Thiel 06:30AM 02/03/2015

Thiel: Only one way for Seahawks to fix it

The most popular conversation starter on Earth Monday was what is up with Carroll and Wilson? The rest of their time in Seattle will be seen through the prism of one bad play.

Chris Matthews. Chris Matthews? He went from international media darling to footnote in one play of which he had no part. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

As an unproductive Monday bleeds into Tuesday for the morose 12s, most are thinking they’ve never felt a sports loss like this. They’re right. But fans are nowhere close to feeling the consequences as the entire Seahawks franchise.

While that may seem obvious, the players and coaches, for public consumption, will soft-pedal the epic loss as just another bit of adversity to overcome. In time, they say, everyone will be over it.

In a word: No.

It depends some on the definition of time. If we’re speaking of the period between now and when the sun goes supernova, some future generation of giant-headed, bug-eyed, skinny humanity might no longer make it a point of reference.

Erghdul: Remember when Carroll passed instead of ran and lost the Super Bowl?

Whzzrk: Our people have not spoken of that in some time. Second-and-goal at the one, right?

But if we’re speaking of the sports fan’s universe, which typically includes just a single earth revolution of the current sun and ends in 369 days in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA., site of the next Super Bowl,  then no, the world and the Seahawks will not be over it.

They will be consumed by it. Much as they do not want to be.

The way XLIX finished is perhaps unlike any outcome in high-profile sports history. The idea that a marvelous contest between two titans could have its storybook finish dorked up by one of the game’s craftiest innovators and his Harry Potter-ish apprentice wizard stands in mute defiance of the greatest fiction writers.

The previous most grievous loss in the Carroll junta in Renton was the 30-28 playoff defeat in Atlanta in the 2012 playoffs. A brilliant rally from a 20-0 deficit to a 28-27 lead in the final minute was undercut by defensive gaffes that permitted a last-gasp field goal to win.

But that was Russell Wilson’s rookie year, and the first experience with sustained success. The defeat morphed into a coaching-textbook example of teachable moments, lesson-learnings, blah-blah-blah.

That game was a rock in the road. Sunday in the desert was a plunge off the cliff.

Pete Carroll needs to break out his Indiana Jones fedora and bullwhip before the bus hits the canyon floor.

The 2014-15 Seahawks needed no learnings. A complete, mature team, they were the defending Super Bowl champions at the apex of their industry, roaring down the field with two minutes left toward the game-winning touchdown and the required happy ending those of us trained by Spielberg demand.

The bad guys were being hurtled off the bus. At the stadium and through the TV, it was possible to feel the wind and taste the dust.

Suddenly, the bus didn’t make the final turn. The 12s and the franchise are now in that unique, weightless space where all is quiet, save for the traction-free spin of the wheels.

We’ll leave the metaphor hanging here because it’s time look at how difficult the sequel will be.

The reason this Seahawks’ loss will be so difficult to manage is that every personnel move, coaching hire and public utterance will be seen through the prism of one bad play. The question will be asked always: How will the changes keep the Travail in Glendale from happening again?

Of course, logic says that is a ridiculous proposition. But it feels true because the two people most tangibly responsible for the astonishing success of the Seahawks over the past three years, Carroll and Wilson, were the same ones who dorked up season’s final play (with coordinator Darrell Bevell in the role of Jar-Jar Binks). Their cred is on the line.

Wilson gets no pass from responsibility for the pass; six inches to his right, and some some 12s are camping on downtown sidewalks tonight for premium spots in the parade.

Wilson is the victim of his own expectations, especially since the miracle, Kearse of the Undead rally against Green Bay two weeks earlier.

Presuming good health and the delivery of the ginormous contract extension for Wilson, the pair will be in charge next season, but scarred — insofar as the perception from outside.

Knowing both, they will find a way through the morass and end up fine on the other side. The problem is everyone else, including some teammates and assistant coaches who should all know better, but succumb to a simple human vulnerability:

That play cannot be unseen, cannot be ignored and cannot be worked around. It has become an instant, permanent part of American — and likely global — pop-culture history, whose only local “virtue” is that the iconography around it may surpass the agonizingly overdone fish-throwers as a Seattle stereotype in urgent need of dispatch.

Now, the achievements and the failures of Carroll and Wilson are intertwined, and an irresistible topic of speculation. Think about it — most every adult human with access to internet or TV has heard about the episode and probably has an opinion about Carroll and Wilson. For one day Monday, no subject on Earth was a more universal conversation starter.

Only one resolution is possible: Win the Super Bowl next year. Anything less, and the Travail in Glendale will be an unresolved chord destined to hang forever over the franchise and all the participants.

Not only have the Seahawks thrilled their own fans, they have won over some unaffiliateds because they are audacious, unconventional, successful and colorful. Just when they were one yard from concluding all the great stories of the day – Chris Matthews going from nowhere to stardom, Carroll beating the owner who fired him as well as his successor at New England, Marshawn Lynch becoming King of All Media, the ordination of Wilson as the new QB legend and Jermaine Kearse as the Pedestrian Who Won the Earth – it all came apart.

To fix it, they have to do it all over again, plus one yard.

The canyon floor gets closer every day.

 


YourThoughts

  • Mr Perspective

    Now that the day after has passed and the earth is still revolving around the sun, images are crystalizing. Not one bad play doomed the Seahawks but several egregious events and they were nearly overcome. Jeremy Lane is on his way to superbowl stardom with a dazzling interception, then in the snap of a wrist the next man up is in coverage on two touchdowns, including the go ahead one. Does Brady throw at Lane the rest of the day? I think not. (Thank god I’m not Descartes or this would be over…poof. :-) Avril’s concussion was a factor in the late game pass rush fade, giving Brady more time to find Lane’s replacement, which he did. And for cripessake who kept putting a linebacker on Gronkowski? As I was told many times when I was younger, it’s ok to make a mistake just don’t make the same mistake twice. The first time Gronk caught the pass over Wagner it was obvious that was a huge mismatch and was the exact matchup on the touchdown pass that pulled the Patriots within three points, I may not be the defensive genius Pete Carroll is, but I am smart enough to know you don’t give a team a mismatch like that especially with Avril out and Brady having time. Adjustments were always the key to Carroll’s brilliance but he seemed almost defiant in that instance.

    In all the discussion of “the pass that shall not be named” there has been an absolute dearth of discussion about or from Ricardo Lockette. The pass was perfectly placed, except for the fact that the defensive back shredded Lockette like he was wet toilet paper. Carroll always wants the tall, rangy receivers. Height doesn’t matter much if they play soft against smaller pit bull defensive backs. That was mano on mano. And we didn’t have one. That’s a ball you claw, fight, kick, spit, and maim for. You don’t get knocked on your keister when everything is on the line. At least Lockette had the best seat in the house for the Pat’s celebration, his own.

    But the fact they were there at the end with an eviscerated legion of boom bodes well. As the earth continues to revolve, bet your media credentials that Carroll with use this as the ultimate motivation. Look for an undefeated season next year based on some crazy rally cry around that play.

    • HW3

      Lockette was hung out to dry when Kearse couldn’t push Brandon Browner into Butler to keep him away from Lockette.

      • art thiel

        It’s true. The ex-Seahawk got even.

    • Starsky & Hutchinson

      Good points, we’ll articulated. As for the linebackers on Gronk, the secondary’s failing health might be to blame. They probably weren’t confident they could bring the big TE down. After the game, Carroll mentioned that Chancellor probably shouldn’t even have suited up, and he was the least of our worries.

      Speaking of tight ends, where was Luke Willson in the offensive scheme? I don’t recall a single pass being thrown his way, and TE defense was supposedly a Pats weakness. This is less a criticism of Carroll’s staff than a curiosity.

      • art thiel

        Can’t explain not even a target to a TE. But they threw only 21 times. Turns out 20 would have been enough.

    • art thiel

      Hugh Millen in his Times story made a key point that Lockette’s footwork and head did not sell the fake. In my game column I wrote that Butler was scolded by Belichick letting the scout team score as they rehearsed Seattle’s offense.Butler knew it was coming from the formation.

      • Eric K

        Yeah I noticed that too, he needed to sell the possibility of a cut to the sideline, but barely planted his foot and cut back in.

        He Kearse and Willson all had a part but his was the biggest failure. Still lame of Bevell to call him out in public though, behind closed doors coach him about it, but not in public, a very non Pete Carroll thing to do as well, he can’t have been happy about that.

  • ReebHerb

    Paul shrugged? Maybe not.

    Colorful isn’t synonymous with Doug Baldwin’s bowel movement end zone celebration quickly cut away from the TV audience. With the usual off season leavings and replacings, surely the team can add some class at that talent level.

    • art thiel

      Doug made no fans with that, and lost some when he hasn’t bothered to explain himself. Lots going with him, and we’ve only scratched the surface.

  • jafabian

    In the past couple seasons we’ve seen teams that have success against the Hawks utilized a West Coast offense scheme. Short passes across the middle,, using the TE’s more. It’s not so much a personnel issue for the Hawks as opposed to defensive philosophy. They need to punish teams that do that. Make them think when they come across the middle. And they do for the most part but Super Bowl XLIX was another matter. Chalk that up to injuries. Thomas and Chancellor were obviously hobbled. I thought Smith and Wright might spy on Gronk for the game but that didn’t happen.

    • art thiel

      Good teams won’t challenge the Seahawks deep. The short pass concept is the best counter. A great pass rusher is the antidote, and Seahawks have missed Clemons from time to time.

      • Bruce McDermott

        The trouble with short passes is they often come on short drops, with the ball coming out of the QB’s hand very quickly after the snap. The pass rush that works–if any works–on those passes is up the middle. Michael Bennett style. On a 1- 3 step drop to a short pass on rhythm, the DE or OLB, even a great one, just can’t get there in time.

      • Eric K

        Yeah it is no coincidence that the Pats offense picked up when Avril left, he and Bennett were killing them, with just Bennett to focus on the Pats O-Line improved. Plus there were a few long 3rd diwns where Bardy escaped pressure by stepping up into the box, most notably the 3rd and 14, plays plays like that are were Bennett and Avril especially shine, QB escapes from one of them right into the other

      • jafabian

        Remember DE Randy Edwards? Played for the Hawks from 1984-1987? Had a season where he came off the bench for 10 sacks. Hawks need a player on the D-Line who can accept a bench role but start if needed like Randy was.

  • RadioGuy

    I think the Seahawk PLAYERS will get over this one because it was a coaching decision that cost them a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, although they should probably get ready to face a lot of short passes thrown to receivers in front of them because Brady and others were able to move the ball that way at time this past season. When your defensive philosophy is predicated on attacking the ball, your opponents’ best counter is to shield the ball from you. You can’t attack the ball if you can’t reach the ball.

    It kind of reminded me of watching the 1980 NBA Western Conference final between the Sonics and Lakers. LA had Kareem setting up in the post on offense and Seattle countered by placing Sikma between Kareem and the basket instead of fronting him to deny the entry pass. Magic was able to lob pass after pass to Kareem with impunity and Kareem would simply turn around and shoot over Sikma, who wasn’t physically equipped to stop a 7-2 center with a high release. Kareem averaged 30 points in the series, which the Lakers won, 4 games to 1. Watching Brady toss those passes to Gronkowski time and again in front of the Seahawk DBs brought that memory back.

    • jafabian

      It was a coaching decision that cost them money. Some might be miffed at not getting that bonus. Percy Harvin for sure. The Seahawks right now are good at keeping any sort of team issues in house.

      I remember that series. Though I understand keeping Tom LaGarde over Dennis Awtrey I think Harpo could have handled Kareem. He did the previous season. But the Sonics were just too spent after the Milwaukee series.

      • RadioGuy

        Yeah, Dennis had this God-given ability to get under Kareem’s skin and take his mind off the game. I loved Awtrey but understand why Lenny chose to keep LaGarde after the 1978-79 season. Tommy looked good before getting hurt and (at 24) had more upside than Awtrey, who was 31 and had pretty much peaked by then. Hard to believe Dennis averaged 20 points in college.

        • jafabian

          Know what he’s doing now? Running a B and B on the Oregon Coast. Very nice place.

          • RadioGuy

            I wouldn’t mind checking that out…will do some Googling. Always liked the Oregon Coast anyway (once you get south of Seaside).

          • jafabian

            While you’re googling you can look up Dick Motta who also has one in Idaho. He gets people who come in and talk basketball with him and he doesn’t mind.

        • art thiel

          Can’t believe this thread is including Dennis Awtrey.

          • RadioGuy

            Yeah, it kind of took on a life of its own.

    • art thiel

      It’s different. LA was the superior team. Mistakes didn’t swing the series, nor did a single play. The Seahawks were ready to win the game, then didn’t — of their own choosing.

  • Long-Time Mariners Fan

    “The Travail in Glendale?” I think you pulled a muscle stretching for that one, Art. I prefer “The Boner in Arizona.”

    • art thiel

      Too bad you missed the Rhyming 101 class.

      • Tian Biao

        He’s from the Steve Miller school of rhyming: Went down to El Paso, ran into a great big hassle; A detective down in Texas, knows just what the facts is. etc.

        As for the topic at hand, the sheer awful suddenness of the defeat is unparalleled. My previous worst sports memory was Game 4 in 2001, when the Ms took a 1-0 lead on a Boone HR in the 8th, then the Yankees scored a run in the eighth and two in the ninth to take a 3-1 series lead. But even in that game, there was hope, for a while, and another game to be played. In this one, the interception ended it. What a terrible moment. Damn. This one will take a while to get over. As Art says, a victory in Super Bowl L would do it. But it’s a long and rocky road ahead, for sure.

        • art thiel

          The finality of the turnover so late is what elevates this one. The Seahawks’ first and only of the game.

          Don’t forget John Lennon rhyming Loretta and low-necked sweater.

      • Long-Time Mariners Fan

        So did the guy who came up with “The Rumble in the Jungle.”

        • just passing thru

          but you gotta like “Bungle in the jungle”

          it’s all right by me.

      • Starsky & Hutchinson

        Said with a Boston accent, “The Bonah in Arizonah” has an undeniable ring to it. This could catch on!

        Thanks, Mariners Fan, for the biggest laugh I’ve had since that bizarro finish Sunday.

        • art thiel

          I won’t quibble with an accent, especially since it was a Boston team.

  • Big

    Hawk fans will have to wait for next year to see Commissioner Goodell hand the MVP award to Marshawn Lynch.

  • http://about.me/lairdnelson Laird Nelson

    Lived in New England for many years. This is Buckneresque and will—whether we like it or not—define this sports region for many, many years. I think Art is right; win next year to exorcise it, or we could be under a serious curse.

    • art thiel

      No curse, but a significant opportunity lost that makes it hard to regain emotional momentum.

      • just passing thru

        While there’s no question the interception cost the game, there were many opportunities/other plays along the way that could have made the last drive unnecessary. Once the Hawks had a 10 point lead, the offense stalled on three or four drives. There were some play calls in those drives that were sort of “huh?” Any of those drives being sustained for even two to three more first downs, and the pressure would have been different on NE. Not that they couldn’t handle it, but still would have been more difficult.

        Also, why was Wilson running not a significant threat in this game? Was Collins that good?

        Finally, the injuries to the defense, as noted by others, really impacted the game as much as the last play call.

        While this loss and its pain will be remembered forever, especially by the press and the fans, I wonder if the team will remain mired in the misery once next season starts? All great athletes and coaches know they have to have short memories. Getting over this game requires the same focus as not resting on the laurels of past victories. I hope they can move on without this defining them.

  • poulsbogary

    This will be brutal, but here goes, 3 points to make: Wilson lost the game to an undrafted college division 3 level unknown from the backwoods of Arkansas, Tennesse, wherever. Wilson is only 5’11, he shouldn’t be throwing slants in tight quarters. Carool’s mantra all along has been “trust me, and I will take you to the promised land.” Well, that is out the window now. Why should his players trust him after that call? They want their rings!

    • Eric K

      yeah, a pass against a run D is fine, but not a slant to the middle of the field, the whole point of passing against a Run D is usually spread the field and move to the sidelines where the Defenders aren’t, espeically given the relative strengths of Wilson and limitations of our WRs. It was like Bevell had a brain cramp and thought he was calling a play for Peyton and Wes Welker with Julian Thomas to set the pick.

      • art thiel

        Carroll said he called the throw, and he didn’t consider the risk of interception. Mistake.

    • art thiel

      Trust will have to be re-won. That’s the long-term blow.

  • Eric K

    the best comparison I’ve seen is the Spurs Game 6 vs teh Heat when they had the series won and couldn’t grab a rebound which ultimately led to Ray Allen’s 3 and game 7 in Miami.

    The Spurs went on a mission after that and won the next title. Given how Carroll likes to brign in guest motivational speakers I wonder how well he knows Popovich?

    • art thiel

      There was a 7th game. Not the same as drop dead at :20.

      • Eric K

        True but it was on the road.

        There really aren’t very many plays in any sport that equal this one in its finality, I guess the two closest I can think of are the Norwood FG since it was also a Super Bowl and a relatively short kick. And while it was the conference championship the Anderson missed FG for the Vikings, especially since he hadn’t missed a kick all year. But still FGs aren’t a sure thing no matter how much people now take them as givens.

        if you’ve ever read Bill Simmons scale of gut wrenching losses he’ll need to invent an entire new level for this one. as a Boaton guy he of course brought up Buckner, but people forget how much else had to happen after that play for the Sox to lose. I’d say the GB onside failure vs the Hawks was about like the Buckner play, yeah the guy whiffed where he could have ended the game, but the Hawks still had to drive for the TD, make the 2 pt conversion, hold GB to a FG and drive 80 yard in OT, so lots of chances for the Packers to win.

  • notaboomer

    or paul allen could say he’s content with having won a superbowl, disband the team, and tell his minions that football is really a violent and dangerous game that should not be worshiped in a healthy society (legion of boomers all heading for surgeries and cliff avril concussed in the big game). seattle citizens could take stock, allocate football time and resources to developing clean energy, supporting the downtrodden, being humbled by the xlix loss, but savoring the memory of the great seasons of 2013-14. this could happen.

    • Tian Biao

      or, we could all get ready for next season.

    • art thiel

      Nota, I share some of your misgivings about football. But disbanding? Nah. Telling people what they should and should not worship is a time-tested way to start wars.

      • notaboomer

        well paul’s billions (and the other 31 owner’s bils) are being used in a big way to tell us to worship crotch-grabbing, wife-beating, brain-damaging ballers with a nationalist fervor so i guess you’re right and it’s time for a . . . WAR ON FOOTBALL.

        • art thiel

          Haven’t been to that church, so I have to trust you that it exists. It must have Sunday services, because you are attending so you could avert your eyes from the vile game. Let me know if you want to know how the Super Bowl turned out.

  • John M

    Agreed, Art, The Call resulted in the most devastating loss I’ve ever witnessed. Maybe in a karmic way it’s fitting that a team that has made so many dramatic saves in the last minutes of a game would lose the big one in the same fashion. It had to happen sooner or later. But Pete is probably right in that it will make the team stronger mentally. Tougher. Meaner. And it could be that the person most influenced will be Russ. He found out how it feels to fall to earth. That could be a good thing next year . . .

    • art thiel

      Pete will be hard-pressed to work up a message, but his ability to get teams to play hard minute to minute and game to game will serve him.

  • Big

    Lockett was wide open on his slant early and not so much on the late throw by Wilson. I mean Lockett was ready to catch the ball on his break, no defender, catch, TD, and not touched. Late throw is on Wilson who had no rush on him and was cocked and locked.

    • Big

      It’s a fast game.

      • Skeezix

        That Image makes it looks like a sure TD….and makes the call kook like a halfway good idea…I think…maybe….But….I still say Beastmode 2 times from 36 inches,or Wilson doing a Bart Starr Ice Bowl QB SneakTitle Winner …and Kareem in ’80 was unguardable…..Jack- Kareem = mismatch…only hope was to double-triple team harass when he put the ball on the floor to dribble,and that’d leave Nixon,Wilkes or Magic open…That worked for the Soops in ’78 and again in ’79,but that was Pre – Magic,Coop…Showtime…..1980 was the last time a Seattle Championship team was dethroned and it felt similar,only this was WAY WORSE and SUDDEN ,and unexpected and self inflicted and a lost opportunity that’ll never , ever ……be right there on a platter again…back 2 back and heavy favorites for a 3-peat dynasty..all left in a FLASH!

        • Big

          The Hawks were to clever, to clever indeed.

        • Eric K

          that image really shows where Kearse messed up, he needs to fight off Browner and be cutting to the inside, just making Butler take one extra step around him is the difference between walk in TD and INT

  • zigzags

    I think Erghdul and Whzzrk need to become regulars in your columns. Their insight from the 38th century is beneficial.

    • art thiel

      As the Seahawks like to say, What’s Next?

  • Kevin Lynch

    Actually, if you had a hall of fame tandem who specialized in that slant play it would not be a bad call. Anyone remember the touchdown that beat Belicheck and Brady a few years ago that got the Colts to the Super Bowl? Peyton to Reggie Wayne.

    • art thiel

      The Rocket is better in the open field than tight quarters.

      • Kevin Lynch

        I just wonder if Pete was aware of the play that beat Belicheck back in Indianapolis years ago. And maybe that was part of his thought process. Good question for him. Belicheck certainly would remember it and be aware of the possibility. Please keep Erghdul and Whzzrk alive.

  • Old Goat

    A friend was sporting a Cougs on Saturday, Seahawks on Sunday shirt. Enough of these around and we may have witnessed a cross infection on that 2nd and 1.

    • art thiel

      You think Carroll Leached?

  • Bayview Herb

    What! you mean that nightmare I had last night is real?

  • ll9956

    Thanks, Art, for one of the best articles I’ve seen in quite some time.

    I hope the youth of (most of) the Hawks helps them recover relatively quickly and get back to work. Next year, despite predictable don’t-let-your-emotions-get-the-best-of-you sermons from PC and assistant coaches, they will be playing with rocks of Gibraltar on their shoulders. And to quote John M, this experience hopefully ” . . . will make the team stronger mentally. Tougher. Meaner.”

    GO HAWKS!!!

    • art thiel

      The hit comes on damage to Pete’s credibility. Do the players still buy in? He claims to take responsibility, yet still defends it. That will be harsh in some players’ ears.

      And thanks for noticing.

  • Super stichus

    I’m sorry but this is all my fault. I broke all if my game day rituals – hosted a party, bathed, hung a 12 flag, etc.

    • art thiel

      Keep the bath thing.

  • Super stichus

    And another thing…I was raised on trilogies. Star Wars, empire strikes back, return of the Jedi. This is a cliffhanger in a classic sense. Upstart gets a win, upstart gets thwarted, upstart wins big and rules the galaxy. It’s a great story. Bring on 2015!!!

    • art thiel

      All great stories are three acts. This could be a rouser.

  • Bruce McDermott

    I place more blame on the coaches who called the play than Wilson. They didn’t play to his strengths, as a runner or passer. Instead, they call a play they claim a primary purpose of which was to use up time and get an incompletion if unsuccessful. With those twin goals in mind, how they could call a 3 step drop to a bullet slant on timing to a no. 4 receiver running toward a packed-in goal line defense is beyond me. Russell’s pass was not great–it was about 18 inches wide and 18 inches high. But c’mon, it is up to the coaches to maximize the chances for success. Doing so is not defeatist thinking. It doesn’t show fear, or lack of confidence in your players. It is simply smart, risk/reward balancing for the good of the team. Instead of such balance, the brain trust called a play that required great timing and placement under maximum game pressure between a QB and a bench receiver, with small errors far more likely to turn into disaster than, say, a rollout pass. A damn shame.

    • art thiel

      Throwing from the 1 into the box of the defense is not a high-reward play, especially when it needed a rub block on Butler that was critical.

  • Sonics79

    I think Seahawks fan are in the “anger” phase of dealing with grief? But throwing the ball there was the right call. If you score, you win. If it’s incomplete the clock stops and you can run the ball on 3rd and 4th down with a timeout in between. The call wasn’t even that bad, but the route was telegraphed by Lockette and he didn’t allow Kearse to set a designed pick which is key to its success. That’s why the guy got such a good jump on the ball to pick it off. Kurt Warner on the radio said afterward that slant route gets you a yard every time if you run the route right.

  • Obi-jonKenobi

    Utter nonsense, I could list the number of times that the Seahawks have been inside the three yard line and were unable to punch it in with Lynch. I could also list the number of times over the year that QB’s have thrown slants from inside the three just like the one that was intercepted. It WASN’T a bad call, it was 1) intercepted by someone who had done his homework and knew exactly what was coming and 2) could have been better executed by Wilson (throw back shoulder, not ahead), Lockette (don’t telegraph your route with your eyes/head), and Kearse (when you’re supposed to screen for the other receiver you have to get past the jam at the line).

    The Patriots were set in their goal-line package and Seattle didn’t have the right personnel to run against that package so they had the advantage with a pass. Too bad their formation gave them away and the Patriots were well prepared.

    Yes, they’ll learn from this and be better; better execution and better disguise of their intent (Bevell) but with Carroll at the helm, they won’t back away from gambling that their players will execute (see pass at end of first half that scored a touchdown instead of a field goal). And that’s a good thing.