Okay, so I said I wouldn’t do a lot of Super Bowl analysis on here today, and I won’t, but here’s one thing:

Calling a pass on second down was the absolute right call.

You have three downs, with one time out.  Let’s go over the options, worst case scenarios aside:

  • You run the ball.  Either you get in (Great!) or you don’t (Very possible).  If you don’t, you have to burn your timeout, since spiking will burn a down.  Now everyone in the world knows you’re throwing a pass on third down.  Oh, or you could fumble and lose the ball, which in a goal line scrum absolutely happens.
  • You pass the ball.  Either you complete the pass and get in (Great!), you complete but don’t and the clock runs (probably not, at that range), or the pass is incomplete, the clock stops, and you can run on third with a timeout available.  Oh, or you could get intercepted.

The pass is the logical decision.  It would make more sense to do a slant to the outside, which is a lower risk pass in terms of interceptions, perhaps, though lets not ignore what an amazing play that was Malcolm Butler made.

Now, if you want to get cute on the play calls, maybe you run anyway, and if you don’t get in, you pull a fake spike a la Dan Marino.

But Pete Carroll went with a more traditional call, and yes, it’d be traditional whether it was Marshawn Lynch, Frank Gore, Walter Peyton or Barry Sanders back there.  If anything, the overwhelming expectation of everybody that the play should have been a run, speaks to the pass being a good option to surprise those who don’t play football with logic.

Let’s stop talking about Pete Carroll losing the Super Bowl, as much as I’d like to blame it on him.  Let’s talk about Malcolm Butler winning it by making a huge play that took a lot of foresight, reaction and speed.  And knocking the hell out of a player who had 20 pounds on him.