A week ago, New England owner Robert Kraft demanded an apology from the NFL. Now it’s Seattle owner Paul Allen who should demand one … from his offensive coordinator. Darrell Bevell, please step forward. I mean, what in the world was that call with 26 seconds left? You have the ball at the New England 1. You have Marshawn Lynch in the huddle. You have one timeout. You have three more plays. You have New England on its heels. What part of this don’t you understand? I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff in the last two minutes of New England Super Bowls – David Tyree … Mario Manningham … Jermaine Kearse … but nothing beats the brain-lock Bevell had Sunday night. I think I speak for Tom Brady, Darrell, when I say “thank you.”
2. Good question from our Rick Gosselin: If the Seahawks won’t give Marshawn Lynch the ball at the 1, why are they talking contract extension?
3. I’m not buying Pete Carroll’s explanation that he called the play … and maybe that’s because Bevell admitted “I make all the play calls.” Of course he does. Carroll is a former defensive coordinator, so when he says he’s responsible, I say he’s covering for someone. But while I seriously doubt he called it he sure could’ve stopped it. “We sent in our personnel,” Carroll said. “They sent in ‘goal line.’ It’s not the right matchup for us to run the football, so on second down we throw the ball really to kind of waste that play.” They wasted it all right. They waste the game, too.
4. If misery loves company, then former San Francisco 49ers’ offensive coordinator Greg Roman feels a whole lot better. It was two years ago the Niners had three shots from the Baltimore 4 when Roman called three passes – all to Michael Crabtree -- when a Colin Kaepernick or Frank Gore run vs. a gassed Baltimore defense would’ve clinched it.
5. Good analogy from Kevin Kernan of the New York Post: Not giving the ball to Lynch, he tweeted, ‘was like drawing up the final play in ‘Hoosiers’ and not giving the ball to Jimmy Chitwood.” Perfect.
6. “How do you throw the ball when you have Marshawn Lynch?” Good question. But it wasn’t asked by a reporter. It was asked by Seattle cornerback Therold Simon. Easy, Therold. You’re the guy New England picked on all night, and you’re the guy … yep, who gave up the game-winning TD.
7. According to Pro Football Reference, the Seahawks had 31 plays from the 1 the past three years and ran it 23 times. Should’ve run it there, fellas.
8. Richard Sherman called it “an unfortunate play.” Huh? This is the guy who was barking during the game, mouthing the words “24” after New England cornerback Darrelle Revis was beaten for a touchdown when he was picked … honest … by the umpire. But when Richard Sherman should be barking … when he should be ticked … this is what we get? “An unfortunate play?” Sorry, I thought this is the guy who sold us on honesty.
9. Guess we won’t be hearing from Bill Nye anymore.
10. That should take the air out of DeflateGate … at least for now. Never has there been a more important game for New England than Super Bowl XLIX, with the Patriots delivering a message loud and clear to their critics everywhere: We don’t need no stinkin’ softballs.
11. Shame on Seattle. When the Seahawks went up by 10, Doug Baldwin started mugging for the cameras in the end zone, and Richard Sherman followed by mugging for them on the sidelines. Somebody should have reminded them there were 20 minutes left. Nope, somebody should’ve reminded them they were playing Tom Brady.
12. Anybody see Sherman putting up three fingers and mouthing the word “three” after that interception? Just asking.
13. Shame on Bruce Irvin, too. There’s winning with class, but there’s losing with class, too. He must’ve missed that class.
14. Q: If you’re the Patriots do you blow up your salary cap to sign Darrelle Revis?
15. Still waiting on those Marshawn Lynch quote sheets.
16. Chris Matthews: Signed by Cleveland. Cut by Cleveland. Figures.
17. Maybe it’s just bad karma … or maybe the Patriots are cursed. But that makes three unpredictable … no, three unimaginable … no, three freakin’ unbelievable … catches in the last two minutes of their last three Super Bowls. First it was David Tyree. Then it was Mario Manningham. Now Jermaine Kearse.
18. Give Seattle this. The Seahawks' secondary played hurt ... and short. Sherman, Earl Thomas and Kam Chancellor entered the game hurt, and their third-best cornerback, Jeremy Lane, bowed out in the first quarter. Legion of Boom looked more like Legion of Gloom.
19. The economy must be in better shape than I thought. I ran into a guy from Boston over the weekend who told me he sold his four tickets to Sunday’s game for $7,000 … apiece.
20. If Seattle had won, the Seahawks would have been the worst passing offense (27th) of any Super Bowl champion. So what do they do with the game on the line at the 1? Yep. They pass.
SUNDAY’S WALL OF LAME
New England CB Kyle Arrington. He made Chris Matthews look like Lance Alworth. Seattle ought to vote him a playoff share. The Patriots eventually benched him … but too late. The damage was done.
Seattle coordinator Darrell Bevell. I think we covered this one. Darrell Royal was right: When you throw the ball, three things can happen … and two of them are bad.
Seattle cornerback Tharold Simon. Now you know why he’s a backup. The only reason he was on the field was because Jeremy Lane bowed out with a horrific wrist injury after making a first-quarter interception.
Seattle pass rusher Bruce Irvin. Apparently, he wanted to go down fighting … literally.
Seattle coach Pete Carroll. He gets here for the lack of composure by his team at game’s end. If you’re going to win with class you better lose with it, too.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas. He's the guy who hit Vereen after he'd gone out of bounds, setting up the first of New England's two fourth-quarter touchdowns. It's one thing to be physical. It's another to be stupid.
SUNDAY’S WALL OF FAME
Seattle DL Michael Bennett. In a word: Unblockable.
Seattle CB Richard Sherman. I’m not a big fan. I’d like him better if he had an “Off” button. Still, the guy played well, with New England throwing just once to his side.
New England running back Shane Vereen. So the Pats couldn’t run. It didn’t make a difference. They created their own version of a running game with the short pass, with Brady hitting Vereen for a game-high 11 completions.
New England wide receiver Julian Edelman. Now you know why Brady wanted him re-signed in the offseason. The guy is money. He had nine catches for 109 yards, scored once and had 27 yards in punt returns. I swear, he’s one of the toughest guys on the planet.
Seattle wide receiver Chris Matthews. He had no catches in his NFL career. Then Paul Richardson is hurt, and Matthews must play. So what happens? He makes four catches for 109 yards, including a touchdown at the end of the first half.
Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch. He runs for 102 yards. He scores a touchdown. He makes a 31-yard catch. And he doesn't get the ball when he should have. Shame on Seattle for not putting the ball in the hands of their best playmaker when they needed to.
New England CB Malcolm Butler. He makes the only play that matters, and don't tell me how he knew a pass was coming. "I just knew they were doing a pick route. I knew it was on the line, and we needed it. So I just beat him to the route and just made the play."
This one’s easy. Malcolm Butler, come on down. I don't know how he did it, but the rookie steps in front of Ricardo Lockette to make the game-clinching interception in the end zone. “I got out there and did exactly what I needed to do to help my team win,” he said. “I just had a vision I was going to make big play.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
New England QB Tom Brady. Yeah, he had two interceptions – one that cost them a sure score, and another that led to a Seattle touchdown. But he never was better than the second half when he led the Pats to two fourth-quarter touchdowns against a defense that led the league in total yards, points against and passing.
QUOTE OF THE GAME
“You saw it. Unfortunate series of events.” – Seattle WR Doug Baldwin.
0 – Seattle kickoff returns
2 – Coaches to win four Super Bowls (Chuck Noll and Bill Belichick)
4 – Greatest margin of victory in all six Super Bowl appearances under Belichick
5 – Times this year New England lost coin toss
6 – Most Super Bowl appearances by one head coach (Belichick and Don Shula)
8 – Playoff games where Marshawn Lynch has scored
37 – Brady completions, a Super Bowl record