Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY

Four seasons later, reports are still trickling out about how Patriots ruined Seahawks

Alex Reimer
September 07, 2018 - 3:09 pm

Four years later, and reports are still tricking out about how Malcolm Butler ruined the Seahawks. 

Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bishop and Robert Klemko published a lengthy story Friday about the downfall of the Legion of Boom era in Seattle, and it includes lots of bellyaching over Super Bowl XLIX. It’s well-established the Seahawks were seemingly never able to shake that loss –– our pal Seth Wickersham detailed how it remained a cause of contention deep into the 2016 campaign –– but some players reportedly believed Pete Carroll didn’t have the best interests of the team in mind when he called for Russell Wilson to throw the ball from the goal line. According to SI, some players thought Carroll wanted Wilson to capture MVP honors. 

“Many who lamented how Wilson was treated differently now believed, truly believed, that Carroll had called a pass play to give Wilson a better chance to win the Super Bowl MVP award and decrease Marshawn Lynch’s chances, perhaps conveniently ignoring that offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell might have actually called the play,” Bishop and Klemko write. “Regardless, the players say, that call contradicted what Carroll always said publicly: that he wanted to run the ball and play great defense, that that’s how he built the Seahawks—to be tough and stop foes and let Lynch bulldoze Seattle to victory after victory. Again, several players felt that Carroll said one thing and did another, and this time it had cost them a repeat Super Bowl title.”

This, of course, is slightly revisionist history. As the article points out, Seattle missed 18 tackles and allowed 196 yards-after-catch in the game. Still, if Lynch ran the ball in that spot, he probably would’ve gotten into the end zone. They were on the 1-yard line, after all.

“Some Seahawks still remember every detail from that night,” the piece reads. “Sherman pacing back and forth, wearing his frustration into the carpet in that locker room in Arizona. Lynch, fully dressed, downing a bottle of cognac, saying ‘These motherf——— robbed me,’ and ‘f—- this,’ over and over. ‘If we gave the ball to the soul of our team and we lose, f—- it, we lose,’ one Seahawk says. “Point-blank, period. You lost doing what you do best. But he gave it to Russ. I didn’t believe the MVP thing at first. But now I wonder. It’s at least plausible.’”

Since Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks have only won two playoff games and missed out on the postseason entirely last year. There are several reasons for their decline, including bloated contracts and injuries to stalwart defensive players, but there’s no doubt they couldn’t shake that loss.

And now, ironically, the Patriots are looking to shake a gut-wrenching Super Bowl loss of their own that’s due to a questionable coaching decision involving Butler. Life comes full circle.