Pete Carroll’s questionable Super Bowl decision was the beginning of the end of a potential dynasty, according to former Seahawks Pro Bowler player
The Seattle Seahawks were once one of the most dominant teams in the NFL on both sides of the ball. The 2021 version of the team is a far cry from the team that has competed in two back-to-back Super Bowls. Pete Carroll has made a decision that will follow him for the rest of his career. One of his former players made a strong statement about the appeal’s impact on a potential dynasty in Seattle.
Pete Carroll’s controversial Super Bowl XLIX call
The 2013 Seattle Seahawks were a very good football team. They finished 13-3 in the regular season, securing the NFC West crown and a first-round playoff pass.
Seattle’s impressive season culminated with a convincing 43-8 victory over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.
After sacking most of their major contributors from the 2013 season, the Seahawks entered 2014 with high expectations and repeat aspirations.
Pete Carroll led Seattle to a 12-4 record and another division title. The team passed the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers on their way to a Super Bowl clash against Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots.
The Patriots led the Seahawks 28-24 with just over two minutes left in regulation. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense had the ball. They rolled over the field and ended up on the one-meter line.
With Marshawn Lynch in the backfield, Pete Carroll decided to throw the ball. Super Bowl XLIX hero Malcolm Butler took down Wilson and sealed New England victory.
Cliff Avril talks about end of potential Seahawk dynasty
Marshawn Lynch has been selected for the Pro Bowl five times. He led the NFL in rushing touchdowns during the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Everything was in place for Pete Carroll to hand the ball to his star running back and win the game.
Instead, the Seahawks went for the more difficult game. Carroll was criticized for the move, and rightly so.
Cliff Avril, a member of that Seahawks team, believes the controversial appeal played a role in the late dynasty years too early. He was the guest of Catch fades with Aqib Talib.
Aqib Talib asked Avril if play alone affected the team in the future. The former Pro Bowler had an interesting response.
“At first when I was there I didn’t think it played a role,” he said. “But after the fact you start talking to some of the guys and you start to hear what the guys are feeling. Yeah I think so. I think it spoiled the momentum.
Avril added that the players have the most confidence in Lynch to get the yardage needed to score a touchdown. “I think a lot of guys started to question the message. If a coach has a philosophy and everyone adheres to it, then you change it. Now everyone’s looking at you like, ‘Oh wait, have you been lying to us all this time?’ “
Looking back, the former defensive end sensed a change in the mood in the locker room.
“I think if we win this second, we’ll probably win a third in a year or two,” said Avril.
The Seahawks had the potential to dominate for years to come
Cliff Avril may have a valid point. The Seattle Seahawks had the knack of building a legitimate dynasty, which is difficult to do in the NFL.
Pete Carroll is known as a player coach, and he had a lot of talented players on his roster.
Quarterback Russell Wilson was the team leader and played three Pro Bowls from 2012 to 2015. Marshawn Lynch was one of the most feared running backs in the game.
The receiving corps of Golden Tate, Doug Baldwin, Percy Harvin and Jermaine Kearse was not elite, but it was solid. The receptors developed chemistry with Wilson, and it worked.
Defense was the strength of the Seahawks during this period. The Legion of Boom starred Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, and Brandon Browner. High school received most of the credit, but the top seven held up. Cliff Avril, Michael Bennett, Bobby Wagner and KJ Wright made everyone’s job easier.
The Seahawks had something special in the works. Whether Pete Carroll’s decision changed the team’s trajectory or not, we will always remember the call for the wrong reason.
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