With 53 Super Bowls taking place to date, NFL fans have witnessed thousands of plays. Out of all of these calls, some stand out as the best, and others make fans cringe. But only one can take the title as the worst play in Super Bowl history. The Seattle Seahawks have the distinction of being the team that made this play — one Seattle fans will never forget.
The Seahawks’ 2014 season
After the Seahawks won their first Super Bowl in the 2013 season, they hoped to go back to back in 2014. Most of the stars from the championship team returned. Quarterback Russell Wilson was still throwing the ball to the likes of WR Doug Baldwin and RB Marshawn Lynch, leading the offensive attack on the ground.
For the second straight season, Seattle had the best defense in the NFL. After leading the league with 231 points allowed in 2013, the team gave up a league-low 254 points in 2014. The strong offense and defense combined to earn the Seahawks a 12-4 record, just one game worse than the prior season.
The 2014 NFL Playoffs
Three NFC teams finished 12-4 that season, but the Seahawks got the No. 1 seed in the playoffs thanks to tiebreakers. This gave Seattle home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Seahawks beat the 7-8-1 NFC South champion Panthers in the divisional round pretty easily.
They faced more of a challenge in the conference championship when the Packers — one of the other 12-4 teams — came to Seattle for a chance to advance to Super Bowl XLIX. The Seahawks needed overtime, but they eventually beat the Aaron Rodgers-led team by a final score of 28-22.
With the win, the Seahawks secured a trip to Glendale, Ariz., to possibly become an elite team by winning the Super Bowl for two straight years. If they were going to do it, they’d have to get through the Patriots. And New England was coming off a 45-7 thrashing of the Colts in the AFC Championship.
Super Bowl XLIX: Seahawks vs. Patriots
The Seahawks’ chance to become repeat champs came on Feb. 1, 2015, in front of 70,000-plus people at the University of Phoenix Stadium and over 100 million fans watching on TV. The teams were pretty evenly matched in the first half; defense dominated a scoreless first quarter.
Then the scoring got underway with both teams scoring two touchdowns in the second quarter for a 14-14 tie at the half. The Seahawks came out of the break strong, outscoring the Patriots 10-0 in the third quarter. Seahawk fans had confidence heading into the final 15 minutes of the game.
Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola about halfway through the fourth quarter to get the Patriots within a field goal of tying the game. The Seahawks’ ensuing drive led to a three-and-out and a 39-yard punt by Jon Ryan. Brady then took the Patriots on a 64-yard touchdown drive that took nearly five minutes off the clock.
Down four, the Seahawks got the ball back with 2:06 left in the game. They started their drive at their own 20, but a 31-yard pass to Lynch on the first drive immediately got them into Patriots territory. Wilson continued to lead them down the field.
With 1:06 remaining, they were at the five-yard line, and a four-yard Lynch run got them to the one-yard line. Then came “the play,” according to Sports Illustrated.
With 26 seconds left and second-and-goal, instead of giving the ball to Lynch, the Seahawks decided to throw it. It was intended for WR Ricardo Lockette, but it ended up in the hands of Patriots CB Malcolm Butler in the endzone for a Super Bowl-clinching interception.
Follow more updates from Sportscasting on our Facebook page.