The Sunday Night NFL game between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots was one for the ages, but on Monday morning, the NFL world will be talking about one play.
With the game on the line, the New England Patriots‘ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels elected to go with a short-yardage run with Cam Newton in the final seconds (a play he’d run in the same situation several times that game). It didn’t work, and the internet let him know about it.
Newton had driven the Patriots to the one-yard line, and with the score 35-30 in the Seahawks’ favor, a TD would have given New England the win. New England had success with the play throughout the game with Newton having two touchdown runs from the same situation earlier.
On the final play, the Seahawks were ready.
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McDaniels Took Criticism From Everywhere
The critics of McDaniels’ choice of play with the game on the line came from all over the sports world. Not least of which was ESPN First Take personality Stephen A. Smith:
Bill Belichick on the Final Play
Head coach Bill Belichick didn’t throw his offensive coordinator under the bus. He supported the call and gave the Seahawks credit for their execution on the play.
Cam Newton on the Final Play of the Game
Newton said “we might have gone to the well one too many times,” but he also put the blame on himself. He talked about some of the things he wished he’d done better on that play, as well as the one interception he threw.
It Was the Wrong Call
It’s easy to say it was the wrong call in hindsight, but it does feel as though it was a bit too predictable. Some would argue that if you have one yard to gain with the game on the line, you go to your strengths and don’t try to be too tricky. However, having been in that situation multiple times on Sunday night, it seemed as though there should have been at least a slight deviation.
A Newton run would have still been a decent call, but perhaps you go with a different formation or grouping to spread the Seahawks out a bit more. Again, hindsight is 20-20, but even before the ball was snapped I was saying to myself, “are they going to run the same thing again?”
Apparently, the Seahawks were thinking the same thing.
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