Pete Carroll must forever live with the consequences of a good decision gone bad.
On Feb. 1, 2015, Carroll’s Seattle Seahawks trailed the New England Patriots 28-24 with 26 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX. Seattle had the ball second down and goal on New England’s one-yard line with Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch in the backfield. New England had the worst record in the league that year of allowing opponents to score within two yards of the goal line. All the stars were lined up to give the ball to Lynch and let him barrel into the end zone.
But to nearly everyone’s astonishment, Carroll called for quarterback Russell Wilson to pass. The throw was picked off by Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler, who fell on the ball, enabling New England to run out the clock for a stunning and unlikely win.