This one will haunt Seattle coach Pete Carroll the entire offseason. Fate was in his corner. Receiver Jermaine Kearse had just made the kind of catch that Giants receiver David Tyree called "supernatural" the last time the Patriots were here chasing destiny in 2008.
Thanks to Kearse's juggling, use-all-body-parts, 33-yard grab, Seattle was on the doorstep of back-to-back Super Bowl titles. It had running back Marshawn Lynch, who had already topped 100 yards and was averaging 4.25 yards a carry. It had the ball on the 1-yard line, and there was less than a minute to play. Everybody knew the play call. At least, everybody knew the play that should be called.
Instead of running Lynch, however, Seattle sent in three receivers to spread out the Patriots, New England stayed in its goal-line defense, and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell called a pass play against stack coverage, over the middle.
"It's not the right matchup for us to run the football, so on second down, we throw the ball really to kind of waste that play," Carroll said. "If we score, we do. If we don't, then we'll run it on third and fourth down."
The Seahawks never got the chance because Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler stepped in front of receiver Ricardo Lockette to pick off quarterback Russell Wilson's pass and complete New England's crazy 28-24 win on Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
"What were they thinking?" Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner asked.