Let’s just go ahead and say it: Super Bowl XLIX started off a little slow, then got really good and then gave us arguably the worst-coached final minute in championship-game history. From arguably the two best coaches in football, oddly enough.
“Well, I’ll say this,” CBS Sports NFL analyst Pete Prisco said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “I was astounded that (Seattle) didn’t run Marshawn Lynch (on the final play). And to be quite frank about it, I thought the Patriots kind of blew it at the end there, too.”
With Seattle threatening to take the lead in the final minute, Bill Belichick didn’t call timeout to preserve time for a potential Tom Brady comeback. That made little to no sense.
“He wasn’t calling timeout when he should have been calling timeout,” Prisco said of Belichick. “If they score there, you’re only down three. You got time to get a field goal. So you give Belichick a demerit, but you give the Seahawks a huge demerit. You have this guy who’s one of the strongest running backs – if not the strongest running back – in the league, and you’re from a yard out. You got to pound him in there and try to score that way.
“I know they said they didn’t like the personnel,” Prisco continued. “They didn’t like the matchup. And you look at some of the film of it and the pictures taken. Yeah, (Ricardo Lockette) was open, but I don’t think Russell Wilson saw (Malcolm Butler). I’ll be honest about it. I think when you look from the end-zone angle, I don’t think he expected Butler to be there. I thought he picked him off and he’d have an easy throw for a touchdown. So bad play call, bad execution, bad all the way around.”
So what do we make of Russell Wilson? Before the game, there were people saying he was a top-five quarterback in the league. Now, however, people seem to be backing off that claim.
“He’s 10-12,” Prisco said. “People want to rush him off the elite tree, but if you go back and look at every one of his throws in that game, they were easy one-read throws. Throw it up and the guy made a play on it. I thought the best throw he made was the one Kearse dropped on a big third down. He’s okay as a quarterback. He’s good as a guy who can move outside the pocket. He’s good with the ball underneath his arm. He’s average in the pocket, and he’s average reading the field. He has to get better at that.
“And it’ll be tougher,” Prisco continued. “He’s played with the No.1 ranked defense in the league the last three years. If they lead the league as the No.1 scoring defense in the league next year, it’ll be four years in a row – and the last team to do that, I think, was the Browns in the 50s. That tells you what kind of talent he’s paying with.”