Not too long ago, the Seattle Seahawks appeared as if they would become the next New England Patriots in terms of NFL dynasties.
The Legion of Boom was young, the defensive line hungry, and the entire unit mirrored legendary squads of the past like the Pittsburgh Steelers “Steel Curtain” and the Minnesota Vikings “Purple People Eaters” of the 1960s and 70s.
Then, in the most critical play of Super Bowl XLIX against the Pats, head coach Pete Carroll inexplicably called a slant pass on second-and-goal from New England’s one-yard line, which ended up in the hands of Malcolm Butler. Game over.
The Seahawks would not come close to that stage again since, and former Hawks defensive lineman Cliff Avril believes the current turmoil in Seattle is because of that defining moment.
Cliff Avril: Seahawks started questioning Pete Carroll after Super Bowl interception https://t.co/EWAC5iJ4mf
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 26, 2018
Per Dave Dameshek’s podcast (h/t Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk), the free-agent end stated “a lot of guys got turned off” after Carroll didn’t give it to bruiser Marshawn Lynch in that situation.
“If we win that Super Bowl, I think we would have won another one,” said Avril. “I do think the team would have bought in more to what Coach Carroll was saying, instead of going the opposite way.”
Here’s a portion of the interview between Dameshek and Avril:
Strong words from @cliffavril on the irreparable damage that Super Bowl INT caused the Seahawks' would-be dynasty.@SportsRadioKJR @NFL
— Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) May 23, 2018
What could have been had the Seahawks won back-to-back championships, we’ll never know.
But there’s no doubt it’s hard to get over the what ifs that Carroll’s call would invoke moving forward. A play that will likely forever mark the end of what should’ve been but never was.