After the intensity of the week that was, it was understandable if you called it an early Sunday night. If you're a NFL aficionado, you may regret that decision in the light of day. Under a glorious supermoon, the Seattle Seahawks visited the New England Patriots, the first time they've met since Marshawn Lynch didn't carry the pigskin into the end zone in Super Bowl XLIX, because Seattle decided to throw it to Malcolm Butler instead.
Super Bowl XLIX is on the shortlist of best ever, and the rematch was a pretty good approximation. Let's pick it up in the 4th quarter with 4:28 to go. Seattle's up 25-24 when Russell Wilson hits receiver Doug Baldwin for a 15-yard touchdown and a seven-point lead. (The infamous Super Bowl loaf-pincher had a monster three-TD night.)
At this point, all the Hawks have to do is kick the extra point, then let their #3-ranked DVOA defense do the rest. Sure, it's plenty of time for the Pats, but logic dictates…oh, no. NONONONONONONONONONO—
Bill Belichick worked his voodoo-mind-melt on Pete Carroll once again as he, inexplicably, went for two to "put the game away," even though an eight-point lead would have given the Hawks a 96.89% win probability. Old Big Balls Pete didn't like them odds.
Of course, Tom Brady marched the Patriots down the field all Tom Brady precision-like with calm, cool, collected throws that included a beautiful sideline floater to Julian Edelman. Ultimately, the long march set up a Bizzaro World goal-line stand. The Patriots had four downs and :46 seconds from the 2-yard-line. Big burly-ass back LeGarrette Blount already had three red zone touchdowns. Naturally, Belichick got reverse-voodoo-mind-melted by Pete Carroll, and after losing the Super Bowl when all they had to do was punch it into the end zone, the Seahawks beat the Pats when all New England had to do was punch it into the end zone.
[Here is where we would embed the YouTube clip the NFL has of the entire sequence, but the NFL hates you and disabled embedding. So go here if you'd like to see the very interesting thing we are talking about.]
Blount's one failed rushing attempt was sandwiched between two Tom Brady sneaks—recovering his own fumble on one—and a fade to Gronk that had a both-sides-are-equal amount of contact and thus was no-called correctly.
A lot of scoring, goal-line stands, and beautiful coaching gaffes make for terrific football. We eagerly await Patriots-Seahawks Who Wants it Less Bowl III.