By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — There were a number of reasons for the Seahawks’ loss to the Redskins on Sunday. There was Blair Walsh and his three missed field goals. There was a complete defensive collapse on the Redskins’ winning drive. There was an offensive failure for the first three quarters. There was a ridiculous total of 16 penalties for 138 yards.
There was a lot.
But sprinkled in that disastrous game for the Seahawks was one particular play that is sure to make many football fans in New England smile.
It came early in the fourth quarter, after the Seahawks had scored a touchdown to cut Washington’s lead to 10-8. The Seahawks opted to go for two in an effort to tie the game at 10 apiece.
And much like they infamously did in Super Bowl XLIX, the Seahawks decided they were going to gain these crucial yards by the goal line through the air.
In an empty backfield, Wilson took a shotgun snap. Tight end Jimmy Graham was slightly offset to the right side, and running back J.D. McKissic was split out wide to the right as a receiver. At the snap, Graham broke in a direct line for the corner of the end zone, and McKissic ran a slant underneath Graham. The idea was that Graham would create enough of a roadblock for the defensive backs that McKissic would be wide open for the easy two points.
The problem is, well, teams kind of have their ears perked up when the Seahawks break the huddle in such a formation at the goal line. And so, safety D.J. Swearinger sniffed out the play, broke on the ball, and intercepted the pass:
With some fancy laterals, the Redskins nearly turned it into two points for themselves. But the Seahawks collectively didn’t quit on the play and were able to tackle the ball carrier at the Seattle 16-yard line. (As an aside, the newish rule that allows defenses to try to take turnovers 100 yards for two points is cool, but it feels like a rip-off to go 80-something yards and have nothing to show for it. Maybe a single point? A pat on the back at least? Football is a cold game.)
It was a slightly different play than the one that sank the Seahawks’ hopes and dreams in February 2015. Back then, they stacked two receivers on the right side, tasking the receiver on the line of scrimmage to tie up the cornerback to (theoretically) allow the receiver off the line of scrimmage to sneak inside for an easy reception. But, as history will tell you, it didn’t work then.
And on Sunday, a slight variant also didn’t work.
What’s really crazy is that Wilson threw an interception earlier in the game that also looked a whole lot like Wilson’s Super Bowl-losing interception, albeit on a completely different play:
The Seahawks should stop passing the football from so close to the goal line. And stop throwing over the middle in general. The potential consequences are just too hilarious for us all to grasp.