|Al Michaels on his call at end of Super Bowl XLIX: ‘I reacted like a fan’||05.18.16 at 3:08 pm ET|
Al Michaels stopped by “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday and talked about a handful of topics, including his call of Malcolm Butler’s interception of Russell Wilson at the end of Super Bowl XLIX. In that one, he said he reacted to the end of the game “like a fan,” and added that he was lucky enough to have been able to recall Butler’s name quickly because the cornerback was involved in a big play only moments before.
Michaels also recalled the infamous decision to throw the ball instead of handing it to Marshawn Lynch.
“It wasn’t so much that Wilson threw it, but the actual play itself — over the middle,” recalled Michaels. “In retrospect, you go back to, ‘Russell Wilson, mobile. He could run it into the end zone himself. Get him out on the edge (and) have him throw it to the corner of the end zone.’ If it’s incomplete, it stops the clock and you still have two more plays. I wasn’t of a mind that said Lynch had to carry the ball. No. I understood maybe throwing it. But not throwing it over the middle to (Ricardo) Lockett.”
|Russell Wilson references Super Bowl XLIX interception against Patriots in commencement speech||05.15.16 at 2:54 pm ET|
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson can poke fun at himself.
Wilson, who was the commencement speaker at the University of Wisconsin on Saturday, passed along some worthwhile advice to the graduates during his speech. At one point, he harkened back to his Super Bowl XLIX defeat to the Patriots, a loss that was sealed when Malcolm Butler picked off a pass on the goal line.
“If you’re playing the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, and you got 26 seconds left and you’re down by four and you’re second-and-goal on their 1-yard line, try not to throw an interception,” he said with a smile.
Turns out Wilson is also no fan of former N.C. State and Boston College coach Tom O’Brien. Wilson, recalled his interaction with O’Brien when the two were together at North Carolina State. Wilson said O’Brien — who was the head coach at Boston College from 1997 to 2006 before leaving to take over the Wolfpack program in 2007 — wanted to move him to safety before the start of his freshman season.
“Excuse my country voice here, but he says, ‘Son, I’m switching your position. I’m moving you to safety.’ He’s not asking me. He’s telling me,” Wilson recounted. “I could have just gone along with it, and maybe I should have just gone along with it. But for whatever reason, I wasn’t ready to take no for an answer.”
Wilson also remembered a conversation he had with O’Brien right before he ended up transferring to Wisconsin.
“The summer before my senior year of college, I’m playing minor-league baseball. I called my football coach at NC State and said, ‘Hey coach, I’d like to come back for my senior year.’ He told me I wasn’t coming back,” he said. “He said, ‘Listen son, you’re never going to play in the National Football League. You’re too small. There’s no chance. You’ve got no shot. Give it up.’ Of course, I’m on this side of the phone saying, ‘So you’re telling me I’m not coming back to NC State? I won’t see the field?’ He said, ‘No son, you won’t see the field.’”
Of course, Wilson would go on to become a third-round pick of the Seahawks, and lead Seattle to back-to-back appearances in the Super Bowl.
|Panthers hold off Seahawks, will host Cardinals in NFC championship||01.17.16 at 4:22 pm ET|
Jonathan Stewart ran for 106 yards and two touchdowns while Cam Newton threw for another as the Carolina Panthers held off a furious second-half rally by the Seattle Seahawks to claim a 31-24 win in an NFC divisional game Sunday in Charlotte.
Steven Hauschka converted a 36-yard field goal with 1:12 left in the fourth quarter to draw the Seahawks within a touchdown. But Thomas Davis Sr. caught the onside kick to seal the win for the Panthers, who led at the half, 31-0.
The win sets up a matchup between the No. 1 seeded Panthers (16-1) and the No. 2 Cardinals (14-3) in the NFC championship next Sunday in Charlotte.
The Panthers broke out on top early in the first quarter, taking their opening drive down the field for a score. That drive was highlighted by a 59-yard run up the middle by Stewart, who became the first player to run for over 100 yards against the Seahawks since Jamaal Charles on Nov. 16, 2014.
Russell Wilson had a nightmarish first half, which included a pick-6 by Luke Kuechly moments after the Stewart touchdown run to open scoring. Wilson finished 31-for-48 for 366 yards and three touchdowns. Two of those touchdowns went to Jermaine Kearse, who finished with 11 catches for 110 yards.
The Seahawks had a chance to get on the board late in the second quarter but Pete Carroll turned down a short field goal try to go for it on 4th-and-5. The Seahawks missed that chance and a 55-yard field goal attempt right before half.
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|Seahawks hold off Vikings, advance to face Panthers, Packers rout Redskins, face Cardinals||01.10.16 at 5:11 pm ET|
The former Bengals defensive coordinator, in his second season as Vikings head coach, needed only for kicker Blair Walsh to convert his fourth field goal of the day from 27 yards out to give him a win his his first playoff try.
Instead, Walsh hooked the attempt wide left with 22 seconds remaining, giving the Seahawks a 10-9 win over Zimmer’s Vikings on a Sunday afternoon in their wild-card playoff game at the University of Minnesota.
The game was played in sub-zero weather that tied for the third-coldest NFL game on record.
The win propels Pete Carroll‘s No. 6 Seahawks to the NFC Division round next weekend against the No. 1 seed Carolina Panthers next Sunday in Charlotte. Carolina (15-1) beat the Seahawks in Week 6, 27-23, in Seattle.
Until his fateful miss, Walsh had been spot on all day, converting three field goals that staked the upstart Vikings to a 9-0 lead heading into the fourth quarter. But the Seahawks came back with a three-yard TD pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin and a 46-yard field goal from Steven Hauschka to take a 10-9 lead.
As Seattle burned all of their timeouts, the Vikings drove down to the Seattle 9 with 26 seconds left in the game and seemed destined to win before Walsh hooked his kick.
In the late afternoon game, Aaron Rodgers threw a pair of touchdown passes while Eddie Lacy and James Starks each ran for a score to help the No. 5 Packers beat the No. 4 Redskins, 35-18. The Packers move on to play the No. 2 Arizona Cardinals next Saturday evening in the NFC divisional round at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals embarrassed the Packers in Week 16, 38-8, at the same venue.
|Ex-Patriots LB Akeem Ayers has some fun with Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, Twitter trolls after Rams’ win||09.14.15 at 12:00 pm ET|
Ayers, who signed a free agent deal with the Rams in the offseason, was part of a St. Louis team that knocked off Seattle on Sunday afternoon. The upset came a few days after Wilson appeared to predict a Seahawks win on Twitter. Ayers responded with a tweet of his own on Sunday after the game, complete with his Patriots Super Bowl ring — perhaps as a reminder to Wilson.
(UPDATE, 12:41 p.m. — It appears Ayers’ Tweet at Wilson has since been removed.)
‘ AKEEM AYERS (@Akeem_Ayers) September 14, 2015
Ayers also had some fun with a Twitter troll who asked him about the last time he was in the postseason.
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|Seahawks QB Russell Wilson ‘been thinking about that one yard for the past 17 days’||02.20.15 at 9:13 am ET|
On Thursday, Russell Wilson posted a video directed at Seahawks fans on the Players’ Tribune website, prefaced by two written paragraphs. In his post, Wilson took “full responsibility” for Super Bowl XLIX and said that he wants to get back to the championship game again and be remembered for something else.
“One yard,” he wrote. “I’d be lying if I said I haven’t been thinking about that one yard for the past 17 days. Everyone wants to know how I feel. Well … it’s complicated. Walking off that field in Arizona and seeing disappointed Seahawks fans in the stands was anguish. How could I not feel like I let them down? I tried to be positive, but I’m not perfect. I have been away from the game for almost three weeks, trying to escape football and clear my mind. But the funny thing is, I’ve never felt hungrier to get in the weight room and the film room, and keep pushing until we get to Super Bowl 50.
“How do I feel?” he added. “I don’t know if I can fit it into a soundbite. I definitely couldn’t fit it into a 30-second Instagram video. So, after the Players’ Tribune roundtable event on Saturday, I had the camera crew stick around so I could talk it out. Sorry if it’s not perfect. There was no script here. I just wanted to talk directly to the 12s. This is for you.”
Wilson began the video, titled “Call Me Crazy,” by expressing how much he hates losing and how when it hit him that the Seahawks had lost, it was tough.
“It’s a tough feeling of losing,” he said. “If anybody hates losing, I hate losing, and so being in that circumstance on the field in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX and then making a play and us, me feeling I didn’t make the play and knowing that it’s over, all the hard work that you’ve put in all season long, and all the amazing plays, all the plays that you didn’t make, all the great games, all the comeback wins, all the things comes down to that one moment and it feels like it’s lost.”
Wilson talked about the importance of accountability and stressed how he asks himself how he can get better every day and learn something he’s never learned before, and better than he’s ever learned it. He said he could rehash the Super Bowl and that final drive, but stated that he made the video to talk about his mindset, not the game.
“It’s about right now, what can I do today, what can I do for my teammates?” he said. “How can I be a better teammate, how can I be a better leader, and if I can do that then the rest will handle itself.
“The mindset doesn’t change, the focus doesn’t change,” he continued. “The belief that I’m going to get there again and we’re going to do it better than it’s ever done, and that’s never going to change for me, no matter what the circumstances are, and that’s why I’ve been to two Super Bowls. That’s why I’ve been able to win a lot of football games because of the guys I have around me, because of the coaching staff because of the amazing fans, we’ve got that best fans in the National Football League, but also because I believe in my mindset.
“I believe my mindset is going to take me further than anyone else has ever gone, and I just believe that,” Wilson said. “I’m going to be the last guy to ever give up, I’m going to be the last guy to not take a risk, and I think that great things happen when you’re able to step out and make some crazy plays at times and just trust in your preparation and trust in all the things you’ve been able to do. And so through all the ups and downs and through all the questions and wondering what happened and all that, I’m prepared for the next moment and that’s all I know.
“In my mind, I believe I have a killer instinct. I believe that I’m just going to keep going and keep playing and keep fighting and keep doing everything that I can to be successful, and there’s a difference between just being successful and being significant, so my goal is to be significant. My goal is to make a difference, my goal is to do it better than anybody’s ever done it. Call me crazy, call me insane, I don’t know, but I believe I’ll get there again.”
|Russell Wilson: ‘I have no doubt in the play call’||02.04.15 at 10:22 am ET|
What will live on as one of the greatest moments in Patriots history has been regarded on the other side as big a flub on a play call as any.
On the goal line, the Seahawks all but had the touchdown as they set up at the New England 1-yard line. But instead of having workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch carry the football, Seattle opted to pass the ball, which cornerback Malcolm Butler picked off to secure the Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl win in 14 years with a 28-24 victory.
“I had no doubt in the play call,” Wilson said. “I still don’t to this day.”
Wilson added that he thought the play “looked open enough.”
“When I threw it,” he said, “it was, ‘Touchdown. Second Super Bowl ring. Here we go.'”
After watching the replay 12 or so times, Wilson said he wouldn’t have done anything differently. However, he would like to put the play and the loss behind him.
“Let’s keep the focus on the future, not what’s behind,” he said. “The part that I hate is I have to wait seven months to play another game. I can use this for something else. I can use this for life.”
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