Super-‘No!’ Here are 3 of the Worst Coaching Decisions Ever Made in Super Bowl History

Football |

While few teams give their quarterbacks the freedom to call their own plays or trigger an audible at the last second, most offensive decisions are made by the coaches on the sideline or in the booth.

And even though players often drop passes, fumble the ball or make boneheaded mistakes, the head coach is usually the recipient of criticism when a play didn’t go as fans expected. The athletes on the field are rarely held accountable for a play that nets zero return, unless it involves an obvious blunder.. Unfortunately, some of the worst coaching decisions are made during the biggest game of the year. Here are three of the most awful play calls in Super Bowl history.

Bill Belichick – Super Bowl XLII


Heading into Super Bowl XLII to face the New York Giants, the New England Patriots were 18-0 and on the verge of beginning the first undefeated team to win the Super Bowl since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.. With less than seven minutes remaining in the third quarter, Bill Belichick opted to go for it on 4th-and-13 rather than extend the Patriots’ 7-3 lead with a field goal. Brady would end up throwing the ball out of the endzone, leading to a turnover on downs.. On the shoulders of Eli Manning, the Giants would go on to win the Super Bowl, spoiling the Patriots’ undefeated season in epic fashion. The final score was 17-14 — the difference of a single field goal.

Kyle Shanahan – Super Bowl LI


The Atlanta Falcons’ collapse in Super Bowl LI against the New England Patriots will forever be dubbed the worst choke job in NFL history. Late in the third quarter, the Falcons had a commanding 28-3 lead and a win expectancy well over 98%.. Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, however, decided he would give Brady and company endless opportunities to make an epic comeback by abandoning the run game in favor of aggressive pass plays.. His biggest misstep was with 4:40 left in the fourth quarter. The Falcons had the ball at the Patriots’ 22-yard line, clinging to a 28-20 lead. Rather than milk the clock and force the Patriots to use their timeouts, Shanahan called for a pass on second down.. The Patriots were able to reach quarterback Matt Ryan and sack him for a 12-yard lost. A holding penalty on third down took Atlanta out of field goal range.. The Patriots would go on to score a touchdown and convert a 2-point conversion to send the game into overtime. Of course, we all know what happened next.

Pete Carroll – Super Bowl XLIX


Hardly anyone would disagree that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll’s head-scratching decision in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLIX was the biggest coaching blunder in NFL history.. With the Patriots leading the Seahawks 28-24, Seattle lined up on New England’s one-yard line on second-and-goal with just 25 seconds remaining. Rather than hand the ball to the league’s top running back Marshawn Lynch, Carroll decided to let Russell Wilson win the game with his arm.. Wilson dropped back about five yards and fired the ball to a slanting Ricardo Lockette. Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler jammed Lockette and intercepted the ball, securing the win and another Patriots’ Lombardi Trophy.