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One play changed big comeback into a nightmare for Russell Wilson

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Russell Wilson was one play and 1 yard from doing what he has done so many times before: find a way to win at the end.

Instead, thanks to what might be remembered as the worst play call in Super Bowl history, Wilson found a way to lose.

Wilson ran the play called, but it decided the outcome in the 28-24 loss to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday night.

The Seattle Seahawks had a second-and-goal at the New England 1-yard line with 26 seconds to go. With arguably the best running back in the league in Marshawn Lynch and definitely the best running quarterback in the league in Wilson, the Seahawks elected to throw it.

The quick slant route, intended for Ricardo Lockette, was intercepted by cornerback Malcolm Butler near the goal line. With that, Wilson’s run of comeback victories came to a shocking halt.

“It definitely hurts,” Wilson said. “I hate the feeling that I’m the one who lost it.”

He isn’t. If anyone is to blame, it’s offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and coach Pete Carroll for making the decision to throw when they had three downs to run it in.

“He took the blame for it,” Wilson said of Carroll. “But it’s not his fault. Put the blame on me. I’m the one who threw it. I trusted the play and trusted our players.”

Wilson had marched the team 79 yards down the field after the Patriots took the lead on a 3-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady to Julian Edelman with 2:06 remaining.

Wilson completed a 31-yard sideline throw to Lynch, an 11-yard throw to Lockette and a 33-yard pass on a miraculous, bobbling, off-his-back catch by Jermaine Kearse, which got them to the Patriots' 5-yard line. The next play was a handoff to Lynch, who almost made it in but was stopped at the 1.

Three plays to win it and make Wilson the first quarterback in history to win two Super Bowls in his first three NFL seasons. Three plays to give Wilson his 16th comeback win as the Seattle quarterback and his sixth of the season.

The fairy tale changed to a nightmare on one seemingly senseless play. This was the 10th time this season the Seahawks had a play at their opponents’ 1-yard line. They had rushed the ball on seven of the previous nine such chances. They scored a touchdown on three of the seven runs and one of the two dropbacks. Lynch had five rushes from the 1-yard line this season for minus-1 yard and one touchdown.

This time, they threw it into a crowded middle of the field with everything on the line.

“I thought it was a touchdown, honestly,” Wilson said of the quick slant throw. “It looked like it worked. But the guy [Butler] made an incredible play. That’s really what it came down to.”

Wilson put the Seahawks in position to win, with two long drives at the end of each half. The Seahawks went 80 yards in 29 seconds to tie it 14-14 at the end of the second quarter, and they did it without Lynch or either starting wide receiver touching the ball.

The Seahawks shocked the Patriots on five plays, including a 17-yard run by Wilson, a 23-yard pass to Lockette and an 11-yard touchdown throw to Chris Matthews, after the Seahawks went for it with six seconds to go in the half.

Wilson finished with 12 completions on 21 throws for 247 yards, two touchdowns and a 110.6 QB rating. He completed five passes of more than 25 yards and four of more than 30 yards. He almost pulled it off again, which has become his trademark.

But one incredibly inexplicable play call, which Wilson tried to make work, will haunt him and the Seahawks for a long time.

"We were right there,” Wilson said. “We fought so hard all game. I’ve watched a lot of Super Bowls. In my opinion, that was one of the better ones. We just didn’t win it.”