Cliff Avril Reflects On Final Play Of Super Bowl Loss To Patriots

Everyone thought Marshawn Lynch was getting the ball; he didn't, and Seattle lost

Zach Gelb
January 06, 2020 - 11:21 am
Malcolm Butler Super Bowl

USA Today Images


Marshawn Lynch rumbled for a 5-yard touchdown in Seattle’s 17-9 win over the Eagles on Sunday, bouncing off several defenders in the process. While Seahawks fans were likely elated in the moment, they probably couldn’t help but think back to Super Bowl XLIX and wonder why Lynch didn’t get the ball from a yard out against the Patriots.

Former Seahawks defensive end and Super Bowl champion Cliff Avril, however, isn’t mad at Pete Carroll or former Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell for how that play unfolded

“Looking back at it, I’ve heard multiple stories, and I still kind of feel the same way,” Avril said on The Zach Gelb Show. “I’m one of those guys that looks at things half-full instead of half-empty. I’m glad I won a Super Bowl. Of course I would have loved to have won another one. But Marshawn not getting the rock in that particular situation, from my understanding from different people that I’ve talked to, I found out that throughout that season, they ran that play. That same exact play, we ran it and it has worked. We don’t question it when it works; we only question it when it doesn’t work.”

It didn’t work in the Super Bowl, as Wilson threw an interception to end the game.

“I’m kind of in that space,” Avril said. “It’s worked before in the past, they decided to try to do it again, it didn’t necessarily work – it just happened to be our Super Bowl. It just happened to be the last play of a Super Bowl that we felt we were going to win, so of course it has a bigger impact. But I don’t question the coach because he’s the one that called the plays to get us there; we just didn’t make it happen at the end.”

Avril played with Lynch from 2013 to 2015. It’s strange for Avril to see Lynch donning a Seahawks uniform once again.

“It’s weird to see from multiple fronts,” he said. “Obviously we know how everything ended, but more so than anything, Marshawn is really a good friend of mine and he’s really excited about being here. For me, it’s exciting to see him back in a No. 24 jersey in the blue and green.”

Avril attended the Seahawks’ regular-season finale, a 26-21 loss to the 49ers. Lynch carried 12 times for 34 yards and a touchdown.

“When they announced him coming out of the tunnel, the stadium erupted,” Avril said. “That by itself shows you the type of person that he is, but also the leadership that he brings to that locker room. That running back stable is a bunch of young players, and they all have looked up to Marshawn. For Marshawn to be in that room with them, I think, is huge.”

The Seahawks will face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in the NFC divisional round this Sunday. Kickoff is slated for 6:40 p.m. ET.