Had Russell Wilson not thrown a game-ending interception to cover man Malcolm Butler, though, the focus would have shifted to Bill Belichick. Even after New England's win in Super Bowl XLIX, plenty wanted to know why the Patriots coach didn't call a timeout after Marshawn Lynch's first down run drained the clock from 1:06 to just 26 seconds left.
Appearing on WEEI-FM in Boston on Tuesday, Belichick said he considered calling a timeout, only to change his mind at the last second.
"We put our goal-line defense in probably around the same time they were sending in their multiple receiver group, and that's kind of what we wanted to be in there, to make sure they didn't run the ball in," Belichick said, per ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.
"I'd like to think had they tried to run the ball against our goal-line defense, with three receivers on the field -- we couldn't ask for any more than that in terms of trying to stop the running game," Belichick said. "We saw that matchup and we certainly gave some consideration to taking a timeout there and leaving some time on the clock. I don't know if that would have been a bad thing to do. It might have been a good thing to do. But it just seemed like -- in the flow of the game -- that we were OK with where we were."
Belichick can say whatever he wants, but the decision to let the clock burn away was controversial. It's extremely rare not to see a timeout called in that type of late-game scenario.
The rest, of course, is history.