Carroll's decision to pass rather than simply putting the ball in the hands of bruising tackle-breaker Marshawn Lynch has come under fire on social media, over the talk radio airwaves and in major television studios this week. Some have gone as far as to decry the play call as the worst in NFL history.
In a Wednesday interview with WEEI-FM in Boston, coaching counterpart Bill Belichick came to Carroll's defense while castigating the most emphatic Monday morning quarterbacks.
"I think there's been a lot of criticism that's I don't think anywhere close to being deserved or founded," Belichick said. "That football team is very good and they're very well coached. Pete does a great job. Malcolm (Butler) and Brandon (Browner) on that particular play just made a great play.
"I think the criticism they've gotten for the game is totally out of line -- and by a lot of people who I don't think are anywhere near qualified to be commenting on it."
Whether they're qualified or not, football fans across the globe can hardly be blamed for debating a decision that will be dissected as long as football is played. It's what sports enthusiasts have been doing since the middle of the 19th century.
The shame is that the backfiring of one play call wholly overshadowed the aggressive coaching clinic conducted by Carroll at the end of the first half.
The outcome of one decision involving manifold factors beyond Carroll's control doesn't alter the fact that Belichick is the lone coach with a loftier perch in the NFL's current hierarchy.