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Run or pass? What the Packers might have done in Seahawks' shoes

2/3/2015

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Perhaps you've asked yourself what the Green Bay Packers would have done if they had been in the Seattle Seahawks' shoes at the New England Patriots' 1-yard line with the final seconds of Super Bowl XLIX ticking way.

Would coach Mike McCarthy have done like the Seahawks and called a pass play? Or would he have given the ball to one of his bruising backs, Eddie Lacy or John Kuhn?

History tells us either option would have been in play.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Packers had 19 goal-to-go plays from their opponents' 1-yard line during the regular season. They threw the ball on 10 of them. On those 10 plays, quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed five passes -- all for touchdowns.

On the nine runs, they scored five touchdowns. Lacy carried in six of those nine plays, and scored four times. Kuhn got the ball twice and didn't score on either one. Rodgers took it once, on a sneak against the Detroit Lions in Week 17, and scored.

In the playoffs, the Packers had two more snaps with just 1-yard to go for a touchdown. They ran on both, and failed on both -- once by Kuhn and once by Lacy. They came on consecutive plays -- second-and-goal from the 1 and third-and-goal from the 1 -- in the first quarter of the NFC Championship Game at Seattle. They tried Kuhn up the middle on second down, and the officials initially ruled he scored. However, upon further review from the replay booth, Kuhn was ruled down just short of the goal line. On the next play, Lacy ran off left guard didn't come close to the goal line. On both plays, the Packers were in their jumbo package with seven offensive linemen, two backs and a tight end.

The Packers' final percentages looked like this: Including playoffs, they ran the ball on 52.4 percent of their goal-to-go plays from their opponents' 1-yard line and threw it on 47.6 percent of those plays. Their success rate was 45.5 percent when running the ball in those situations and 55.5 percent throwing it.

So while everyone from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll to offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to quarteback Russell Wilson to receiver Ricardo Lockette has been blamed for either the decision or execution of the play, perhaps the Packers might have tried the same thing.