The numbers can be spun like a Rubik’s Cube, but it comes out the same: Lynch’s touchdown rate on rushes from the 1 falls well short of the NFL average.

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Tuesday is Day 1 of the NFL’s 2015 calendar year, so naturally it’s a time for reflection and maybe a resolution or two.

“Here’s to winning the next Super Bowl!” is the beer toast — and one the football gods have heard from 32 teams.

Perhaps fate will favor a more modest approach: “To the Seahawks. May they reach their highest potential in 2015.”

To that end, the Seahawks will lure free agents, scrutinize draftees and re-evaluate schemes. At some point, perhaps on a “Tell the Truth Monday,” they will consider whether their minds collectively are right.

The Marshawn Lynch non-rush and subsequent interception to end the Seahawks’ chance to defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1 isn’t just immortalized in the minds of Seattleites. Analysts called the decision to pass instead of run from the 1-yard line the worst call in the history of football. Like the Immaculate Reception, Scott Norwood’s Wide Right, David Tyree’s helmet catch and other indelible plays, that pass will have a lasting impact.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson recently said he thinks about the interception every day. “It hits me,” he wrote on the website The Players’ Tribune. “It’s tough to deal with … hopefully I will be remembered for something different.”

Lynch has publicly supported the play call, but recently suggested that perhaps he didn’t get the ball because the organization didn’t want him to be the Super Bowl MVP. Former Seahawk Ben Obomanu recently said in a radio interview that, based on his conversations, some current Seahawks — plural — agree with Lynch and are “actually believing that the organization in some kind of way was trying to allow Russell Wilson to be the star.”

A “new year” resolution

For the Seahawks to reach their potential in 2015, the players must trust their coaches. Trust that the coaches will make sound decisions and trust that ill-conceived agendas are not influencing those decisions.

Here’s an idea for a Seahawks’ “new year” resolution: Get a resolution. To that play. Resolve to understand it, and leave it to last year. With that, two questions: Were the coaching decisions involving Wilson’s fateful pass sound? Were the decisions motivated by an agenda?

The critical sequence began after Jermaine Kearse’s circus catch when the clock was stopped at 1:06. However, two factors added to the normal urgency that often follows a big play: First, it was initially unclear on the sideline whether the play had been ruled a catch. And second, the Seahawks did not have a running back on the field on the previous play. Amid the chaos, Seattle was compelled to call its second timeout.

At this juncture, Seattle balanced three competing objectives in its effort to score: 1. Preserve enough clock to execute four plays if needed. 2. Ensure that calling two plays in any single huddle — potentially disastrous for execution — would not be necessary. 3. Leave as little time as possible for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the NFL’s career leader in playoff game-winning drives.

After Lynch hammered for 4 yards, exactly one minute remained as Seattle faced second-and-goal at the 1. Mindful of the Brady time consideration, Seattle took the clock to 26 seconds before the next snap. After all, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan needed just 23 seconds to beat Seattle in the playoffs two years ago. This past season, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning went 80 yards in 41 seconds to tie the score late, and the Packers’ Aaron Rodgers needed just a little over a minute to produce a tie late in the NFC Championship Game.

For all its defensive prowess, Seattle over the past three seasons has allowed the league’s most game-winning or game-tying drives in the final two minutes.

Making the right call

In its simplicity, the second-down decision boiled down to two questions: Run or pass? And which run or pass?

When play-callers anticipate the scheme and predict the execution of the opponent’s players, and the probable execution of their own players, assumptions are made based on the piles of data available to coaches. Even coaches who are less calculated and call “by the gut” have instincts that are aware of relevant tendencies. All coaches watch too much videotape to be unaware.

During the past 10 NFL seasons, regular and postseason, there have been 989 called passes (including sacks and “scrambles” — the official term for a rush attempt by a passer who it was deemed originally intended to pass) from the 1-yard line. The touchdown rate is 49.2 percent. There have been 23 interceptions, a 2.3 percent rate.

Before the Super Bowl interception, Wilson in his NFL career had 10 passes called from the 1-yard line. He had produced touchdowns at the NFL average: five — three by passing, two by “scramble.” He had no turnovers. He had three sacks but for a total loss of 2 yards.

During the same 10 seasons, there have been 2,545 rush attempts (excluding scrambles and QB kneel-downs) from the 1-yard line. The touchdown rate is 54.7 percent. The lost-fumble rate is 1.4 percent.

However, from the 1-yard line, Lynch for his career has a touchdown-conversion rate of just 15 for 35 (42.9 percent). For Lynch’s Seahawks career, he is 13 of 29 (44.8 percent). Since 2012, the year Wilson joined the offense, Lynch is 6 for 16 (37.5 percent) and has lost yards on five of those 16 attempts with one lost fumble. Since 2013, the two Super Bowl years, Lynch is 5 for 13 (38.5 percent). During 2014, Lynch was 1 for 5 (20 percent).

Give a man a reputation as an early riser, and he can sleep till noon.

But Lynch had just rumbled for 4 yards on first down; why not pound him again? Over the past 10 seasons when NFL offenses rush from the 1-yard line following a rushing gain between 4 and 10 yards, the touchdown percentage on those 342 rushes actually drops a point to 53.5 percent. In those situations, Lynch for his career is 1 for 7.

The numbers can be turned upside down, sideways or spun like a Rubik’s Cube, but it comes out the same: Lynch’s touchdown rate on rushes from the 1 falls well short of the NFL average.

Snap to whistle, Lynch is my favorite Seahawk ever, but from the 1-yard line ineffective blocking and hyper-focused defenses have combined to neutralize the game’s most tenacious back.

How they matched up

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll cited an additional factor influencing Seattle’s decision.

“We sent in our personnel, they sent in (their) goal-line (package). It’s not the right matchup for us to run the football, so on second down we throw the ball.”

As Carroll refers to “the right matchup,” he’s playing percentages. A general overview: What coaches call “regular” offensive personnel — with two running backs and one tight end — when matched against “base” defense there are two receivers against four defensive backs. Therefore, on a rush attempt I’ll call them “bigs” — there are seven blockers who are “bigger than receivers” blocking seven defensive players who are “bigger than defensive backs.”

This is the defensive “front seven” with some teams in a 4-3 utilizing four defensive linemen and three linebackers or some teams in a 3-4 with three defensive linemen and four linebackers. “Regular” offense vs. “base” defense is a neutral matchup for both teams, run or pass.

If the offense adds a third receiver, the defense typically will add a fifth defensive back. The defense still has the standard two more defensive backs than the offense has wide receivers, and the “bigs” ratio remains equal — now six blocking six. This matchup also is neutral, run or pass.

From the 1-yard line, the personnel usually gets bigger on both sides. I studied the coaches’ tape, sideline and end zone, of all 29 Lynch Seahawks runs from the 1, all 10 of Wilson’s career passes before this interception and all seven of the 2014 Patriots’ defensive plays from the 1-yard line. For those 46 plays, the offense averaged 8.3 “bigs” per play and the defense averaged 8.2 “bigs” per play. Defenses, which are entitled to substitute after the offense substitutes, usually want that neutral matchup.

When the Patriots sent in their goal-line package in response to the Seahawks inserting three wide receivers on second down, an extremely rare matchup was created: six “bigs” on offense for Seattle vs eight “bigs” on defense (which ensured the equally rare three wide receivers vs. just three defensive backs) for New England.

How rare? Of those 46 plays there was only one play in which the offense was “down two” in the “bigs” matchup (A Lynch run against the Giants that, predictably, was stuffed for no gain). Of those 46 plays, there also was only one play in which the offense was “up two” in the “bigs” matchup. (A Lynch run against Chicago that, predictably, was a walk-in touchdown.) All other plays were even, “one-up” or “one-down.”

Learning from experience

Why were the Patriots so unusually “big” on that play? Lynch, presumably. But the Patriots might have learned from their own failings last season. Entering the Super Bowl, New England’s defense from the 1 had surrendered touchdowns on six of seven opportunities: five of six against runs and against the only pass.

On all five of the touchdown runs, the Patriots were “one down” in the “bigs” matchup. The one time they matched evenly — nine bigs vs nine against Indianapolis — they stuffed the Colts. The only play they were “1 up” in “bigs” was, of course, also the only play they were “1 down” in the wide receiver-defensive back matchup. And, as the percentages would predict, the Patriots allowed a touchdown pass.

What if Seattle had gone bigger on second down, with as few as no receivers instead of three wide receivers? We know the Patriots went uncommonly big as it was, and they could have also gone uncommonly big against a muscle set. Against about any offensive formation, Patriots coach Bill Belichick could have opted to put Seattle at least “one down” in the “bigs” matchup. Of Lynch’s 13 career touchdowns as a Seahawk from the 1, only two were with Seattle “one down.”

We also know that on the only two third-and-1 plays in the Super Bowl, the Patriots matched “one up” in “bigs.” Seattle false-started on the first and then had no gain on the second.

In the end, given the situation and considering all factors, the light couldn’t have been much greener for Seattle to throw. Any assertion that a give to Lynch was significantly more likely to produce a TD is an article of faith unsupported by facts.

Criticism not warranted

As for a conspiracy against Lynch and favoring Wilson? I find that as absurd as the “conspiracy theory” that Neil Armstrong’s moon landing was staged.

The play was designed to have a three-man layered concept on the left side of the field to beat zone coverage. But against man-to-man, which the Patriots employed, the Seahawks had receiver Ricardo Lockette aligned to the right. He had three inches and 21 pounds on Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler, an undrafted rookie who had zero career interceptions.

Kearse had to rip-release inside of, not through, cornerback Brandon Browner to alter Butler’s path. Lockette telegraphed his intentions to Butler by looking inside while stepping vertical. After his break, he decelerated and was then outbattled for the ball.

Last season, Wilson had the fourth-lowest interception rate among starting quarterbacks. He led the league last year and over the past three years in passes thrown away. There was every reason to trust that if the picture was murky he’d make the football some end-zone fan’s souvenir.

Why not a sprint-out by Wilson? Throughout the game, Patriots’ contain defenders had been “up the field” on Wilson — particularly left end Rob Ninkovich, who had aligned wide in a “nine technique” to Wilson’s right. Wilson likely would have been forced to abort his rollout in a manner similar to the desperation two-point conversion late in the NFC Championship Game.

Why not a play-action fake? That would have brought linebacker Dont’a Hightower closer to Lockette.

Why throw over the middle where it’s congested? Congestion is a concern against zone coverage, but it was man-to-man and there was no congestion.

Amid the mountains of unjust criticism, I side with former 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who told reporters of the outcome: “I really thought they had a good play call. That was an insightful play against the goal-line defense. A really neat combination that they had, an inside pick play. It really was open.”

The play was there, the Seahawks didn’t execute, and an opponent made a legendary play. In the words of Sigmund Freud, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Here’s to the Seahawks smoking several next February.