In our view, the fiery, emotional, and combative Harbaugh (who has developed a habit of getting mad at the officials even when the calls go his way but not quickly or decisively enough for his liking) made a cool, dispassionate, and rational decision in the heat of the moment. If Harbaugh had accepted the penalty, the Seahawks would have been able to attempt an onside free kick from their 20, which if successful would have given them the ball at roughly their own 30. And if a defensive back fell down and if Wilson had connected deep with a wideout who actually was able to catch the ball, the lead could have been quickly sliced to two with the Seahawks trying another onside kick, this time from the 35.
Yeah, a lot of dominoes would have had to fall the right way for Seattle. But the percentages suggest a greater chance of winning via two knees out of victory formation — even with the slim risk that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll would take a page out of the Schiano playbook. (While Carroll has praised Schiano for his approach to victory formation plays, Carroll called off the dogs on the last two snaps.)