Well, it has only been a week. It seems longer. Super Bowl!!! The New England Patriots versus the Seattle Seahawks. Russell Wilson versus Tom Brady. Legion of Boom. Revis. Edelman. Matthews!! In the end, it was a perfect game to end a perfectly wacky play-off season.
As a whole, I think most people would say the game unfolded kind of like we thought it would. Most people thought it was going to be a close game. Most people thought that the New England Patriots offense would find a way to move the ball through short passing and by using their nearly uncoverable tight end Gronkowski. On one side of the ball, most experts thought that the Seattle Seahawks would have a hard time running the ball but should have been able to make some plays down the field.
For the most part, this game was a chess match between two master coaches. The Seattle Seahawks were able to stop the run without difficulty. Unfortunately, they were extremely vulnerable to short passes. At key points of the game, Ron Gronkowski and Edelman were able to get open and really burn the Legion of Boom (over 320 yrds on the ground). At the same time, Tom Brady made two critical mistakes which killed drives. Interceptions. Tom Brady never throws critical intercerptions; well, almost never. It was surprising. On the other side of the ball, for nearly the first 25 minutes of the game, the Seattle Seahawks continued to try to ram the ball through the Patriots without success. Their third-down efficiency was abysmal.
Before I spend a lot of time talking about “the play” it should be mentioned that Pete Carroll did decide not to kick a field goal with six seconds on the clock and the ball at the New England 11-yard line at the end of the 1st half. Instead, he instructed Russell Wilson to throw a high back shoulder bullet to Chris Matthews, a previously unheard of wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks. It was a brilliant play. Touchdown. The game was tied at half-time.
Now, the play. The Seattle Seahawks have miraculously moved the ball from their own 35-yard line down inside the New England one-yard line. With 26 seconds on the clock, the Seattle Seahawks have one timeout.
If you’re sitting around wondering what really makes NFL football great, it is plays like this. The complexity of football is sometimes mind-boggling. On the other hand, it is really a simple game. It is about putting that stupid football into the end zone.
Continue reading Super Bowl XLIX: Revisited (Update)
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens.
Did anyone notice that Joe Flacco seemed to play better than he ever had over the last five or six games of the season? His elevated play seems to correlate to Jim Caldwell’s being named offensive coordinator. Someone needs to give Jim Caldwell some props.
If you are the San Francisco 49ers fan, you have to be sick. The game was in your hands. You had the ball inside the 10-yard line with two minutes to play. The Ravens best run stopper, Haloti Ngata, was nursing a knee injury on the side line. Ray Lewis, future Hall of Famer, seemed a shadow of his former self. You have one of the best offensive lines in football. You have running back Frank Gore, who is known from getting those tough inside yards. He was having a great game (19 carries for 110 yards). Why didn’t the 49ers simply run the ball four times? Okay, you didn’t want to run the ball? How about throwing the ball to Randy Moss? Moss has made a living at catching the fade in the end zone. How do you not throw the ball at least once to Randy Moss?
Joe Flacco is about to seriously get paid. My guess – $18 – $20 million per year for at least four to six years.
Championship football on championship weekend.
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for beating the New England Patriots. I thought that Tom Brady and the crew were headed to another Super Bowl, but the Ravens just made enough plays to prevent that from happening. Joe Flacco, whom I have never believed in, made plays. The Patriots decided that they were going to take away the run and the deep pass. They did. Flacco had to hit those intermediate range passes and he did. He was very accurate with the ball. Anquan Boldin made plays. He was huge. Ray Rice continued to pound the ball. The Ravens defense made enough plays. They weren’t great. They did allow Tom Brady to throw for over 320 yards, but he also had two interceptions. As a rule, Brady doesn’t make mistakes in big games. Well, he did today. He overthrew Wes Welker on the opening drive and had an opportunity to run for a first down late in the game. Instead of running, he held onto the ball and then threw a wounded duck into the end zone. It was incomplete and the game was over. This is not the dominant Raven team that we saw win the Super Bowl more than 10 years ago. This team is different. It is more balanced. Both sides of the ball needed to play well for victory and they both did.
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers for outlasting the Atlanta Falcons. Once again, the Atlanta Falcons came out strong and dominated the first 18 – 20 minutes of the football game. Then something happened. The 49ers figured out something. All I really know is that for the rest of the football game, the 49ers were in the driver’s seat. This game was a repeat of last week’s thriller, except Atlanta was unable to mount any offense in the second half. Colin Kaepernick continues to play well. He didn’t turn the ball over and he only ran when he had to. Frank Gore was one player who really, really stepped up for the 49ers. I think that Matt Ryan played a great game, except for one play. He fumbled a snap while he was in shotgun formation. I don’t know if the ball was snapped early or not. All I know is that the end result was the ball rolled around on the carpet and the 49ers fell on it.