The Atlanta Falcons led the Super Bowl 28-3. Late in the fourth quarter, they had an 8-point lead with minutes left and the ball just beyond the New England 20-yard line. A field goal seals the game and a Super Bowl title, and yet on second down Kyle Shanahan called a pass play and Matt Ryan took a devastating sack.
Of course New England deserves credit for the comeback, and they’ll get plenty as the New England dynasty and the Tom Brady legacy will be discussed ad nauseum. But the story of this game is the Atlanta collapse.
The New England Patriots have been one of the dominant forces in the National Football League for almost two decades and the main reason for their consistency at the top has been down to Tom Brady’s ability at the quarterback position.
When the Patriots selected Brady with the 199th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, nobody expected the former Michigan man to break into the starting roster let alone enjoy an illustrious career at the top level. During his time at Gillette Stadium, Brady has won four Super Bowl rings, three Super Bowl MVP awards and 11 Pro Bowl selections – achievements that show just how impressive he has been for the franchise. Read the rest of this entry »
The Deflategate mess has blown up in the face of Roger Goodell and the NFL. They took a misdemeanor infraction by Tom Brady and turned it into a Watergate-level scandal.
Goodell’s foolishness may not hurt the NFL in today’s reality TV world where any exposure seems to be good exposure, but the NFL was coming off one of the most exciting playoffs and Super Bowl in years, and there has been little talk about those great games.
Goodell has become an embarrassment, and this decision, whether upheld or not on appeal, has really harmed the integrity of the league.
This was the greatest Super Bowl ever. The ending was stunning in so many ways, from Tom Brady leading a fourth quarter comeback against the Seattle defense, only to be followed by another miraculous catch that seemed to spell doom again for the Patriots, to what can easily be described as the worst play call in NFL history.
Here are some thoughts with some real time tweets mixed in:
– I’m not a Russell Wilson fan, and I wasn’t looking forward to eating even more crow had he managed to win his second straight Super Bowl. Still, there’s no way I can blame Wilson for the last interception that cost Seattle the game. We can pick apart his throw and the decision (some are explaining you have to throw that ball low at the goal line), but this all comes back to Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell making that asinine play call. Also, looking at this shot below, you can see why Wilson threw the ball and just how brilliant Malcolm Butler was as he broke to the ball to make that play:
It’s all too easy to make bold proclamations right after a sporting event, and I hate when people are prisoners of the moment. But the Seattle Seahawks defense was amazing tonight as they completely dominated a Denver Broncos offense that rewrote the offensive record book this year. People are already comparing them the the 1985 Chicago Bears and other great defenses. That debate can happen on another day as far as I’m concerned.
What they did tonight was truly impressive against Peyton Manning. They also did it in an era where it seemed that all the rules were rigged in favor of the offense. But the final score was also indicative of a game that completely got away from Denver. That just happens sometimes, and tonight nothing went right for Peyton’s crew. Throw in turnovers and special teams and we witnessed a complete meltdown. But all of it started with the Seattle defense.
That said, we’ve seen this story before. Look at the three greatest quarterback seasons of all time, and we see that Dan Marino, Tom Brady and now Peyton Manning ended up losing the Super Bowl against an excellent defense. We also remember Jim Kelly and the high-flying Bills getting stopped by Bill Parcels and the Giants. So in one respect this shouldn’t be a huge surprise.
As for Russell Wilson, the kid deserves a ton of credit. He proved many of us wrong and he’s a Super Bowl champion in his second season. But let’s not overstate things here as well. Russell Wilson was riding the Seattle bus, not driving it. Calling him one of the greats is overreacting, as is calling him Trent Dilfer. Tonight he did what he had to do, though early in the game Seattle settled for two field goals when Denver was doing everything possible to give them the gang. Fortunately, the defense and special teams took over, and Russell Wilson and the offense could coast to the win.