Sunday, February 05, 2006

Super Bowl XL

First off, congratulations to the Pittsburgh Steelers, winners of Super Bowl Xl by the score of 21-10 over the Seattle Seahawks. Extra congratulations to Bill Cowher and Jerome Bettis, who finally win their first title. Here are all of my thoughts on the game, in no particular order:

- Did you guys realize that Chris Gardocki has never had a punt blocked in his career? Well if you've seen any of the past 8 Steelers games, you'd know this. Seriously, at what point in a punter's career does the streak become good enough to be mentioned in every single Steelers game? Do all the announcers get together and are like, "Woah! Gardocki's never had a punt blocked! Let's mention this every game." I kinda think they've been trying to jinx him throughout the playoffs, but it didn't work.

- How tough of a night did Tom Rouen have? From my very unofficial count, he punted about 4 or 5 times from around midfield, and each time it was a touchback. Why don't announcers mention this? Whatever happened to the pooch punt?

- Didn't Roethlisberger's long pass really typify why everyone likes him so much? He didn't have a great game by any means, but what other 2nd year QB is going to scramble away from the rush, and instead of running, stop right before the LOS, gather himself, and throw a 37 yard pass on about 3rd and 23? And oh yeah, it's the Super Bowl. Was that great or what?

- What burst by Fast Willie Parker on that TD run! Nice hole, but he sure hit it hard, and there was no way they were going to catch him.

- Aside from the one almost-catch by Hines Ward in the endzone, great game for him. Tough player, makes big catches. He just went and got that long one from Big Ben. One of the top 5 receivers in the NFL. Definitely deserved the MVP.

- What was up with that clock management for Seattle? In the first half, first off, I have no idea why they run the ball, and then let 20-30 seconds run off the clock... so you're left taking shots at the endzone, you leave 1 timeout on the board, and you miss a 54-yard FG. Terrible.

Same thing at the end of the game. Sure it's a long shot, but when even Madden knows you kick a FG with about 30 seconds left and then try an onside kick, and you don't do it, how bad is that? I just didn't understand what they were doing.

- What an arm for Randle El! On the run, a perfect spiral right into Hines Ward's hands for the TD. That was easily the best thrown ball of the night.

- So much for Jerramy Stevens walking the walk. Aside from his TD catch, where he was wide open thanks to a good route by him and Jackson, he dropped at least 3 balls, two of which would have been for long gains, and a 3rd that would have been about a 10 year gain. He did have one catch negated on a questionable holding call, but all in all, an awful game for Stevens.

- It would really be best for "The Bus" to retire, I think. He's just not really an effective runner anymore.

- The Rolling Stones are really old.

- Here our my reffing thoughts:

I thought the Offensive Pass Interference call on Darrell Jackson was a good call. It wasn't much of a push, but c'mon, he extended his arms with a push in the end zone that led to him being wide open for a TD... and it happened right in front of the ref. How could that not be called?

The Roethlisberger TD was much closer. My personal thought was that he probably got the ball across, but it's impossible to say. I don't think there would have been enough evidence to overturn whatever was called on the field, which happened to be a TD. I didn't mind that call.

The "block below the waist" or whatever they called on Hasselbeck was laughably bad. Not much to say about it, except that the refs obviously blew that call.

The NFL really needs to get full-time refs. I think they can probably afford it.

- I felt happy for Cowher and Bettis. Not to sound sappy, but I almost got emotional when they won it, and I'm not even a Steelers fan.

- On the whole, I thought the Super Bowl was a little boring. There wasn't really a lot of flow to the game. Pittsburgh especially didn't really move the ball, a decent amount of penalties, and of course lots of commercials (which weren't really that funny for the most part). It was hard to get into the game.

- See you next year!

7 comments:

Jon said...

Congrats to Bill Cowher and the Steelers. They had enough offense when it counted and plenty of defense when it was needed. I think Bill Cowher uses Antwaan Randle El masterfully, he can do it all from a athletic stand point. He can return punts with the best of them, he can throw a tight spiral on the run and he has speed to burn any defense.

The Armchair Quarterback said...

Some good points you've made. I don't agree with them all especially about the penalties but I can see your side.
Even so, I don't subscribe to the theory that the refs were out to get the Seahwawks. Just some bad luck for Seattle. Anyway I just wanted to comment on the situation at the end of the game where Seattle needed a
TD and a field goal. I don't understand the thought process that Madden talks about and you also mention. If you have to get a TD and a field goal obviously the TD is going to be the tougher one to get. Now I would agree that you don't want to use all the time up trying to get the TD but Madden was calling for the field goal way too early (even on third down). If somehow they were able to get a touchdown in the next couple of plays then they would have had a much better shot of winning (assuming they got the onside kick back) the game now that they only needed a field goal. Most likely they would have had only a few seconds left and I would take a 55 yard field goal over a 55 yard Hail Mary pass any day.

The Armchair Quarterback said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
twins15 said...

With regards to needing a TD and FG, I actually have to agree with Madden again. I think that once they got in FG range, they should have taken one shot at the endzone, and if they didn't get it, kick the FG. The longer FG is a better bet then a hail mary, but if you can't score right away it could take too long for the TD, as is what happened when Hasselbeck inexplicably threw into the flat where the receiver got tackled before he got out of bounds, basically ending any chance. I like the FG there, but I guess that's more a matter of preference.

Ian C. said...

I agree with Jon. I love the way Pittsburgh uses Randle El, and would almost hate to see him go to another team for fear other coaches wouldn't be as creative.

And I agree with the point about Bettis. It was a lovefest for him in Detroit, and he's had a terrific career, but he really is past done and looks terribly out of shape. This game was evidence of that; he was a non-factor, happy ending notwithstanding.

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