Super Bowl XLIX will go down as one of the most memorable games in the history of the NFL. Before we recap everything that happened on Sunday, Can we please stop using Roman numerals? From this point on, just write it like it is, Super Bowl 49.
New England: The New England Patriots won their 4th Super Bowl under Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. They defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. Tom Brady was masterful in the fourth quarter and for most of the game. Against the best defense in the league, Brady moved the ball down the feel effortlessly. Brady completed 37 of 50 passes for 328 yards, with four touchdowns – each to a different receiver – and two interceptions. The Patriots were 8-14 on 3rd down conversions as well. Brady won his 3rd Super Bowl MVP award and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. Brady used short passes the whole game. The Patriots exploited mismatches in Seattle’s secondary and basically “dink and dunked” down the field for 60 minutes. Their running game was non-existent. In the AFC Championship Game LeGarrette Blount rushed 30 times for 148 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Patriots only rushed for a total of 57 yards against Seattle.
Seattle: Anyone who watched Super Bowl 49, would tell you, Seattle was back “on their heels” all game long. They looked out of sync for most of the game. They were clearly outplayed, yet had a chance to win at the very end. The Seahawks actually outgained the Patriots in yardage. (396-377.) Russell Wilson had a higher QBR than Brady (110.6 for Wilson, 101.1 for Brady.) As the competition and coaching gets better, teams exploit other team’s weaknesses. In the loss, I gained more respect for Wilson than I ever had before. Not one Seattle receiver was drafted by the Seahawks. There is not one wide receiver on Seattle that would start for any other team. Yet, Wilson put them in a position to win in the biggest game of the year. Fans are constantly criticizing Wilson. The re-occurring theme is that Wilson is not an elite quarterback because he has a great defense and a running game. Let me remind everyone that Terry Bradshaw had one of the greatest defenses, great running backs and sensational wide receivers (Lynn Swann and John Stallworth). Troy Aikman played with arguable the greatest offensive line in the history of the NFL. He also played alongside Emmitt Smith and Michael Irving.
The Call: The Seahawks elected to pass the ball inside the 5 yard line late in the 4th quarter. That proved to be an obvious mistake. Rookie Malcolm Butler intercepted Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson with 20 seconds left to play to secure the victory. No matter how you look at the play, it will go down as one of the worst calls in the history of the NFL. Seattle is predominantly a running team. They had one time out left, why not run the ball with Wilson or “Beast mode” Marshawn Lynch? Even if Seattle didn’t get a touchdown, they could have called a timeout and ran another play. I would have ran the “read option” or play fake to Lynch and have Wilson beat the Patriots with his feet or his arm on a roll out. Wilson took full blame after the game saying, don’t blame the coaches, that pass was on me. I didn’t make a play.
That play call will be talked about for days and years to come. It was a horrible call but make no mistake about it that is not why the Seahawks lost. Seattle lost this game because they couldn’t make a stop in the fourth quarter when they needed to. After trailing 24-14 the Patriots outscored the Seahawks 14-0 in the fourth quarter. That is why they won.
Belichick and Brady will go down as the greatest coach and quarterback combination in the history of pro football. They have been to 9 AFC Championship games and 6 Super Bowls. In a Salary cap era, they continue to dominate the league. I compare them to the San Antonio Spurs, They are two of the best run organizations in all of sports.
Katy Perry: The Super Bowl halftime show was performed by Katy Perry. Some people liked it, some people hated it. I look at it this way… Perry is an entertainer. She is not a musician or a rock star like a Prince or Bruce Springsteen. She isn’t an artist, she is there to entertain. I thought she did a good enough job and had great visual effects. To me, it looked like a music video not a live concert performance but I give her credit. She had great energy and Missy Elliot did a great job in a cameo appearance. It seemed to me that if you were under 35 you liked her performance, if you were over 35 you didn’t, she entertained me during half-time that is all I wanted.
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