FMQB: Super Bowl Edition
This is always a bittersweet time of year. The bad news is we only have 1 more football game to watch for the next 7 months. The good news is it’s the penultimate game of the year! As most readers know, this has turned into my “Christmas,” and likely the most excited I get in the year. This season is a bit different though, as I made a bet with a coworker that the Patriots would win, despite my Rams grudge I still have against Tom Brady and the Patriots which allows me to root for whatever team is playing them. But as I have been telling folks, “I’d pay $50 to see the Patriots lose.” So GO FALCONS!!!
Packers at Falcons:
The Falcons had their foot on the gas from the first drive, and the Packers truly looked outmatched at every position. Going down 17-0 early and having the Falcons score with 3 seconds left to make it 24-0 at halftime, the game was already over. The image of this game was the one of the first plays of the 2nd half when Julio Jones broke 2 tackles and sprinted 73 yards for the TD, you could see the look of despair on Rodgers’ face. No matter how good the Packers offense was, they could not stop any aspect of the Falcons. The Falcons looked like they belong with that trouncing.
Steelers at Patriots:
The turning point in this game was the fact that LeVeon Bell was out after 6 rushes. It also doesn’t help when Belichick can turn an undrafted free agent into a 180 yard, 2 TD receiver. Being down 17-9 at halftime wasn’t that bad for Pittsburgh, but letting up 19 unanswered points after that was their downfall. The Patriots also kept piling it on, almost to show that they could score as much as Atlanta.
- I know playoffs don’t count, but it only solidifies Matt Ryan’s case for MVP
- What happened to the Steelers offense? 7th in offensive yards, 24.9 points per game. Yet they didn’t score a TD against the Chiefs, and only scored 1 when it mattered during the Championship game
- If Tom Brady wins, he’ll be the second oldest QB to win (several weeks younger than Manning was last year). Manning looked like he limped to the finish line, Brady looks like he’s got another 4 years in him.
- I really want to see Goodell hand the trophy to Brady, merely for the “awkward” factor.
- The Patriots are undefeated since losing Gronkowski for the season
Super Bowl Stats!
- The NFC South (Bucs, Panthers, Saints, and Falcons) is the only division since re-alignment (in 2002) to have all 4 teams make the Super Bowl.
- No team has more former players on the two Super Bowl rosters than the Cleveland Browns.
- Brady has 24 playoff wins, only 6 other FRANCHISES have more wins than that. He’s playing in his record 7th Super Bowl (team record 9th), going for his record 5th
- To put this in perspective, the Bears have only won 17 playoff games and 9 championships (most pre-Super Bowl but it counts in this stat), and their first playoff appearance was in 1932
- 11 of the last 12 Super Bowl winners were wearing White jerseys. Only the Packers won in their solid color. I blame Trump…
- Bill Belichick has coached in 18% of the Super Bowls
- Dan Quinn is appearing in his 3rd Super Bowl in 4 seasons
- It’s Dan Quinn’s first matchup against Belichick as a head coach. All time record for first time matchups against Bill, new coaches are 3-22.
Super Bowl Preview:
Despite growing up and watching the ’03 Bucs and ’00 Ravens win their Super Bowls, I’m still biased by flashy offenses. I got burned 3 years ago when the Broncos record offense got absolutely demolished by Seattle’s staunch D. It worked last year when I said that the Broncos would beat the Panthers despite them being favored to win. The stat that does it for me is that this is the 6th time that the team that scored the most points has met up with the team that allowed the least points. In the other 5 games, the team that allowed the fewest points won 4 of those games. This proves that defense still wins championships. On top of that, the Patriots have a TON of Super Bowl experience on their side, and know how to manage the big game. In fact, Tom Brady has more Super Bowl appearances (6) than the entire Falcons roster combined (5). Matt Ryan on the other hand had a losing record in the playoffs until this year. The Patriots also have an uncanny ability to “take a player out of the game.” Not literally, but figuratively. They did it with Marshall Faulk, Terrell Owens, Stephen Davis, Kearse/Baldwin; they limit the stars to next to nothing. Julio Jones is a beast, but if they can figure out a way to do that, I think they win easily. Another thing to point out, the Falcons have historically struggled getting into the redzone. Granted it’s hard to look back 4-5 years, but the reason they didn’t play in the Super Bowl against the Ravens (instead of the 49ers) was because of 2 goal line stands. The following year they only won 5 games because they had another 4 that they lost having to kick field goals or getting stopped on 4th down.
What a way to close out a new stadium! Final home game at the Georgia dome, fans got to watch their team punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. Win or lose, that’s also a heck of a way to open their new stadium next year.
Stat of the Week:
Justin Tucker hit a 75 yard field goal http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/18555466/justin-tucker-baltimore-ravens-connects-75-yard-field-goal-attempt-pro-bowl-preparations, only to be outdone by Matt Prater hitting a 76 yard FG http://ftw.usatoday.com/2017/01/nfl-pro-bowl-detroit-lions-matt-prater-justin-tucker-76-yards-wow-video . It’s so far that it’s tough to see if it made it!
Stat of the Week #2:
At the beginning of the season, more people placed bets on the Browns to win the Super Bowl than the Falcons
Stat of the Week #3:
Matt Ryan hasn’t thrown an interception since Dec 4th; 6 full games ago
Prediction of the Year:
I had Green Bay and New England in the Super Bowl this year, from day 1 (it’s in writing). Probably the closest I’ve gotten to being correct!
Prediction of the Year #2:
Before the season, CBS ran a Madden simulation of the season and had the Falcons beating the Steelers in the Super Bowl. They were also dang close!
Super Bowl Prediction Recap:
FMQB is 2-3 in predicting the last Super Bowl winners, but surprisingly have nailed the winning score on the nose 3 of 5 times!
AAANNNDDDD, the final score:
Patriots 27, Falcons 20. There’s a chance of it being a high score affair, but Super Bowls always seem to be a bit lower scoring, teams try to feel each other out the first quarter.
Any chance Tom calls it a career if he wins? He apparently wants to play until 45, but he’ll turn 40 during next year’s preseason. Peyton just went out that way. I wouldn’t call it unfeasible, but still be surprising.
Quote of the Week:
“Almost by every barometer, the quality of the game is better on Thursday night.” Roger Goodell…and then we all laaauuggghhhheeddd and laughed