Photo Credit: thecomeback.com
Super Bowl 50:
It was a sloppy game. Both teams combined for 6 total turnovers, 12 sacks, 15 Punts, 16 “three and outs,” 5 FG attempts, and barely 300 yards passing combined. But that style of play was exactly what Denver wanted.
To start, the pageantry surrounding Super Bowl 50 was awesome. In fact, it was kind of the highlight of the game. Bringing back every surviving Super Bowl MVP to be recognized was an awesome idea. It gave me chills to see them listing off Bart Starr, Joe Namath, Franco Harris, Lynn Swann, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Kurt Warner, etc. I’m such a football nut that I started guessing each one (correctly) from 1980 on. I did find it amusing that Tom Brady got extravagantly booed, granted that was mostly the Denver crowd. But nonetheless that was very cool. I don’t normally talk about the “extracurricular activities,” but Lady Gaga shocked the world. One of the better Anthems I remember seeing, hands down. The Blue Angel flyover was also cool, they were low, close, and fast. Not like the helicopters they’ve been doing recently. And then, the game started.
Photo Credit: ESPN
It’s finally here! It’s weird how round numbers or even numbers seem to invoke excitement above and beyond the norm. But I think I’d be doing it injustice if I didn’t talk about the fact that we are at the 50th Super Bowl! We’ve had crazy moments so far, Scott Norwood’s wide right, Malcolm Butler’s interception, the Giants ruining perfection, the ’72 Dolphins achieving perfection, John Elway’s helicopter, Kevin Dyson coming up a yard short, Namath’s guarantee, Vinatieri’s game winning FG, Montana’s game winning drive, and the Bills’ 4 losses in a row. To name a few….We’ve had 50 amazing years, which tend to culminate in some of the best games of the season with everything on the line. There’s a reason this day is like Christmas for me, and I can’t wait to witness the next 50!
Super Bowl Stats:
- In 49 Super Bowls, we have yet to see an OT game. There were 21 OT games in 2015, meaning about 12% of games go into OT.
- The 13 year old age difference between Manning and Newton is the largest ever in Super Bowl history
- The 3 oldest QB’s to start a Super Bowl are Peyton Manning (39), John Elway (38) and Peyton Manning (37)
- Manning is the only QB to make the Super Bowl multiple times with multiple teams
- This is the first Super Bowl where both QB’s were drafted #1 overall.
- This is the 3rd straight year that the #1 seeds have made the super bowl
- If the Panthers win the Super Bowl, they’ll be the 4th team to win 18 games in a season
- Manning is 1st NFL player to go to the Super Bowl with 4 different coaches
- Teams that lead the league in defense are 9-2 in Super Bowls
Photo Credit: NFL.com
The Broncos and Panthers played to their style on Sunday, with the Broncos winning their 11th game that was decided by 7 or fewer points, and the Panthers getting out to a fast lead and blowing out a team by 10 or more for the 8th time this season. One game wasn’t over until the final play of the game, while the second felt over in the 1st quarter yet.
Manning vs. Brady XVII:
As was predicted, this wasn’t QB vs. QB, but more “will the Broncos defense give Brady fits” vs. “Can Manning’s arm hold up enough to let the run game win it for them.” The Patriots shocked all by electing to receive the kick, but had to punt on their first possession. The Broncos then scored a TD on their opening drive which was rare for them this season, and ultimately hold the lead until the end of the game. When the Patriots scored to finish out the 1st quarter, the amazing happened. Stephen Gostkowski, arguably the most accurate kicker in the NFL right now, missed an extra point! The year the rule was changed and everybody was clamoring on how great the rule change was, he missed the extra point!!! Arguably more people are in favor of this rule since it cost the Patriots the game, but I digress….it truly made the difference in the game. The Patriots were down by 8 for most of the game because of it. It also didn’t help that Brady seemed to be getting hit every single play. He looked frazzled. In the 4th quarter, on 3 consecutive drives, the Patriots faced 4th down tries while in FG range. The first 2 failed and they turned the ball over. The final drive of the game they went 3 and out at the 50, and faced 4th and 10 with 1:34 left. Brady amazingly hit Gronkowski for a 40 yard gain, and all of a sudden it was a game with 1st and Goal with a minute left. A few plays later it was 4th and 4, the 4th time the Patriots had a 4th down in the 4th quarter (sorry for all the 4’s). Brady seemed to throw the ball away, in between two Denver defenders, but miraculously Rob Gronkowski jumped through the middle and caught the ball for a TD! It was then 20-18 and the Patriots had a chance to tie the game with a 2 point conversion. Their entire season had come down to one play, only needing 2 yards. You could cut the suspense with a knife! Brady threw the ball to Edelman, it got tipped and intercepted, icing the game for Denver. It was a game for the ages between two of the best QB’s of all time.
Photo Credit: ESPN/SportsCenter
In an FMQB first, I’m switching the picture and title after a Thursday night game (most of my blog is written by Friday morning). What a game last night! I would typically turn off any game that’s 20-0 in the 3rd quarter, but I’m sure glad I kept with it. Granted people will be harping on the facemask penalty on Rodgers to give them an extra shot, but it was an incredible final hail mary (albeit lucky) to end the game. Successful game winning hail marys are extremely rare in the NFL. The last one was the “Fail Mary” in 2012, then the Jags Titans in 2010, and then you have to go all the way back to 2002. So that’s only 3 endings like this in the last 13 years! Here’s a list of all successful hail marys if anybody is interested: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hail_Mary_passes_in_American_football#Professional_football . Huge division game though, it was a must-win for the Packers (although they didn’t act like it in the first 40 minutes of the game).
We’re into the nitty gritty, with only 5 games left in the season. The playoff push will be strong, with most divisions having a fairly clear winner, but about 10 total teams vying for 4 total Wild Card spots. Let’s dive into last week.