Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Thoughts (sport, entertainment, tv, football)

Well, the team of destiny won. Congratulations to all the Saints fans and the city of New Orleans. Since most of my friends are either Pats or Jets (or Giants) fans, none of them wanted Indy to win. So that's good for them too.

First thought for tonight is that all the commercials were horrible. I think the only really funny one was the Doritos gym ninja. It was just a really bad night of commercials. Does Go Daddy even hire an ad agency? Every commercial is the same thing.

The opening theme song choice of Run This Town was good, thought it was pretty clear as soon as I saw them performing it that Kanye wasn't going to be in it. Carrie Underwood's Star Spangled Banner was very good. She can really belt it. I did not like Queen Latifah's America the Beautiful. Too much changing of the song for my taste. The Who was pretty good overall. I really liked the circular stage with the light show. I was surprised they didn't hire a crowd to run down to the stage this year. Don't know why they didn't do that.

On to the football thoughts. The thing that stood out to me was that this game was so incredibly clean defensively. No defensive penalties that stopped the clock or kept drives alive by giving up automatic first downs.

The Saints still had problems converting on short yardage, with the goal line stop adding to the woes from the Vikings game. At least they can't draw Eagles comparisons because they actually won the big one.

The onside kick was a good call. The fact that this option was always available for Payton made the decision to take the ball first make a lot more sense.

I don't feel that either team's WRs played well. They all caught well-thrown balls, but there were a lot of balls missed and none of them really made any plays.

The 51 yard FG call by Caldwell was horrible. Stover's a quality kicker, but that is not really his range. How many times this season have coaches gone for bad field goals? I think that was a bigger momentum swing because the Colts answered the onside kick with their own drive very quickly.

Caldwell was clearly outcoached in this game. They got an early advantage with the surprise play of Freeney, but the Saints made all the adjustments throughout the game while Indy made none.

The Saints played not to give up the big play on defense, and this worked really well when their offense was able to dominate the time of possession in the second quarter.

Manning lost his cool at the end, which was very different from his aura of invincibility throughout the season. I don't mean the interception, that was just good defensive play jumping that route. They didn't have that swagger in their final drive. The swagger of inevitability of the Colts scoring just wasn't there. It was clearly important to hold on to 3 timeouts throughout that drive to give them an extra chance to come back, but Manning called that timeout, and knew he made a mistake as soon as he did it.

In the end, Indy lived and died with Manning. With his receivers not making big plays, it was too much for him to do. In the end, New Orleans was the better team, and everyone played pretty well, including Brees, Thomas, Bush, Henderson, Colston, etc.


Jonathan Weinstein said...

Yes, given how often the Colts convert 3rd or 4th-and-11, the FG try wasn't very good. Even punting is probably better, but I assume you think they should have gone for it. Contrast the Patriots who I think shouldn't have gone for 4th and 13 in the Super Bowl two years ago; but that was in a game where their pass protection had struggled, with a kicker who is better in that range.

I thought the Saints' receivers were excellent except for the one drop near the start. The 2-point conversion was a fantastic play, and crucial as of that point.

wildman said...

I very much agree with everything said here. And I'll add that I was extremely impressed with the play of Thomas. The Colts have quite an impressive defense, and yet he was gaining some impressive yardage following first contact. I suffered this season with Colston and Shockey on my fantasy team given how many options the Saints have (making any individual player suspect). Nonetheless, I am feeling Thomas will be a major player next year.

The Pretender said...

Jon, yes I forgot about the spectacular play on the 2 point conversion. I thought they played well too, as I mentioned at the end. But except for that play I didn't really recall any wow moments or acrobatic catches. I guess it was more that Brees' throws were on target.

I think punting there would have been fine. I think what really needs to happen is that these decisions need to get made before the third down play and plan both plays accordingly. I guess in that respect Manning throwing for first down yardage was consistent with taking the FG after.

Wildman, yes Thomas looked really good. It was weird that they resigned McAllister a few weeks ago. I guess they wanted to pay him to be a part of the whole thing since he'd been with the team for so long. I wonder if Bush played well enough to get him a decent new contract. Rumor was that he'd propose if Saints won.