This is going to be a running commentary of all the little things that I find interesting throughout Super Bowl XLI. Feel free to comment as the game progresses or join me in the chat.
- Already a technical foul-up with that Brian Urlacher interview.
- I get Billy Joel for the “Star Spangled Banner.” Decent name, old, but still somewhat relevant. Now, the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince? No clue what anyone was thinking there. Maybe it’s a joke, and Prince will come out to play, they’ll be “technical difficulties” and then the real act will appear. I can dream…
- This is my first “HD Super Bowl.” I’m not sure how I ever survived one before.
- It’s raining, that’s probably a slight advantage to the Bears and their running game, though the Colts also have had quite a running game this postseason.
- If I were the Colts, I’d have just one captain and his name would be Adam Vinatieri.
- I can’t believe that the Bears have their long snapper as a captain, thought they certainly have enough captains.
- Coin toss: Bears win the toss, elect to receive.
- 7-0, Bears I’m really not all that surprised by the Hester return. He’s been a non-factor throughout the playoffs. I figured he’d either do nothing or have a return or two. Of course this return was far more blocking than Hester. This was not a Dante Hall/Reggie Bush ankle breaking return. Just big holes and good vision.
- First Colt drive: two offensive false starts, two near interceptions, a real interception.
- Manning needs to stay away from Harrison. Harrison chokes just as much if not more than Manning in the playoffs and he is covered by the play-making Nathan Vasher. Far better to concentrate on Reggie Wayne, who’s covered by Charles Tillman who can easily be beet deep.
- If I was play calling for the Bears, I’d attack the Colts undersized ends by calling tons of off-tackle runs and counters. The Colts have shown against both Baltimore and KC that they can stack up against the straight ahead run. Try something new.
- The Colts on the other hand should just keep attacking the Bears’ front seven with straight ahead runs. If Urlacher has any weakness it is taking a running back straight on while trying to shed blockers. The Cover 2 can be beaten by a power running game. That should also eventually force the safeties into run coverage and open up the deep game. The Colts need to run to open up the pass.
- 7-6, Bears Manning to Wayne. Tillman never had him in coverage at all. It looked like Tillman expected safety help that he never received.
- Another botched snap/hold for an extra point/field goal. Well, it’s been a common theme throughout the playoffs and last few weeks of the season.
- Hester fumble on the return. Looks like the Colts could get those early seven points back.
- Now this is getting ridiculous. Addai fumble, Urlacher/Alexander recovery.
- Sweet run by Jones. Anyone notice that it was an off-tackle/counter ;-)
- 14-6, Bears Nice TD throw in coverage by Grossman.
- Completely disappointed by the commercials so far. Ripping hair is manly? Try again Snickers. For a second there, I thought Pride was looking like a parody commercial.
- Two missed tackles against Hester, but he doesn’t really go anywhere. The Colts need to wrap him up. If it means that he gains an extra yard or two, so be it. Just make sure that when you go to hit him, that he is tackled.
- Gotta wrap up the ball men of Lovie Smith. Though, that was a great hit. Gotta love the directional microphones that let you hear the hit.
- Enough with Bob Sanders already. He’s like a midget Roy Williams. All hit, no cover. He’d be far less important to the Colts defense if any of their other defenders could tackle.
- My first beer of the night. A nice Amber Lager from J.W. Dundee’s in Rochester.
- A Tait injury could hurt. The Bears don’t have the greatest offensive line depth.
- Brad Maynard, record number of punts in the Super Bowl for the NY Giants. Not exactly the greatest record to hold.
2nd Quarter [14 - 6, Bears]
- The Colts need to complete some passes to wide receivers. Too much dink-and-dunk stuff right now. Run, run, run and then pass long.
- The Bears are playing it perfectly. Protect Grossman, run the ball, makes points and gain field position with the special teams and let the defense do their thing.
- Okay, the map commercial for the car GPS system, WTF?
- Is there any televised awards show that matters less than the Grammy Awards?
- 14-9, Bears Adam Vinatieri field goal. Money.
- The “Web 2.0” fan-made Doritos commercial is not a good sign for future fan-made ads. What exactly is a fan-made commercial anyway. Is someone really a “fan” of Doritos?
- It’s really starting to pour down in Miami. I know the NFL loves to choose dome and southern stadiums to host the Super Bowl. But seriously, would you rather have Miami rain or Green Bay snow?
- 16-14, Colts Now that was a serious drive by Manning and Co. This was not a fluke big play or field position helped short drive. No this was Manning just having his way with the Bears. Two good long passes to Harrison and Clark, and then some good power running by Addai and Rhodes.
- Good defensive stand by the Colts. The Bears kept trying to power through and the Colts just said, “no thank you.”
- I never really though that Tim Allen and John Travolta would ever make a movie together.
- Another Indy fumble. Is there enough time left for the Bears to take advantage of it?
- And to answer that question, no. A second back-to-back fumble. Good job Grossman.
- As good as Addai is running, Rhodes is ripping apart the Chicago front seven.
- Interesting broken play turned into an “option” play. Reminds me of a high school play.
- The field goal was almost botched by the Colts forgetting to call the time out before the half. Not a good sign of concentration. Then Vinatieri goes and misses a rare kick.
Have fun watching the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince, I sure won’t be.
Second Half [16 - 14, Colts]
- The score is still less than a field goal away, but it seems that the Colts have an almost insurmountable lead. The Bears have been quiet for so long now.
- The Colts are playing boring, workman-like football right now. Exactly what the situation calls for. Get your safe yards. Get your first downs. Make your way slowly down the field.
- 19-14, Colts Adam Vinatieri nails this one after Tony Dungy challenged whether the Bears had too many men on the field and lost. The excitement of this game is almost gone. This is a good thing for the Colts. The less exciting the game is the more they can control the clock and the game.
- If the Bears don’t develop an offense soon, the game really will be over.
- Addai may have the catches this game, but it is Rhodes who is shredding the defense. The Colts could run these two all day.
- 22-14, Colts If I were the Colts, the only thing that would worry me is their continual reliance on field goals. Yes, they have controlled the game for the last half of the game or so, but they are still only up by eight. Once play and Chicago is right back in the game.
- 22-17, Colts Every point counts now for the Bears. It was good they showed at least a semblance of life on offense. The defense needs to make a stand right now.
Fourth Quarter [22 - 17, Colts]
- I must complement the director, editor and camera men for CBS. The replay on the Harrison challenge is perfect. They show exactly what is needed. Perfect zoom, perfect angle, perfect freeze frame.
- Chicago’s defense has started to step it up a bit. They still aren’t making big plays, but they have more or less neutralized the Indy offense. Now it’s up to the Chicago offense to show us something.
- I can’t believe this game is in Miami. It just seems to un-Miami to me. Seems more like on October game in the Meadowlands.
- 28-17, Colts Kelvin Hayden’s interception return for a touchdown more or less just sealed the game. A two score lead is as solid as you need against these Bears.
- Challenge. The play seems pretty good to me. Certainly nothing conclusive.
- 29-17, Colts Challenge failed. Extra point good.
- Sander interception. Bunch of penalties. All off-setting. I’m not sure what it is, but for such a close game, this sure is boring.
- Manning has 247 passing yards and a completion rate in the high sixty percent, but this game has been all Rhodes and Addai, mainly Rhodes.
- However, Manning hasn’t thrown the game away is playing near perfect caretaker offense. Against a defense like the Bears and in this weather this feat should not be underestimated. He’s performed more than adequately to win, and he deserves to finally have this monkey off of his back.
- Dominic Rhodes gets my Super Bowl MVP vote. As of right now he has 19 carries for 112 yards, a 5.9 yards per carry average and a TD. More importantly, when the Colts needed yards, Rhodes was unstoppable.
Final Score: Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17
Peyton Manning is now a Hall of Fame quarterback, no controversy at all. He’s in if he retires tomorrow.
Speaking of retirement, there have been plenty of rumors about this being Tony Dungy’s last have if he won. He’s been quoted as stating that he never planned on coaching that far into his fifties. It’s also better to retire on the top, rather than lose your intensity and phone it in for a year as Bill Cowher did this season.
If Dungy does retire, the big question will be who takes over the Colts. This season was rather light for good candidates to begin with and now most of them have been hired by other teams, either in the pro or college level. Whoever the team hired, they would probably expect them to change very little of a rather successful team. Dungy didn’t even change the offense when he took over. Obviously you want a defensive minded coach who wouldn’t touch the offense at all and leave it in Tom Moore and Peyton Manning’s hands.
Since the defense improved so much for the playoffs, it might be a good idea to hire a coach with Cover 2 experience. The perfect two candidates that come to my mind are the two defensive coordinators in this very Super Bowl, Ron Rivera of the Bears and Ron Meeks of the Colts.
Rivera has been a hot candidate this offseason who has still yet to land the top job. He runs the Cover 2 for the Bears with a few of his own wrinkles of course. He could easily step right in, leave the offense as is, and tinker only slightly with the defense.
Meeks would bring even more continuity to the team. He would most certainly leave the offense as is, and since he was more or less running the defense from before, that would also remain unchanged. He would just have to find a defensive coordinator.
The main question would be which coach would not only continue the winning tradition, but set the team up for future success as well.
Peyton Manning, Super Bowl MVP. Sounds kinda strange. Not that his performance was bad or inadequate, but Dominic Rhodes was far more dominant and valuable.
Yes, I am blatantly ripping off Bill Simmons of ESPN, but he’s not running one this year that I know of. So there. ↩︎