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National Football League

Page 190 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
Dec 7, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Oh, I agree completely Eshnar. Just to give you perspective, Tom Brady even stated something akin to that he couldn't believe he was going to have to go back out on the field. Meaning he was thinking about how to move the ball 40 yards to get them in FG range in the 20 seconds they'd have left.

Glenn - I'm not sure why you say Seattle is winning all the time? They've had three really good seasons in a row, and one other year they got to the big game. The rest of their history they have been average, at best. Edit: Are you saying that because Seattle is filled with a bunch of latte sipping, grunge listening, hipster liberals, it's bad for "Merikah", then yes, I get it! :D
Well I yes, it is bad for Merikah to have these guys on the top of football. :D

But I have to say.....I'm a little bitter when it comes to Seattle - because for whatever reason no matter what it seems like if the Saints have to play Seattle (playoffs or regular season) they have to travel to Seattle. I just can't wait for Seattle to visit the Crescent city. When they do I will be at the usual spots in the quarter to give Seahawks fans some grief.
 
Jul 16, 2011
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Monday morning quarterbacking: Most people on the planet were surprised on 2nd and goal that Seattle lined up in any pass formation at all. And after the pass, everyone left on the planet wondered why on earth Seattle, who had Marshan Lynch - the best power running back in football who thrives in situations like this - wasn't given another chance to punch it in. Granted, running Lynch was the most obvious call, but many teams knew he was coming, and couldn't stop him all year. Including the Pats in this game. But if Seattle wanted to throw, why line up 4 wide? Why not bunch up like a run with 2 receivers wide, and throw a fade route in the deep corner? Or have Wilson roll out, and if no one is open, heave it into the stands?

At least Pete Carroll later admitted he blew the call. He said the call was on him, and his mistake alone, but he chose it because New England had stacked the DL, and this slant play had worked all season. Darrell Bevell stated that Seattle was conscious of the clock, which prompted the pass. People are calling it the worst call in NFL history, and maybe it was. But the bottom line is that Malcom Butler made a terrific anticipation pick, in what overall was a terrific game to watch, with a lot of drama. I know it's a tough pill for Seattle fans to swallow, but I think they'll recover just fine. They didn't tank, didn't blow the game, they just didn't win.
The call was bizarre (OK it's easy to say with hindsight). They had a timeout left, the beast in the backfield, so why not keep their options open with a standard formation.

On the other hand, they attacked a rookie free-agent who was smaller than the guy he was marking. The play should have worked. Butler though made what will be the play of his life. He anticipated the play, just got there in time and pushed a bigger man off the ball. He just wanted it more.

Still a dire call though.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Tank Engine said:
The call was bizarre (OK it's easy to say with hindsight). They had a timeout left, the beast in the backfield, so why not keep their options open with a standard formation.

On the other hand, they attacked a rookie free-agent who was smaller than the guy he was marking. The play should have worked. Butler though made what will be the play of his life. He anticipated the play, just got there in time and pushed a bigger man off the ball. He just wanted it more.

Still a dire call though.
I had a bad feeling about this game and that call exemplified it. There wasn't enough room to throw to the middle even though it looked almost do-able.
I think the Beast was going clear to the end zone for a short pass as well....
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Glenn_Wilson said:
Well I yes, it is bad for Merikah to have these guys on the top of football. :D

But I have to say.....I'm a little bitter when it comes to Seattle - because for whatever reason no matter what it seems like if the Saints have to play Seattle (playoffs or regular season) they have to travel to Seattle. I just can't wait for Seattle to visit the Crescent city. When they do I will be at the usual spots in the quarter to give Seahawks fans some grief.
Wow...you and Foxxy.
it was a good game up to the finish. NE would've felt great if they stood Seattle up for all four downs but I'm sure it's all good to them and their fans as it should be. I, for one; don't hate any team.
'cept Dallas.
 
That was a great game! (sigh as I might) But it had everything; pretty clean (sans the game ending scrum), good officiating, multiple lead changes, gritty and tough in the trenches, and a nail-biter finish. And I even liked Katy Perry's halftime performance. Way better than Tom Petty! Hehe.

But I have to agree, what a dumb call by SEA to lose the game. But also what a great play by the kid who intercepted Wilson's pass. Someone tell me why with NE expecting SEA to pound the ball with Lynch, and NE stacking the box, would SEA call a pass play into the teeth of all those defenders? Even my wife and most grade-schoolers would question that call. And my wife did.

But for inquiring minds, there is an explanation for that bit of stupidity. Now I could not find the stats to corroborate this, but I heard on ESPN710 Seattle today that in 5 carries this season that Lynch has had from the 1-yard line, that he has only scored on one of those attempts, and he has averaged a net negative (-) one yard. That STILL don't justify the call made.

I promised a Sherman take on the League and Lynch that was published in last week's issue of SI. Here is Sherman at what he does well:
Under Goodell the league continues to put players like Lynch in a position to be mocked by the media, which seems to get a kick out of seeing people struggle on camera. As teammates we're angry because we know what certain people do well and we know what they struggle with. Marshawn's talking to the press is the equivalent of putting a reporter on a football field and telling him to tackle Adrian Peterson.
The media has a job to do. So it's pretty clear who the real Darth Vader is (Roger). And Lynch is 100x smarter than Goodell. Everytime Lynch gets slapped with a fine, he does not care. He knows the money goes to charity, which he has a heart for. The only penalty he will shy from is one that hurts his team (e.g. being hit with a 15-yard penalty for wearing gold shoes). To top that, Lynch uses this to market himself and get other endorsements. Goodell is too dumb and lacking in compassion to get it.
 
Amster and Alpe aren't the only ones who think that was a very bad call by Carroll, or Bevell, the OC. Let me play the devil?s advocate, and suggest some reasons why it wasn?t such a terrible idea:

1) Surprise factor. Carroll is not one of those always-kick-FG-on-fourth-and-one coaches that Foxxy hates so much. He's willing to gamble, and sometimes it pays off. He went for it on fourth and long in the NFC championship against the 49ers last year, and they scored the TD that turned the game around. Or how about earlier, in this game, right before the half? The ball was on NE?s 11 with six seconds left. Rather than take the sure FG, he had Wilson pass into the EZ for a TD. You might say that had the pass failed, there still would have been time for the FG, but that's not a given. As it happens, Carroll made a very similar call before the end of the half vs. Atlanta in a divisional playoff game two years ago. Wilson got sacked, and SE got nothing. And that was absolutely critical, because they ended up losing the game by two points.

Carroll put his team in a position to win this game by making a gutsy call at the end of the first half. When you gamble, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but it's hard for me to criticize Carroll for this end of game call if you're going to look favorably on other gambles that worked.

2) Time factor, I: SE had one timeout left. If they give it to Lynch, and he doesn?t score, they have to use their last timeout. Either that, or line up and spike the ball, which wastes a down. If they give it to Lynch again, on third down, and he doesn't make it, the game's over. IOW, though they had three downs left, they could only run the ball twice; to be sure of getting to fourth down, they would have to throw the ball on either second down or third down. That being the case, isn't it better to pass on second down, when you don]t have to, getting back to that surprise factor, rather than on third down, when it's much more expected? In fact, one writer suggests that Belichick may intentionally not have used a timeout at this point explicitly to force Carroll into a situation where passing was a better option on second down. We'll probably never know, but the fact that possibility exists underscores the fact that Carroll did not have the option of three more running plays.

3) Time factor, II: The link Alpe posted suggested the OC wanted to run down the clock as much as possible. At first, I thought, come on, your priority is to make sure you score, you don't waste plays. You worry about how much time the other team has later.

But both teams have recent playoff experiences that suggest that time is a valid concern. For SE, that same game vs. Atlanta two years ago. Lynch scored the go-ahead TD with about 30 seconds left, IOW, very similar to this game. Most people thought the game was over. But Ryan passed the Falcons down the field, and they kicked the winning FG.

For NE, there was their previous SB, when they intentionally let the Giants score a TD, so they could get the ball back with enough time to score. Had they not done that, the Giants might have run out the clock, then kicked the winning FG. As it turned out, NE couldn?t score, but they gave themselves a chance. Had NE managed to score and win the game, everyone would have been talking about how the Giants should have stayed out of the EZ and run down the clock some more.

4) Percentages. People seem to think that passing is much more likely to result in a turnover than running. The difference really is not that great. Wilson threw a pick on 1.5% of his pass attempts this year; Lynch lost a fumble about half as often, 0.7%. That means the probability of losing a fumble if they run Lynch twice is about the same as an interception if Wilson passes once. We?ve already seen that if he runs twice and doesn't make it, the game?s over. Passing once is no more likely to result in a turnover than running twice, and if it fails, you still have the ball, two more downs, and time enough to use them both if necessary.

In retrospect, we should have expected this game to be close. SE has trailed in a game by double digits I think only three times since Wilson became the starter. All six SBs NE has played in have been won by less than a TD, and four of them were decided in the final minute.

Think back to one of the first playoff games this season, and the strange chain of events that followed. Dallas beat Detroit because of some bad calls by the refs. GB then beat Dallas because of some bad calls by the refs. SE beat GB because of some bad calls by the coach. And now SE loses like this. Every one of those games could so easily have gone the other way.

Edit: I was going to complain about the ? that appear in place of apostrophes, but I see it's already been pointed out. I tried to go though this post and correct them, but most of them (curiously, not all of them) changed back as soon as I saved.
 
Merckx index said:
2) Time factor, I: SE had one timeout left. If they give it to Lynch, and he doesn?t score, they have to use their last timeout. Either that, or line up and spike the ball, which wastes a down. If they give it to Lynch again, on third down, and he doesn't make it, the game's over. IOW, though they had three downs left, they could only run the ball twice; to be sure of getting to fourth down, they would have to throw the ball on either second down or third down. That being the case, isn't it better to pass on second down, when you don]t have to, getting back to that surprise factor, rather than on third down, when it's much more expected? In fact, one writer suggests that Belichick may intentionally not have used a timeout at this point explicitly to force Carroll into a situation where passing was a better option on second down. We'll probably never know, but the fact that possibility exists underscores the fact that Carroll did not have the option of three more running plays.
in 26 secs, you can run, then run it again with no huddle. you can just call two plays with the first huddle. Considering the first run burns 5 secs, you have approx 15 sec to start the next one, which burns another 5 secs, then if none worked, you call the time out at 1 secs to go. It is tight, but I expect you can also be much quicker than what I just said. It may even be possible with a proper huddle, 15 secs aren't that short.
 
Merckx index said:
Amster and Alpe aren't the only ones who think that was a very bad call by Carroll, or Bevell, the OC.
Recall I did call it Monday morning quarterbacking. I also stated that Malcom Black made a terrific play.

Think back to one of the first playoff games this season, and the strange chain of events that followed. Dallas beat Detroit because of some bad calls by the refs. GB then beat Dallas because of some bad calls by the refs. SE beat GB because of some bad calls by the coach. And now SE loses like this. Every one of those games could so easily have gone the other way.
That I completely agree with you on. This really was a terrific Super Bowl, from a fan's perspective, and the entire playoffs were filled with many twists and turns. This easily could have been between Green Bay and Baltimore. Or Dallas for that matter.

Now we enter the rather ugly part of the "season" where we hear about who is broken down and who is retiring.

The Seahawks are more banged up than realized. Richard Sherman needs Tommy John surgery, Jeremy Lane broke his arm, Earl Thomas is trying to avoid shoulder surgery and a partly torn labrum. And it looks like Kam Chancellor may need surgery on his knee.

In a side note, the software (and hardware) used to determine Cliff Avril's concussion was brand new, and helped developed by funding from none other than Seattle owner Paul Allen, who has given hundreds of millions away to medical research (and signed the gifting pledge).

Meanwhile, Johnny Manzeil has entered rehab. I hope he gets whatever help he needs.
 
Dec 7, 2010
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Recall I did call it Monday morning quarterbacking. I also stated that Malcom Black made a terrific play.


That I completely agree with you on. This really was a terrific Super Bowl, from a fan's perspective, and the entire playoffs were filled with many twists and turns. This easily could have been between Green Bay and Baltimore. Or Dallas for that matter.

Now we enter the rather ugly part of the "season" where we hear about who is broken down and who is retiring.

The Seahawks are more banged up than realized. Richard Sherman needs Tommy John surgery, Jeremy Lane broke his arm, Earl Thomas is trying to avoid shoulder surgery and a partly torn labrum. And it looks like Kam Chancellor may need surgery on his knee.

In a side note, the software (and hardware) used to determine Cliff Avril's concussion was brand new, and helped developed by funding from none other than Seattle owner Paul Allen, who has given hundreds of millions away to medical research (and signed the gifting pledge).

Meanwhile, Johnny Manzeil has entered rehab. I hope he gets whatever help he needs.
Nothing can help the squirrel.
 
Eshnar said:
in 26 secs, you can run, then run it again with no huddle. you can just call two plays with the first huddle. Considering the first run burns 5 secs, you have approx 15 sec to start the next one, which burns another 5 secs, then if none worked, you call the time out at 1 secs to go. It is tight, but I expect you can also be much quicker than what I just said. It may even be possible with a proper huddle, 15 secs aren't that short.
Are you serious? You think a running play takes only five seconds? It might take only that before the runner is tackled, but then all the bodies have to come off and get back to the line of scrimmage, and considering that the Pats had decided not to call any time outs, they would have been delaying that, for sure.

This guy at 5-38 makes all the points I made, and backs them up with stats. Here is the key point, IMO. If you think Lynch running it in was virtually certain, then your priority becomes delaying that moment, since at that point the biggest concern becomes the possibility of the Pats coming back with a FG. If SE had needed only a FG in that situation to win, everyone would have expected them to run down the clock as much as possible before kicking it. To the extent that a rushing TD is certain, you do the same thing.

How unlikely was Wilson to throw an interception? Sixty-seven passes were thrown from the opponents' 1 yard line this year, and Wilson's was the ONLY one that was intercepted. As I noted before, just 1.5% of his passes were intercepted. The probability of NE starting at around its own 25 and driving far enough for a FG in 20 seconds or so was not great, but it was definitely better than that. In fact, statistically, it happens about 5% of the time.

So Carroll had the odds on his side, he was just very unlucky. Considering that SE had their share of luck in that game, e.g., that catch Kearse made to get them near the goal line, I can't feel too sorry for them, but IMO, Carroll is being unfairly maligned. As the 5-38 author points out, your job in that situation is not to score, but to win. Scoring too soon jeopardizes that slightly. It was one of those situations where if SE had scored and NE came back to tie with a FG, then win in OT, no one would have blamed Carroll for not running the clock down, when in fact he should be open to that criticism.

The only thing i would fault in this analysis is that a SE TD would only allow NE to tie with a FG, not win. So the odds that NE gets a FG have to be halved or so to get the odds that they win. Even so, the odds still favor doing something to take time off the clock in that situation. You don't take a knee, because that takes too much time off, and you also lose a yard in the process.
 
Merckx index said:
Are you serious? You think a running play takes only five seconds? It might take only that before the runner is tackled, but then all the bodies have to come off and get back to the line of scrimmage, and considering that the Pats had decided not to call any time outs, they would have been delaying that, for sure.
Well, I expect a running play for 1 yard to be fairly quick. the 5 secs were just a random number, I actually don't know. The Pats could try to delay it, but there could have also been flags or sth giving you more time. In any case, if it doesn't work, you have a TO, but if it does work, you run again. I see no hurry for the pass yet, seriously.
 
Eshnar said:
in 26 secs, you can run, then run it again with no huddle. you can just call two plays with the first huddle. Considering the first run burns 5 secs, you have approx 15 sec to start the next one, which burns another 5 secs, then if none worked, you call the time out at 1 secs to go. It is tight, but I expect you can also be much quicker than what I just said. It may even be possible with a proper huddle, 15 secs aren't that short.
That's what Carroll said he was going to do. Pass play, run play, TO, run play...

People would have said it was a good and gutsy call if he had scored. Monday morning QBs...
 
Jul 16, 2011
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Merckx index said:
1) Surprise factor. Carroll is not one of those always-kick-FG-on-fourth-and-one coaches that Foxxy hates so much. He's willing to gamble, and sometimes it pays off. He went for it on fourth and long in the NFC championship against the 49ers last year, and they scored the TD that turned the game around. Or how about earlier, in this game, right before the half? The ball was on NE?s 11 with six seconds left. Rather than take the sure FG, he had Wilson pass into the EZ for a TD. You might say that had the pass failed, there still would have been time for the FG, but that's not a given. As it happens, Carroll made a very similar call before the end of the half vs. Atlanta in a divisional playoff game two years ago. Wilson got sacked, and SE got nothing. And that was absolutely critical, because they ended up losing the game by two points.

Carroll put his team in a position to win this game by making a gutsy call at the end of the first half. When you gamble, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, but it's hard for me to criticize Carroll for this end of game call if you're going to look favorably on other gambles that worked.
As always, you argue very cogently. I've one thing to say about the suprise factor though. If it were supposed to be a surprise, then why the obviously pass-orientated formation on a down where normally options are open? OK maybe it's difficult for the defense to react to the substitutions, but they'd still put more weight on the possibility of a pass. Also, I probably wasn't in the best shape to analyse the call at the time, because it was 4am here

However, from what I read on Yahoo, the Seattle offence were surprised by the call (which probably had a negative effect on the execution).
 
Meanwhile, I like to about now look at next season. What we might expect to see from a few teams. Who is on the rise, who is on the down slide.

I think New England is not likely to repeat. However, their defense has been improving. A big question is whether they can resign Revis. And Brady is a year older.

I really like Andrew Luck and Indy, but their patchwork defense has got to improve. Too many holes to fill.

I really expect Denver to drop a notch, even if Manning gets 100% healthy and they resign many of their players. They look like they are headed for some very difficult times. Expect a lot of hype around them, and some early wins, and a late fade. If they do somehow make the playoffs, Manning will choke again.

I also like Baltimore. I like their entire organization.

I like Pittsburgh and I expect New Orleans play better than this past season.

My favorite team, Oakland, I do like the direction they are going. But they need help on both lines, don't have key playmakers at WR or RB still.

Seattle is still a very deep team, but expect them to pay too much money to Wilson, maybe too much to Wagner, and lose a few players. My guess is that Lynch is gone, as is Byron Maxwell. I believe Bruce Irvin is a free agent as well.

I think Green Bay's chances actually look very good. They are surprisingly young, Aaron Rodgers is still right in his prime, as is Clay Matthews. I am iffy on McCarthy, but the team overall is solid with a great OL and receiving corpse, and Eddy Lacy.

I'm sure Dallas is dying to get to next season, but I think the may fall a little. Their defense way over-performed, and they'll likely lose Murray. Though I think he can likely be replaced enough.

Philly is another team I like overall because of Chip Kelly. However, do they have a QB? Is Nick Foles the guy? It's not Mark Sanchez, whom I think may end up in Buffalo, as they don't have a QB (EJ Manuel, who looks done).

Speaking of QB, Bryan Hoyer just looked a whole lot better to Cleveland, now that Manziel is in rehab. Right?

I also like Arizona in the NFC. They too are deep, have a lot of talent on defense, and in good salary cap shape, and seem very motivated behind their coach. Can Palmer get and stay healthy?

The 49ers are going to be interesting. They still have a great group of players, but some are aging, and some are idiots. And with a new coach...

St. Louis intrigues me, but they badly need a QB, and despite some stellar games, have had some stinkers.

Buffalo, NY Jets, Tennessee, Tampa, Washington and Jacksonville will still be doormats for most teams.

Someone is going to pick up Ray Rice, and he'll have an average year. I think Adrian Peterson will have an off year. The scandals, and Roger Goodell's extremely poor handling of them will continue. But the league will also continue it's immense popularity.
 
Jun 19, 2009
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Tank Engine said:
As always, you argue very cogently. I've one thing to say about the suprise factor though. If it were supposed to be a surprise, then why the obviously pass-orientated formation on a down where normally options are open? OK maybe it's difficult for the defense to react to the substitutions, but they'd still put more weight on the possibility of a pass. Also, I probably wasn't in the best shape to analyse the call at the time, because it was 4am here

However, from what I read on Yahoo, the Seattle offence were surprised by the call (which probably had a negative effect on the execution).
The part of the execution that was not OK was Wilson letting it loose with bodies that close. That's easy for me to say on a quick timing play that needed to allow the receiver time to clear coverage and still score. Either way the local fans are going to hurt but aren't qualified to call the game.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Great posts by all of you. Special thanks to Alpe for explaing the last few plays, and Merckx for giving great POVs. Eshnar, Glenn, Oldman, and more... great also.
I couldnt write anything this week. I am on party trou-out. Heck, Its so seldom that the team I root for wins... I needed to celebrate that game for a week now (almost). You never know if such awsome events happen again. So better enjoy while you can. :)
You guys shall imagine: My head hanging down drunk in disbelief at the bar desk, like Brady was sitting on the sideline, I am thinking OMG the same end as always: You hope for your win, you lead, and then get disapointed... but not this time. Still cant believe it. The game brought back the love for football, negeting all the bad that comes with it. I am sooo happy. :)
And amazing: Beli called 50 passes against a monster pass defense. This guy is awesome. Carroll also supreme for risking something. Those two HCs deserved to be in the SB. No cowards at all. Great coaches. The way it should be. Splendid. :)

I think I will get back more detailed when finishing partying the win. :D
 
I think this SB has to go down as the greatest one so far. It had all the things you want in a great championship game:

1) the consensus best teams in each conference;
2) not simply the best teams in that year, but recognized as great teams historically, one a genuine dynasty, the other trying to build a dynasty
3) A really close, exciting game, with first one team then the other seeming to take control, and the outcome undecided till the final seconds. The only way the finish could have been more exciting is if it came down to fourth down, last play of the game, and Lynch either ran it in or was stuffed.

There have been other SBs between great teams, and there have been other SBs with exciting finishes, but none I can think of that combined these as much as this game did. The closest would probably be SB 13, between Pittsburgh, the dynasty of the 70s, and Dallas, the best NFC team during that period. How many future HOFers were on the field that day? Not to mention Chuck Noll vs. Tom Landry. That was an exciting game, but the Steelers pulled away in the 4th quarter, and while the Cowboys made it interesting with two late TDs, it was never in as much doubt as this game. Much the same with SB 10, same two teams.

The other SB that sticks out for me is SB 32, Denver vs. GB. Certainly a very exciting finish, and two very good teams. Two HOF QBs, one of them trying to win his first SB before his career ended. But neither team was quite as good historically as NE is, and as I think SE may be judged eventually, and you could quibble that the game did not come down to a goal line play in the final seconds. It was also a fairly sloppy game, with fifteen penalties and five turnovers.

The other exciting finishes, like SB 23, Montana beating Cincy in the final minute, SB 43, the Steelers over AZ, or the two Giants victories over NE, in each case featured only one historically great team, so the significance of winning was less. SB 34, the Rams vs. the Titans, had an awesomely exciting finish, but it was dull and noncompetitive for much of the game, and again, one team was clearly not in any dynasty discussion. The Rams vs. NE two years later had an exciting finish, but again, it was not close till the end, and NE was not thought of as a great team then. SB 5 was won by a FG on the final play, and the two teams were among the best of their era, but it was maybe the sloppiest SB ever, with a total of 11 turnovers, and 14 penalties.

By the way, anyone else notice that during media week prior to the SB, Pete Carroll indicated he had strong sympathy with 911 conspiracy theories? I was just beginning to forgive the guy for all the sleaze at USC, and regard him as one of the nice guy coaches in the NFL, and then this.
 
Idk about Seattle being the consensus best team in NFC. Up until Buffalo that was GB. Seattle finished on same record as 2 other teams, one of whom they lost to at home. They only got home field on a technicality.
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Merckx index said:
I think this SB has to go down as the greatest one so far...
... and to add: NE tied the record for the biggest Superbowl comeback win (with NO Saints vs Indy, and Wsh vs Den, both being down by 10 early, while NE made it in the 4th Qtr)!
 
Merckx index said:
I think this SB has to go down as the greatest one so far.
I agree also, with all you wrote. This to me was the best Super Bowl I have ever seen, for all the reasons you listed.

I would like to add that the Green Bay-Pittsburgh and New Orleans - Indianapolis games were also entertaining of two high caliber teams through most of the games (yes, I realize GB was a wild card that year, but everyone knew they lost a few games they should not have, and they were red hot coming into the playoffs).
 
Jun 15, 2009
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Cool. So we all agree this was a special SB, since even those rooting for SEA are ok with it.
For me it was the best (incl. the "correct" ;) outcome) SB since SL-TEN.
Still partying the victory. It was sooo unexpected and against all odds before the game, and within the last 20+ seconds of the game. It cant get much better than this.
I wish I would have seen more, but at least can remember some plays (nothing at all of Kate Perry) and all of the drama in the 4th Qtr.! I guess I was concussed. :D

:)
 
Now that everyone has sobered up, and the hangovers are gone, here's the upcoming schedule:

The NFL Combine starts next week, running from February 17th through the 23rd.

Friday, Feb. 20: Specialists, offensive linemen, tight ends
Saturday, Feb. 21: Quarterbacks, running backs wide receivers
Sunday: Feb. 22: Defensive linemen, linebackers
Monday, Feb. 23: Defensive backs

Lots of talk that this is a year running backs come back to prominence. Especially big backs. I am guessing because of Marshawn Lynch and Lagarret Blount's late season success, that's on people's minds. But we'll see. Melvin Gordon and Todd Gurley (injured) seem to be the top picks. I still think OL means more than RB in this sport.

I'll be surprised if Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariotta participate much, and neither are likely to throw. But you never know. Some players hurt their chances in the Combine, while others skipped it and hung everything on their Pro Day, only to have that fizzle. If neither throw, Bryce Petty of Baylor could do himself some good. He looks like an NFL QB, but his throwing motion needs to be refined more I think. He may only be the next Tom Savage, or Zach Mettenberger. Brett Hundley has good size and the arm, but he threw some pretty ugly passes in college. So who knows? I'm sure all of these guys are working with NFL QB coaches right now.

As always, way too much emphasis put on scouting and the combine. Just take a look at Tom Brady's video and numbers from there. But it is fun to watch, and gives you a potential glimpse into the future; especially coming off sports wire reports of all the veterans retirements and off-season surgeries.

The NFL Draft is on April 30th-May 2nd. If you want to know who's likely to bust, just follow Mel Keiper, and assume the opposite of what he says.
 
Kiper is the Dangerfield of college talent evaluators. But what he says or writes is still a data point for us, so I still look and listen. But if I want to deliberately listen with intent to learn something, I listen to Mayock.

I also like to peek at Draftteks website. They have projected picks through all 7 rounds, complete rankings of team needs, their draft big board that has links to player bios and videos (of some players), positional player rankings. Overall it is pretty good and informative. In their (LINK TO) DRAFTTEK ROUND 1 MOCK I was interested in the fact they had the BUCS #1 overall pick as USC DE Williams, even though they have a bigger need at QB. Their rationale for the selection of Williams:
A guaranteed Day 1 starter, Williams' addition will allow the Bucs to rotate their defensive linemen, keeping the troops fresher longer.
Makes good sense, and reminds me of the way Seattle has focused more on building defense first, and then offense.

Anyway, that is just one sample of what Drafttek has. If you have some idea of what you think your team's needs are, you can compare to their analysis. Position ranking information is also fun to look at. Teams generally do a better job of uncovering sleepers though.

As for video, at this point, the Jamis Winston video sucks from the video's vantage point. I've seen much better vid of Winston. Mariota's is much better in that respect and makes it a bit easier to evaluate. Not all of the top players, like Williams, have video posted their yet though. In the past I have seen some very good video of offensive and defensive linemen in links on their site.
 
Considering the Bucs just released Josh McCown, this tells me either they really like Mike Glennon (for whatever the reason), or they are leaning towards Jameis Winston. I say Winston over Mariotta as I think he's more ready to start early in the season, maybe game 1, maybe. He's a pocket passer who played a fairly pro set. That translates to him over Mariotta, who has a lot of talent, but very likely needs time and work, though he may ultimately be better than Winston. There's certainly less to worry about with him, integrity wise.
 

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