STAMFORD, CT – Welp, football season is over. The dregs of February are coming in hard, with a massive snowstorm here in the Northeast. But fear not, in just a few months the Bears, if they don’t trade down, will kick off an interesting draft. Or we can turn our attention to the horror show of an election coming up in November to decide which bitter old man will pretend to run the country. Good times. Before we can move on, I have a few more thoughts to share on an exciting Super Bowl. As one marble said to the other, let’s roll.
Reid Outwits Shanahan
When I make a mistake in my men’s league hockey game, it sticks with me for days. And it means nothing. I can’t imagine what it feels like to blow a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, as Shanahan’s Falcons did against the Patriots. The two plays that will haunt Shanahan this time around are two third and medium plays on offense in the fourth quarter and OT.
The first was a third and five with just under two minutes left and the Niners driving and in long field goal range. A first down there would have given them the chance to run the clock down near zero and set up for a game winning FG attempt. But Spags dialed up a blitz, predicably, and McDuffie batted down the pass to stall the drive. The stop gave Mahomes plenty of time to march down for the tying FG.
The second came in OT on a third and four on the KC 9. A creative blitz caused an unfathomable communication breakdown on the line resulting in an unblocked Chris Jones blowing up the play. Jones running free is not what you want. Both Jauan Jennings and Brandon Aiyuk broke WIDE OPEN almost immediately for TDs if Brock had just a split second more. But Jones forced a throw away.
Despite Spagnouolo’s propensity for blitzing in key spots, the Niners’ offense couldn’t handle the blitz twice with the game on the line. It cost them a ring. Steve Spagnuolo has now quietly racked up four of them.
On the other side, Reid came up with some new wrinkles that caught the Niners off guard. Mahomes with the huge run on an RPO caught the Niners off-guard as they didn’t run that play in the regular season. And both of the TD passes by Mahomes were tricky twists on existing plays that got MVS and Hardman wide open.
Romo is the GOAT
Not at QB of course, but as a color commentator. Romo breaks things down in real time, first-guessing the coaches instead of second-guessing afterwards like all the rest. He quickly pointed out the Niners soft defensive coverage late in the game that allowed Mahomes to easily march down the field on the tying and winning drives. He wondered right away if Shanahan should have go for it on fourth down in OT because a FG was practically useless there against the great Mahomes. No other commentator compares to Romo.
Supposedly, Reid would have gone for two to win it had both teams scored a touchdown in OT. Is there any doubt the Reid had the perfect two point conversion play in his pocket for that scenario?
Get Rid of the GD Kickoff
The NFL needs to immediately move the kickoff back to where it was or get rid of it completely and have teams start at the 25. What is the point of watching the kicker boot it through the end zone ten times in a game. The Super Bowl kickoffs were all touch-backs. NFL games already have way too much down time between huddles , commercials, time outs, injuries, etc. Why add another 10 or so meaningless plays per game on top of that? Oooh grandma, look at them run!
The most exciting part of the kickoff is when it hits an upright or one of the special teams guys who never plays in the real game throws his arms up in celebration for some reason. Get rid of it.
That’s what I got today. Come back tomorrow for Angry Ward.