Thus ends the 2006-2007 season. I enjoyed the game, with the crazy turnovers, Grossman's Farve like interceptions and a pretty sweet halftime show. And to top it all off, I even picked which scion of the Tampa 2 would come out on top.
What we saw last night was a superior quarterback defeating a defense that is designed to thwart an impatient quarterback, as well as that same defense embarrassing an impatient quarterback. Manning, after that first interception, settled down and staid with the blueprint for beating the Tampa 2, finding guys over the middle, in the flats and only going deep when it was wide open. This, along with some comical attempts at dropping back by Grossman lead to Indy's lead which lead to Grossman's implosion. Once the Bears were behind, Grossman lost his patience and started chucking it deep, with predictable results. And it didn't help that his throws weren't even remotely accurate. These weren't even passes that Bernard Berrian or Muhsin Mohammed would have been able to catch with only one guy on them, let alone two.
Really, the only way the Bears were going to pull the game out was with big plays by their defense and special teams. Even they knew that Grossman couldn't be counted on to win it (as shown by their decision to run on third and long inside their own twenty). They got what they wanted from Devin Hester, but the defense wasn't able to do much against Manning after that initial interception. He wasn't going to force anything, and he wasn't going to make mistakes unless they pressured him relentlessly, something they were unable to do. And the Bears' pass rush was also up against Manning's improved ability to throw on the run, as well as his mad option skills. I'd bet that Lovie and Rivera didn't have their defense ready to stop Manning's Tommie Frazier impersonation, that's for sure.
And so the Colts are the NFL's champions. Which means that IchirioHoya is the winner of the inaugural Ragnarok's Playoff Pickoff, finishing with a final record of 8-3. Be on the look out for his post sometime this week, probably on the pain Baltimore is feeling now that the Lombardi Trophy is residing in Indianapolis. Then again, he may go on a rant about Brian Billick. No matter the topic, I'm sure it'll be a quality read, so stay tuned!
[And I promise, I'll finish my look at the offense tomorrow. I know I've been putting off the wide outs, but they just sucked soooo much]