Monday, February 02, 2009

Thoughts from a Super Bowl Weekend

  • I think it was fitting that the touchdown that beat the Cardinals came on a pass caught in the right corner of the end zone by a receiver falling out of bounds. I hope their radio guy started screaming "Noooooooooooo" the second he saw the ref's hands go up. (And I was rooting for the Cardinals too--ahhh bitterness, my old friend.)
  • There isn't a receiver in the league that could make the catch Larry Fitzgerald made for his first touchdown, nor is there a receiver on the Vikings that could have made the catch Santonio? Holmes made to win the game. Sidney Rice has the potential to be that kind of presence in the end zone, but he didn't make the step he was supposed to this year, due to injuries. He'll also have a lot of opportunities to catch passes that are poorly thrown if the Purple don't bring in a real quarterback (and no, Brett Favre is not an option, as Gonzo so clearly articulated at the Daily Norseman).
  • Every time Ben Roethlisburger dropped back, it seemed like he was going to get sacked. I can't count the number of times I'd shift forward in my seat, unconsciously anticipating the Cardinals getting to him, only to see him move to the on spot in the pocket he could go (or break out of the pocket). Roethlisburger isn't exactly fast, quick or any of those other words that imply speed either, which, usually isn't as big a deal for him because he uses his size and strength to get away. But last night it was all about his mobility and being able to sense where he had to move to avoid the rush. Its a tired cliche to say that a team couldn't have done what it did without a certain player, but I think its true of this year's Steelers, whose line was a sieve. Roethlisburger was the only quarterback that could have had the success he did with this team, because while some quarterbacks have that pocket mobility (like Peyton Manning) and others have the ability to throw on the run, no other quarterback I've seen had the strength, size accuracy while moving and pocket presence to handle the pressure the Steelers line allowed. Basically, what I'm saying is that I want a quarterback like that in Purple.
  • If those were the best officials the NFL has, this league is in trouble, because the officiating was about as bad as it could be shy of blatant physical errors (like an inadvertent whistle) or making up rules (like when Matt Hasselbeck got called for an illegal hit below the knee while trying to tackle the Steeler who had intercepted him in Super Bowl XL). I still can't believe Kurt Warner's fumble that ended the game wasn't, at the very least, reviewed (and I'm mad we were denied what could have been a ridiculous ending with Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Bolden and Troy Polamalu all going for a jump ball Hail Mary). Most of the penalties seemed to be touch penalties (although the holding penalties were usually spot on), including a 15 yard face mask on Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (one of these days, I'd like to see a player with the ball get called for a face mask) and a 15 yard roughing the passer penalty on the Cardinals in the third quarter that was the kind of penalty that leads to a pass rusher not tackling the quarterback because he's worried that the quarterback has already thrown the ball. Take away 30 yards of penalties on that drive, and who knows if the Steelers actually get in field goal range.
  • I'm happy Randall McDaniel got in, but if you're looking for a reason why few people care about football history in the way that people care about baseball history, its the fact that Chris Carter has now been passed over twice for the Hall of Fame. If the second best person to ever play a position was on the ballot in baseball, the controversy would be over why 5% of the electorate didn't vote for them, instead of why they got passed over twice while two players (who are likely Hall of Famers, but weren't as good) that played the same position got in instead. Chris Carter retired with the 3rd most receiving yards, the 2nd most receptions and the 2nd most touchdowns. He accomplished all of that with Rich Gannon, Jim McMahon, a 39 and 40 year old Warren Moon, Brad Johnson, Randall Cunningham, Jeff George and Daunte Culpepper as the Vikings' quarterbacks.
  • And, because I wouldn't be a Vikings fan if I didn't end a Super Bowl post with negativity, I think its become clear that Vikings fans should probably just accept the fact that the only way the Purple will still be in Minnesota after their lease with the Metrodome runs out is if the Chargers or Jaguars beat them to L.A. There's no way they're getting public funding for a new stadium any time soon (nor should they when the state is laying off thousands of workers to balance its budget), and since Zygi's not going to pay for it himself (and Roger Goodall is clearly against his teams paying for their own stadiums) that means that unless another team moves to L.A., the Vikings are going to. So they really need to find a good quarterback in the next year or two so they can actually having a shot at winning a Super Bowl before they move.
  • And one last bit of negativity--I'd be willing to bet that the Purple are the only team to have three former coordinators win Super Bowls without the head coach they worked under taking a team to the Super Bowl.

1 comment:

Luft Krigare said...

To add to the negativity... LA could handle two teams sharing the Ed Roski dream of a stadium just like the Giants and Jets do (and maybe the 49'ers and Raiders in the future), so both the Chargers and Jaguars have got to relocate for the Vikings not to go to LA. But LA isn't the only landing spot, I could see London getting the team and suddenly they would be in a market bigger than New York.

Good observations in the rest of the blog Ragnarok.