THREE THOUGHTS ON THE GAME ITSELF
- The outcome of Seahawks v. Packers disguised the story of Seahawks v. Packers: Seattle’s complete lack of pass rush. If Aaron Rodgers had mobility the game would never have been in question (and let’s be honest, it should not have been in question anyway). Tom Brady’s two Super Bowl losses to Tom Coughlin and the Giants had a similar theme. The Giants pressured him. They pressured him consistently. If the Seahawks don’t they will need to score a lot of points to win this game.
- Who is Richard Sherman covering? The Patriots have no issue not throwing the ball out wide so are the Seahawks going to allow their best cover man to be relegated to Brandon LaFell all evening? The middle of the Seahawks defense can be attacked and I would expecte Edelman and Gronk to live there most of the night.
- Steve McNair still holds the Super Bowl record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 64. I expect the Seahawks to try and break that record with Russell Wilson. Pete Carroll can say whatever he wants but he learned a week ago his quarterback is at a severe disadvantage when chasing the game. Pats will want to be aggressive on the edges. Expect Wilson to take advantage of that and hit them for some zone read runs.
MARSHALL FAULK ON PATRIOTS
The focus of this entire week will be New England’s history of playing fast and loose with the rules. The 2001 Rams, to this day, hold a serious grudge. They will be asked a lot of questions over the next five days. From a PFT column a few years back:
Faulk says the Rams installed new plays for the game against the Patriots, and that the Patriots seemed to be so perfectly prepared for them that Faulk believes they must have used espionage.
“I understand Bill is a great coach,” Faulk said. “But No. 13 [Kurt Warner] will tell you. Mike Martz will tell you. We had some plays in the red zone that we hadn’t ran. . . . And a couple of plays on third down that we walked through also . . . And they created a check for it. It’s just little things like that. It’s either the best coaching in the world when you come up with situations that you had never seen before. Or you’d seen it and knew what to do.”
Faulk seems to believe Belichick and the Patriots got off easy for Spygate.
“Am I bitter about how the league handled them taping people? If Bountygate was that bad and Sean got suspended for a whole year? If we want to talk about some unfair assessment of how we’re assessing things? Man. If you lost a game and your brother cheated you, you’ll remember that.”
MIKE FRANCESA AT FRANCESACON
This has nothing to do with the Super Bowl game. But Francesa is the Super Bowl of sports broadcasting.
OLDEST BAR IN PHOENIX?
If you are going to the Super Bowl, I want reports from this establishment.
“New York Bozo!”
This is a Wall Street Journal article about quarterback communication at the line of scrimmage. There is nothing better than non-sports people writing about sports.
In terms of linguistics, Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday will be a battle between verbose and curt.
The long-winded team is the Seattle Seahawks. In the huddle before a play, quarterback Russell Wilson once said this: “Gun double right close halfback right 200 scat triple slant thunder on one.”
The terse team is the New England Patriots. As he is running to the line of scrimmage, quarterback Tom Brady might say only one word, like “Alabama!”
Corporate America is in their offices this week reading this piece. That thought makes me smile. To read the entire column, CLICK HERE.