God…that was a terrible play call, absolutely shocking, I don’t remember that last time I literally couldn’t believe what I saw like I did last night.
Attached at this link is a video of my opinions on last night’s game and below are the main things I go over:
- The terrible play call by the Seahawks on the one-yard line. Also, how the play call goes against everything the Seahawks have done all season from their salary cap all the way down to their play calling all year. They’re a team that’s built to run, hence why they allow guys like Golden Tate and Percy Harvin to leave. AND if you’re going to throw there, don’t throw a laser beam over the middle that could get bounced up in the air on a 50/50 ball and be intercepted as well. I would have felt a lot better if it was an out or corner route of some kind. I would have really liked a play action call there to get Wilson out on the edge, so he could run it in. That was so disappointing to see as they have so many much better options than that play.
- UDFAs Chris Matthews and Malcolm Butler being HUGE difference makers for both sides and making some of the biggest plays of the game. They’re both great examples of why these are great organizations and will be for a long time. Both organizations find high-value, low-cost players where other teams don’t.
- The Jeremy Lane injury had a MASSIVE impact. According to @ESPNStatsInfo, with Lane on the field this season, two pass TDs allowed, six interceptions. With him off the field, 18 pass TDs allowed, 12 INTs. His absense had an obvious impact with the Patriots attacking Simon the rest of the game. The drive that ended in the Lafell TD was helped along by a huge catch and run by Edelman against him on an underneath route and then Lafell beat him badly for the TD on a slant. Edelman’s TD to take the lead was also against Simon. It really changed what the Seahawks could do as a team as they’re so reliant on great man coverage and he just was unable to do that. The Patriots exploited this weakness for the rest of the game, just like they exploited Ravens’ CB Rashaan Melvin with 12 catches on 15 targets for 196 yards and two touchdowns. This kind of attack is what makes these teams so good.
- I hate that LeGarrette Blount won a Super Bowl after throwing a temper tantrum to get out of Pittsburgh. He has NEVER learned his lesson from his punch at Oregon all the way on up. It’s sad to see a guy get rewarded for bad behavior, as he was this season.
- Belichick not calling a timeout on that goal line play was odd, maybe he had what he wanted on the field there and wanted to save a time out if they had to use one on the drive? I’m not sure, but it all worked out.
- The entire halftime from the show to the commercials seemed to be aimed as a PR move by the NFL for the incidents at the beginning of the season. Some of it was nauseating, but it had to be done.
- Many of the ads were so somber this year. Some of them had the kind of empty seriousness that made you roll your eyes. Some of the best ads were ones that used stories like the Nissan dad ad and the Budweiser puppy ad. Stories are great sales tools because they draw you in more than some other techniques. That being said, we didn’t see an advertisement until about the two-minute warning with any sex appeal, that ad was a Victoria’s Secret ad. I have a feeling that a lot of that could have to do with the NFL’s issues this year? I’m not sure. Just some things I thought were interesting from a marketing standpoint.
- Also, the reason the Super Bowl is so successful is because it appeals to everyone. The game itself appeals to men. The commercials and halftime show, especially the last few years, have really appealed to women. Just an overall perfect extravaganza of a sport giving the broadest range of people what appeals to them. It’s all very interesting and something the NFL should learn form and cross over into the regular season where they can. For example, as DVR and other forms of watching TV become more popular, live TV events become more valuable to advertisers with commercials. I would not be surprised to see an increase in the amount of money companies are willing to spend on the NFL’s primetime events. As an example, the Walking Dead has so many commercial breaks that you just can’t stand to watch it when it comes on, so you DVR it and watch it later so you can skip through commercials. The DVR will increase the value of NFL commercial space, I guarantee it, it’s up to the NFL to capitalize on that.
- It’s also up to TV shows to cause a social media reason for people to watch on time to please their advertisers. You see ABC do this with their Thursday night shows with the strong social media campaigns they have to advertise it and make Thursday night schools like Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder social media events.
- The missed pass interference that should have gone against the Patriots when Ricardo Lockette was so obviously tripped when he was about to be wide open was a HUGE missed call in that fourth quarter. Completely changed the game as they wouldn’t have gone three and out and maybe could have gotten something going and wasted even more clock on top of that.
- Doug Baldwin’s crosser for a touchdown where he used the referee to pick Darrelle Revis was one of the most heady and intelligent plays you’ll see.
- Rob Gronkowski is indefensible on the outside. That’s something I think we’ll continue to see the Patriots expand on as safeties and linebackers who cover him are so uncomfortable out there and cornerbacks are too small to cover him.
- Lastly, I have a bone to pick with Rodney Harrison. In my opinion, he was very unprofessional last night. You are no longer a member of the New England Patriots, but I of course applaud you for the long and illustrious career you had with them. When you are a member of the NBC broadcast booth for THE SUPER BOWL, you have reached a pinnacle of success that very few reach, so I applaud you for that as well. What I don’t like is how unprofessionally you handled it wearing your Patriots rings as a PROFESSIONAL analyst. His analysis at the end of the first half was also pretty pathetic as all he had to say was how awesome the Patriots were for the genius decision to have Revis and Browner cover Baldwin and Kearse. Mind you, this is right after they stupidly had 5’11” Logan Ryan covering 6’5” Chris Matthews with six seconds left in the half when the Seahawks had a small sample of plays they could call. I knew before the play it would be either a fade or something at the pylon and they had their best cornerback covering a slot receiver in Baldwin who was not going to get the ball. The Seahawks weren’t going to risk that with no timeouts. They could have covered Baldwin with Ryan and put a safety or OLB over there to help as well, but they left Matthews with an easy play against a much shorter player. For Harrison to make that his one point for the first half was an example of the kind of bias that doesn’t belong in the broadcast booth.
- The more I write for OTC, the more I try to check my biases at the door. I always let you guys know that I can’t stand the Patriots winning because of Pats fans I went to school with, but that I love the way their team is constructed because you have to respect them. I just wish a guy who is at the pinnacle of the sport could do the same for all of us who actually want to learn something from a broadcast. There are millions of people watching that rarely watch football, the Super Bowl is a huge opportunity to appeal to these people.