Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Super Bowl...

Not sure how much time I'll have the next few weeks for blogging, but...

The announcers are all abuzz about the key play being the surprise on-sides kick to open the 2nd half. It turned out to be a great call and a huge play, but for me, the definitive series of the game was the end of the 1st half. The Colts' defense made a huge goal-line stand. And what does the offense do? With two minutes left and three timeouts, they run three consecutive running plays (to try to run out the clock) and then punt out of the end zone to Reggie Bush at mid-field, giving Drew Brees one minute and two timouts to move the ball 20 yards into field goal range against a gassed defense.

How strange was this? Peyton Manning is superb in the last few minutes of the half, as defenses usually play the deep ball, blitz only three rushers, and give up the 5 yard dink for free. Up until that point, the Colts offense had owned the Saints' D', the only punt coming on a dropped ball which probably would have put the Colts back in scoring position. Add to that, when the Colts' are passing, their normal scoring drives don't even last two minutes. The clock was totally not even a factor. And isn't giving the ball to the Saints with timeouts and 1 minute left at mid-field basically the worst-case scenario? Three running plays virtually guaranteed that outcome, as the Colts average just 3 yards a carry rushing, and got exactly that on those three plays. There is safe and then there is stupid. This was the latter.

And, if the Colts had gone down and gotten a field goal (perhaps the most likely scenario), then that six point swing would have made a huge difference later in the game, as the Colts would have been leading by 20-13 when the Saints scored their late touchdown, in which case they'd have gone for 1 instead of 2, tying the game at 20. In that case, even if Peyton still had thrown his pick-6, they Colts would only have trailed by 7 going into the final drive, which would have made it a bit more meaningful...

Other than that, I probably would not have attempted that 51 yard field goal in the 2nd half... Or heaved one downfield on 3rd and 11... Makes more sense to me to take the free 5-7 yard dump on 3rd down and hope you break a tackle, and then go for it on 4th...

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