It wasn't the greatest Super Bowl ever, but it was still a lot of fun. Ups, downs, sloppy play and pretty much everything you love about the game of football. For me, I love Super Bowl Sundays. I think it's probably the best American holiday we have. If that's a stretch, how about the most envious holiday? You know how single people hate Valentines day or Christmas because they don't have that significant other to celebrate it with? Well, as a single guy, I don't feel that at all, but when Super Sunday comes, I become jealous of the fans whose teams are representing.
I can only flashback to being a kid and seeing the Bills play four straight times and just imagine how awesome it would be if we returned. I would seriously try to get fired or take off from work to be able to watch the week long coverage of the game. It's really a day where dreams come true for sports fans everywhere. God, how I wish we could get back to that Sunday. Anyways, here are some thoughts:
--This was one of those games in which you'd be saying that the losing team should have won because they left a lot of plays on the field. The Giants totally outplayed the Pats in the first half, but trailed by a point. The Pats just looked really tense throughout. 12 men in the huddle? Three killer drops in the final 5 minutes by Welker, Hernandez and Branch? Just a lot of plays left on the field in this one. I mean, that's what everyone said afterwards.
--I think the key to this game was how the Giants WRs made plays, while the Pats wides failed to. First off, if Gronkowski was healthy, he would have more than 1 catch. I actually think on that Brady INT, where of all people, the immortal Chase Blackburn with his two inch vertical came down with it, had Gronk been healthy, he could have out jumped the guy or at least broken it up. Same goes for the Hail Mary attempt. If only Gronk was healthy and Randy Moss wasn't such a clown. Yes, I still think the Pats could use Moss. As I wrote earlier, the drop by Welker with less than 5 minutes left was killer. It changed the game. Welker comes up with it, the game is probably going to end. As for the Giants, all of their wideouts made some huge clutch grabs. Mario Manningham's catch will forever be played on ESPN during Super Bowl week for years to come. Hakeem Nicks was a monster, as he made some tough grabs in traffic. Great route running and hands by all of the Giants guys.
--How many of you were having flashbacks to Super Bowl XXV when the score was 17-12? It was actually the same score when the Giants scored their final touchdown of the game against Buffalo. Frankly, I was praying that the game would come down to a field goal and the Giants kicker would miss it. You have no idea how much crap Giants fans give me for Norwood. Karma would have been awesome sauce!
---I still take #18 over #10. However, when you compare the two, I think Eli has to be the most improved. #18 has always been the same QB. Take away his 49 touchdown year and his stats have been the same since his 2nd year. As for Eli, you have to remember, his first 3-4 years in the league were as inconsistent as they came. His QB rating was around 75.3 and his yearly stats were in the ballpark of 23 touchdowns and 19 picks. He was Mark Sanchez before there was a Mark Sanchez. There was a ton of hype mixed in with good and bad plays. Now, he has the most Super Bowl rings of any NYC QB (No, I'm not counting Phil Simms in '90) and it is because of his play. Since 2008, Manning's QB rating is 88.3 and has 43 more touchdowns than Ints. He's arrived as an elite passer. You see, that's what happens when you give a QB time to get better.
--I have a confession: I envy Tom Brady. Fu#$ it, I have a man crush on him. Now, when the Bills face him, I hate him. However, when the Bills are eliminated from playoff contention which is usually by Thanksgiving, a secret part of me cheers for him. I respect the living sh#$ out of him. I mean, how can you not? I'm a dreamer and if I were an athlete or a famous person, Tom Brady is on my list of people I wish I could be for a day. He's got the hot ass wife. He's awesome at his craft. I wish I looked as good as him. I wish I could get into the private parties like him. He's perfect to the point that if I had daughters, they could all marry him, Mormon or Big Love style. I'll go as far as to say that when that whole hotel crap went down last week, a part of me thought the following: "He's Tom Brady. He has three rings, dates a super model, could run for governor and happens to be the man. Um, he can get away with saying our hotels blow because he can."
--I'm telling you, keep an eye on Mario Manningham. I just have a feeling the Bills will like him. No clue why.
--In the Brady/hoodie's five Super Bowl appearances, the games have been decided by an average of 3 points.
--Hey, we've lost as many Super Bowls as the Pats. Hahahah!
--Whoever wrote this article for Boston.com should be fired. BTW, the comments were almost devoted to crapping on the writer, and what does Boston.com do? You can't read the comments anymore.
--Madonna still has it. To all you Twitter haters of her...please. You would wish to look as good as her at 50 and that your girlfriend could dance like that. I was entertained and that is what halftime is all about. She busted her ass!
Buffalo Bills angles:
--As for what the Bills can learn from these teams, well, both defenses were ranked in the bottom third in the league, but you wouldn't know with the amount of points scored in this one. I think you have to look at the guys up front for both teams. Guys can get after the passer. Again, you need a solid pass rush to beat down elite QBs. Think about the Giants last two Super Bowl title runs. They beat down Jeff Garcia, Tony Romo, Brett Favre, Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers, Alex Smith and Tom Brady. Take away Alex Smith, and that's a killer QB class that you kicked their teeth in. Did I not say the Bills need a pass rusher or two? THAT'S YOUR FOCUS!
--I think offensively, it all starts with the QB. There QBs make their WRs go from being average to good and good to great. Who the hell were Wes Welker and Deion Branch before Brady got to them? Kronk was a 2nd round pick and I don't think his early career would be like this without #12. Victor Cruz is a 2nd year undrafted free agent. Jake Ballard was a nobody before this year. Mario Manningham is a mid-round pick. Steve Smith, who caught over 100 balls with the Giants two years ago, caught like 10 balls this year in Philly. In other words, if you have an elite QB, you can make your no-named WRs look golden. For Bills fans, I don't think Fitzmagic has that capability. At least not yet.
--Like the Bills, both teams are all about setting up the pass first rather than the run. The Giants/Pats aren't known for rushing the football. In fact, they don't do it all that much or all that well. Only three of the playoff teams this year ran the ball more than passed it (Ravens, 49ers and Houston)..Oh, and those were the only three teams in the NFL to do that. Again, it's a passing league.
--I'm all for Perry Fewell getting a Super Bowl ring and it's a shame that he's not a head coach right now. Hell, it's embarrassing that some guy, who was a coordinator for like five minutes, is the head man in Oakland. He's been getting a ton of love by the Buffalo faithful on Twitter recently, but it should be noted that a number of fans didn't want him here anymore at the end of 2009. Alright, that was mostly a byproduct of hating Dick Jauron. However, when you actually have players who can rush the passer, which he really didn't have here in Buffalo, you can see how good of a coach he can be. Sorry, but Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora are way better than Chris Kelsay, Marcus Stroud and Aaron Schobel.
--I still think Kevin Gilbride was the biggest coordinating goat the Bills have had over the last 12 years. Fans/Media wanted that dude out of here as fast as Marshawn Lynch, Jason Peters, Willis McGahee and Rob Johnson. I'm surprised he's not been considered for more head coaching jobs.
--Fans can talk all they want about the Bills not spending money, but when you take away Brady and Manning, both teams aren't exactly the Yanks and Red Sox of the NFL in spending money. Who makes decent coin on these teams besides those guys? Well, Chad Ocho Cinco made 6-million this year but did nothing. Mayo and Wilfork are making bank. But after those three along with Brady, not many others are in the 1%. As for the Giants, Osi Umenyiora was/is fighting for a new deal, Justin Tuck is making as much as Chris Kelsay (Yes, kill me now) and Corey Webster made the 2nd most money on the team. Other than that, there aren't that many Derek Dockerys. Again, if you draft well, you can get a nice return on your investment within 2-3 years...or if you have elite QBs.
--If you want the truth, I don't think the Bills can learn much from these teams because it starts with the QB for both franchises. I like Fitz, but even if his ribs were cracked or eaten by Fred Flintstone, his play tells me he needs help. If you want a blueprint, see the 49ers roster. That was built on defense. Built on 1st round picks and a game-manger like Alex Smith. I still would take Fitz over Smith, but that defense is what guided them to the NFC Championship. Build your defense! There is your copycat, Buddy.