NFL Splinters | Super Bowl 2010 Edition

By Paul Gotham

Two weeks of hype behind us. The pre-game activities concluded just in time: “America The Beautiful” performed as was “The Star Spangled Banner.” The fly-over occurred. Walter Payton award given. Coin toss convention took place. Then, before anyone forgot why we congregated, the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts took the field.

Now for a look at the Super Bowl through the lens of rock ‘n’ roll.

Running to stand still

Indianapolis leading 10-0 at the end of the first created some surprise. That the Colts  held the Saints scoreless seemed somewhat out of the ordinary.

The fact that Indy’s longest play from scrimmage was a run. Now that was a surprise. The Colts finished the regular season ranked dead last in rushing yards per game with at 80.9. In comparison, the Jets led the NFL with 172.2 yards per game.

Nonetheless, Joseph Addai busted through line for 26 yards. Three plays later Peyton Manning connected with Pierre Garcon for a 19-yard strike and the double-digit lead.

Fans thought of Super Bowls past (think San Fran 55 Denver 10 or Washington 42 Denver 10 or Giants 39 Denver 20 – Wow! I’m not really trying to pick on the Broncos or anything. It’s just that those are the games that come to mind. What the heck, I’ll throw in Chicago 46 New England 10. You get the picture). Few realized at the time that Indy was getting what New Orleans was giving, and the Saints would only give the Colts seven points in the remaining 45 minutes.

By the end of the quarter, Indy passed the ball 13 times and rushed it on six occasions. Three of the rushing plays resulted in 10 yards or more (16,11,26).  Three passes gained 10 or more yards (18,14,11). The Saints were dictating how the Colts would get their yards.

As an omen of things to come, Indy’s first drive stalled at the New Orleans 20.

On a side note – either the Saints made a trade no one knew about, or Marques Colston let his inner Braylen Edwards out. That was quite a case of the dropsies.

By the end of the quarter, the Colts were ahead but by unfamiliar means, and the Saints were only beginning to take away their opponent’s options.

“Sweet the sin. Bitter the taste in my mouth. I see seven towers, but I only see one way out.”

Clampdown

In the playoffs, Indy has owned the last two minutes of the first half. Against the Baltimore Ravens, Manning and the Colts got the ball with 1:26 remaining in the half. They promptly drove 64 yards for a touchdown. The divisional playoff game went from close to out of reach quicker than a Brett Favre retirement.

Oh yeah, and Baltimore’s defense was ranked…let me see…third this year.

Mark Sanchez and the Jets appeared to “pulling out of here to win.” They had a 17-6 lead when Manning went under center with 2:11 to go before the break. Fifty eight seconds and four plays later and Rex Ryan was sweating like a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Almost forgot…and the Jets had the number one defense this year.

So on third and one with :51 seconds remaining, what does Sean Payton do? Considering the last couple of games, no one would have blamed Payton had he left well enough alone.

Instead he called a timeout. I know the ball was at the Indy ten, and they had 90 yards to go, but calling a timeout? There is a chair in Vegas waiting for Payton.

Indy chose to run. Was anyone else a tad confused at this point? Maybe, the Colts were starting to show signs of confusion.

New Orleans took over, drove 26 yards, and Garrett Hartley split the uprights.

10-6. Not exactly the offensive display many expected.

Oh yeah, Pierre Garcon did his best to keep the spirit of Braylen Edwards alive in the second quarter. Here’s a thought – the only way Chad John…errr…Ochocinco is going to the Super Bowl is as a news network.  And the only way Braylen Edwards will get mentioned is if someone else drops a pass.

“Let the fury have the hour, anger can be power. D’you know that you can use it.”

Roll of the dice

After the way New Orleans closed out the half, should anyone really have been surprised they opened the second with The Onside Kick. Did Sean Payton change the face of football forever? Will we be seeing more onside kicks in the future?

Giving Peyton Manning a short field calls one’s sanity into question. Just ask Bill BeliCHICK. Giving Peyton Manning a short field to start the second half? Wait, giving Peyton Manning a short field, to start the second half when trailing by four points?

On second thought, casino owners might want to pay Payton to stay away from their joints…at least until he loses his mojo.

Wonder if BeliCHICK has already called Payton. Speaking of BeliCHICK, with yesterday’s win that makes…let me see…three Bill Parcells assistants who have gone on to win the Super Bowl.

After the onside kick and subsequent touchdown, it did not matter that Indy took the lead back. The Saints cracked the armor.

Won’t get fooled again

Peyton Manning led seven, count them – 1…2…3…4…5…6…7, fourth quarter comebacks this year. But none of those come-from-behind wins came against the Saint defense that slowly tightened the vise.  That vise came into effect whenever the Colts needed to operate in Saint territory.

The Colts ran 17 offensive plays in the fourth quarter. The Saints ran 12. Manning connected for one touchdown  in the quarter…to Tracy Porter. New Orleans outscored Indy 15-0.

“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution. Take a bow for a new revolution.”

Midnight Special

It was well before the hour of twelve, but the Saint special teams kept them in the game early.

Courtney Roby made two important plays on the punt coverage – one a tackle for no gain and then downing the ball inside the Colt five.

Hartley kicked three field goals outside the 40 – a first in Super Bowl history. Don’t overlook that Hartley accomplished that outside on grass. He spent his season kicking on turf.

I’m Gumby Dammit!

There is no other way to describe the way Lance Moore contorted his body to get that two-point conversion.

Pinball Wizard

Did anyone keep track of how many yards Pierre Thomas gained AFTER contact. He did a great job of  “feeling all them bumpers and always playing it clean.”

Hall of fame

In three playoff games, Drew Brees threw eight touchdowns and ZERO interceptions. He outdid Kurt Warner, Brett Favre, and Peyton Manning. Those three each have an eventual date in Canton.

Wild Billy’s Circus Story

Thoughts on everything else surrounding the game events.

Is it just me or does Tim Tebow’s mom look like Adrienne Barbeau?

Is Bud Light trying to contribute to the ‘vanillazation’ of our society. I realize I am alienating some friends who drink that amber colored water. But really? How do you describe the taste of a Bud Light? I know there are not many out there that enjoy Genesee Beer and/ or Cream Ale. I know. It’s an acquired taste. I realize that. BUT AT LEAST GENNY HAS TASTE!

Stevie Wonder getting in the punch, and Tracy Morgan’s subsequent response was my commercial highlight of the night.

I will trade all the Victoria’s Secret commercials ever, so I do not have to see another underwear commercial. It is as if some female rights groups got together and decided they are going to turn the tables on males everywhere. Fine. I’ll make the trade. Just don’t make me watch another one of those ads.

Props to either Brett Favre or his agent. The self-effacing humor works.

Got any NFL/ Super Bowl splinters? Share them here.

3 Responses to "NFL Splinters | Super Bowl 2010 Edition"

  1. Wally   February 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Nice summary, Casey! Very entertaining.

    Just like Brett Favre, I really like Peyton Manning. Good guy, great player, ambassador of the game … I root for these guys to do well. Add Brees to this, too. Feel bad about the late game, totally “un-clutch” pick that Manning threw … same feeling I had for Favre two weeks ago. Worse yet, it’s a pick six and that was the ballgame.

    So picking up on the conversation from Thur-Sat last week, Manning’s “poor performance” on Super Sunday relegates him to near-human status … firmly in my second tier of all-time QBs … somewhere #6-#10. I hope he comes back and wins a second SB before retiring, but that still may not put him in my Top 5. As many folks have chimed in during the past 24 hours, maybe we ought to start talking about Drew Brees in terms of all-time greats? He’s had what … 4 fantastic years in a row, including a SB MVP performance yesterday. He’s starting to make an argument for cracking the top 10. I think it’s a little early for that, but stay tuned … he’s a good one!

  2. Pingback: Pickin' Splinters

  3. Daniel Millions   February 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    You should add some social bookmark buttons to your blog posts. At least add one for Digg so we can digg you up!

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