Whirlwind finish to a decent game. Sloppy play, but the momentum swings and big plays were entertaining. It was a really underwhelming performance by both QBs who had rolled into the Super Bowl with great passing performances. Roethlisberger's first INT was an underthrown bomb, but the second one was awful. The kind of mistake he doesn't usually make. With how few passes he had after that, you have to wonder if something was wrong with his hand.
The Steelers played just good enough to win, and the Seahawks self destructed. The pick thrown by Hasselbeck was terrible. The stupid penalties were mental mistakes which you would not expect from a 13-3 #1 seed. The Seahawks' decision making and behavior at the end of halves was odd. It was eerily reminiscent of the Eagles 4 minute hurry up offense from the last Super Bowl. The end of the half was indefensible, and the end of the game was even worse. They should have kicked the FG and then gone for the onside kic. It makes me wonder if Josh Brown was having problems with kicking as he missed one makeable kick and then just pushed left a 50 yarder. Get points while you can especially with no timeouts. Hasselbeck's decision making with his throws was a little off as well, as he worked the middle of the field and would throw dump passes when an incompletion would have served him better.
Where does this leave both teams? The Steelers have almost their entire defensive backfield up for free agency, so they need to decide who stays and who goes. Chris Hope could be the only player to come back. Antwaan Randle El is a free agent, and their only big offensive piece that will be up for free agency. If the Steelers let Plaxico Burress go last year, they sure as hell will let Antwaan go. The trick passes can be thrown by Hines Ward next year. Wide Receivers are easier to pick up in the draft, and the Steelers can always grab a suitable #2 in the draft. The Bus is leaving, but it might not be terrible given his salary cap hit and lack of real input to their offense. With Willie Parker, Heath Miller and Big Ben, they have a nice, super-young trio to build on. They also have one of the best posession receivers in the game, Super Bowl XL MVP, Hines Ward. The defense is in good shape and young. The future looks bright.
The Seahawks have a huge decision to make with Shaun Alexander. They franchised him last year,a nd stalled in contract talks during the season. They now have to decide on signing him to 5 years. They need to make a strong offer, and hope that no one gets stupid in free agency. I don't think it will happen with a 28 year old RB, but the Cardinals could get desperate enough. They should have signed him during the season and take some of the salary hit this year. They stalled, and now might lose him when they are the top dog in the weaker conference. The flip side is that they could save $20 mil and find a suitable replacement. They could also spend a little less and get the Edge. I think he'd be a great fit (for any team) and his pass catching ability would help make the Seahawks formations less predictable. Besides Alexander, the Seahawks don't have anything really tough to do. They get Ken Hamlin back from his stabbing, which will help the defense. Can they win the NFC West again even without Alexander? As it is right now, yes.
See you football fanatics during the combine, as I will watch it and take notes. I'll now shift my sports viewing time to college basketball and the NBA.