After digesting this Super Bowl for a week, I feel like I understand how it all happened. I work with an office located in Pittsburgh. It made for a quiet day that day as my phone was not ringing at all the day of the parade, and even Monday morning was quiet. I had to watch more game clips, listen to the post-game interviews and then come to some conclusions.
1. This wasn't the best ever, and it wasn't a snooze fest for 3 quarters like some jackasses are proclaiming. The first half was very good, ending with the best defensive play in a SB ever. The 3rd quarter was a snoozer as both defenses adjusted better than the offenses. The 4th was a 4th to remember similar to last year. All around an entertaining game that had me placing my hands on my head for almost the entire 4th quarter.
2. Ben Roethlisberger is the reason the Steelers won. The defense was suprisingly porous, the O-line was terrible, the running game non-existent, and most of his WRs useless. His drive was an Elway-Montana style drive ending in a TD (not this Brady pussy FG stuff). This is legendary play and erases the memories of his stinkbomb in SB 40. I love the description of Big Ben as a "mobile Bledsoe". So fitting and so true. He still has some upside despite already having 2 rings and a crazy adjusted yards per attempt average.
3. Santonio Holmes played the way a first round pick is suppose to play in a big game. He made great catches and had great field awareness. This is why you draft a guy high. The blazing speed and agility is a big part of it, but you're hoping that playing at a big football program in bowl games has helped make him cool under pressure in big games.
4. Larry Fitzgerald and Kurt Warner were breathtaking to watch. They have this great connection, and Warner tosses the fade up to Fitzy so well. It's automatic now, and I am confused as to why teams don't double Fitzy inside the 5 (or anywhere). Fitzgerald had the best defense in the NFL gameplanning to stop him and he still showed up in the 2nd half. He manages to go up, get to the ball at its highest point, and then keep his hands on it after contact with defenders or the ground. It's reminiscent of a young Randy Moss, except he is much more physical than Moss ever was.
5. The Steelers went to a relaxed D in the 4th and it nearly blew the game. They backed off, played 2 deep safeties, and watched as Warner carved them up. Dumb dumb dumb. Tomlin better thank Big Ben and Santonio non-stop. They won that game, not him and Dick Lebeau's D schemes.
6. Kurt Warner now has the 3 highest totals for passing yardage in a SB. He's 1-2, with 1 win by a yard and 2 losses that are complete ball kickers. We could easily be talking about a guy 0-3 or 3-0 in SBs. It shows just how slight the margin of victory is.
7. Harrison's INT return was interesting because no one thought to just knock him out of bounds. Why not just push him out? It was a play where anticipation built as he rumbled down the field. Great finish, and yes he was in.
8. John Madden and Al Michaels did a great job. Madden was great at showing how the Pitts o-line was terrible and missing blocks, great at explaining how the Steelers were giving up the middle of the field, and tough on Harrison when he needlessly knocked over that Cardinal for the personal foul. Michaels was excited at the right times (unlike gus johnson), and had some very good lines. His entire call of the Harrison return was perfect for capturing the moment. The shock of the INT, the slow start, the convoy of blockers, and then the crash landing in the end zone.
9. Anquan Boldin was pretty quiet with his 8 catches. A lot of underneath stuff. One big rumbling catch. If he is unhappy he is only paid 4 mil a year, then he will be elsewhere. This is a by product of him being selected in the 2nd round while Larry Fitzgerald was the number 3 overall pick. Those slots determined their extension numbers.
10. The NFL could not have asked for a great cap to a wild season. The NFL has had some exciting games since the Rams vs. Titans match up. Let's hope this continues. Back and forth games with intense 4th quarters make for fun watching if you do not have a team in the SB. Crappy games just leave us hoping for funny commercials.