Normally I’m a New York Post sports guy through and through, but this time Hank Gola from the Daily News gets the award for the best expert analysis and breakdown of the entire event:
On the Colts’ second possession, Manning began a game-long trend. When the Bears were in cover-2 he handed off and when the linebackers dropped into coverage, he threw underneath, except for the first play, the 53 yard touchdown to Reggie Wayne….Manning hardly tried a deep pass the rest of the game. With the Bears’ safeties playing up to 20 yards off the line of scrimmage, Manning did more short passing – Joseph Addai, 10 catches 66 yards….Bears Defensive Coordinator went down with his ship, the two-deep zone.
Manning may have won the MVP award, but Addai was the real Bear-killer, with 73 yards rushing as well. By the way, this is the first time since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl that we aren’t all saying “Defense wins championships.” It still looks as if the NFC has some gorund to gain back as this year the AFC number 3 seed beat the NFC number 1 seed. Pittsburgh beat the NFC number 1 Seahawks last year as the AFC’s sixth and final seed.
Finally, Steve Czaban had a good observation as well:
6:47 – Wayne to the endzone. Okay, we’ve got a game.
6:48 – Hunter Smith f’s up the hold. Steve Sabol now has enough footage of botched holds this post-season for a full half hour “NFL Presents” special on holders.
6:48:10 – It registers in my head: that missed XP is CERTAIN to ice me out of my Colts -7 pick for 200 imaginary sheckles. I’m invoicing Hunter Smith right now.
6:51 – The Bears fumble the kickoff, and a mad scramble for the ball breaks out. Mysteriously, the refs take their sweet time getting to the pile to see who has it. This KILLS me in the NFL, and I see it all the time. RUN MOTHER********!! Guys are getting knifed under there like Ray Lewis and his posse just rolled up, and you guys are acting like you are on “union time.”
6:52 – Colts give it right back, when Manning almost hands off to Alex Brown, who is apparently telepathic and has jumped the snap like he was in the huddle.
6:53 – Thomas Jones breaks free and gets down to 1st and goal. This concludes an amazing run of FIVE consecutive huge plays. Wayne TD, Miss XP, fumbled kick, Addai fumble, and Jones run. Find me another Super Bowl with that many huge momentum plays in a row. I dare you.
He’s right…five huge all-or-nothingish momentum swinging plays in a row. Wild. Too bad the rest of the game was a snore fest. Dink and dunk all night. Nevertheless, the weather was great! C’moon people, football is a “slobbernoggin” game as Madden would say. You can still throw the ball in rain, it just makes it uncertain. Risky. Holds get muffed, snaps are dicey, it puts a premium on concentration and execution, but ratchets up the excitement. You never know what’s gonna happen next. It’s not so bad to have the game be unpredictable. More rain and mud please, but hold the cold and snow. Thank you.