Looks like the redesign ate Jerry’s last post… apologies to him, and to you fans. Jerry weighs in on the Super Bowl.
I am not a betting man. I have a tendency to look at these games, decide on who I want to win, and then I create scenarios in which I see my chosen team winning. Going with your heart over your head is not a winning formula for successful wagering. This past Super Bowl was one of the few times my heart and head were in agreement. (In case you forgot, I picked Seattle, 27-14, with two Manning turnovers leading to 10 points.) What surprised me was that so many “experts” disagreed with me. Clearly, the ones who were favoring Manning and the Broncos were either in love with his numbers, or perhaps eager to proclaim him the best of all time so we wouldn’t have to watch anymore football for the rest of our lives, because it couldn’t get any better.
OK, so I was getting a little carried away there. But still, I think what surprised me the most is that so many of those so called experts seemed to be forgetting that, like in post season baseball where it’s always pitching over hitting, in football it’s defense over offense; especially when it’s a defense almost tailor made to stop your particular offensive strength. When I said in my post following the AFC Championship game that Seattle scared me, I was talking about how they matched up against Denver as much as New England. Actually, given New England’s superiority in the giveaway/takeaway differential (NE +9, Denver 0), as well as Special Teams (NE ranked 4th, Denver 28) I think you can make the case that the Patriots were a better match up for the Seahawks and likely could have given them a better game. It’s not to say they would have won. As I said, I’m on the record as saying how scary they were, but I think they would have been competitive for more than 12 seconds.
Granted, the Pats are not strangers to the Super Bowl safety either, so I’ll have to give Seattle those 5 points (the safety plus the subsequent field goal), but Brady would have taken the sack on that second INT, the Pats were far less likely to fumble and Gostkowski likely puts the second half kickoff into the stands so there is no run back. By my calculations, that’s 21 points you can take off the board, leaving the Seahawks with 22. Now I have to believe that Brady could have engineered at least a TD per half, so you have a 22-14 game going into the final minutes. Could they have mounted one last, last minute comeback? Against Seattle’s D probably not, but at least they wouldn’t have been embarrassed, and I don’t switch over to Downton Abbey. But again, maybe that’s just my heart talking…
I expect that Seattle will be contenders for at least another two or three years, but after that it’s going to be tough to keep them together. Do you see Richard Sherman signing for less than Revis money ($13 million)? What about Russell Wilson? Wilson also has the additional leverage of having baseball as an option as well… Speaking of baseball, I heard an interesting tidbit on 98.5 the Sports Hub recently. Of the final four quarterbacks who played the weekend of the Championship games, (Brady, Manning, Wilson, Kaepernick) only Manning was not drafted by a major league baseball team. Brady was drafted in 1995 by the Montreal Expos as a catcher. Sort of a Carlton Fisk type, I would say. “If it stays fair…” You get the idea…
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