Monday, February 07, 2005

Not a Super Game

In the post-game hype, much will be made of the close score in last night's Super Bowl -- including the fact that this was the first-ever Super Bowl to have a tied score going into the fourth quarter. To read about it, you might be led to believe this was a great game.

But the contest never had a rhythm to it. And the Patriots offense took more than a quarter to get their motors running and even at that point they still weren't impressive -- and yet they were still in it.

The performance of Eagles QB Donovan McNabb was symptomatic of a team that was pressing too hard because they had to. When the real Patriots offense finally showed up in the second half, joining their stellar defense, we saw why they were the best team in football.

We also saw that all the desperate push the Eagles of the lowly NFC could muster just wasn’t going to be enough. If the Patriots entire team had shown up from the opening play, the game would’ve been a blowout. And the performance of the NFC Champions indicates to me that the either the Colts or the Steelers would’ve beat them if they had been there.

Despite the close score, this wasn’t a classic like, my personal favorite, XXXIV (where the Rams defeated the Titans by mere inches), or last year’s XXXVIII (Patriots v. Panthers, where a combined 37 points in the final quarter was topped off by a field goal in the last 4 seconds), or X (where Pittsburgh held on to defeat Dallas by intercepting a “Hail Mary” pass by Roger Staubach on the final play of the game).

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