Super Bowl Slant: 15 Observations


Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Mark J. Rebilas / USA Today

Here are 15 notes/observations from the Patriots’ 28-24 win over the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX.

1. We have to start where it ended. I generally like to go against the grain and try to examine alternate viewpoints. But there’s no point doing that here. The decision by Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell to pass the ball from the 1-yard-line has to be the biggest head-scratcher in Super Bowl history. With the most physical back in the league on their side and a timeout in their pocket, the Seahawks over-thought it and took the ball out of Marshawn Lynch’s hands.

Pete Carroll tried to explain Seattle’s thinking. The Seahawks were in 11 personnel, and the Patriots brought in their goal-line defense. Bill Belichick was essentially saying: We don’t believe that you would actually pass the ball here, so we’re loading up for Lynch. The Seahawks took the bait, and it cost them.

As Super Bowls pass, they become known for one thing or another. A great drive, a botched call, an amazing catch. This one will forever be known for that decision by Bevell and/or Carroll.

Loved this, by the way:

2. Having said all that, the Seahawks actually got exactly what they wanted on the play. They used a stacked look on the right side against man coverage and ran a pick play.

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Malcolm Butler deserves a ton of credit for making as good a break on the ball as you will see. Re-watching it now, I still don’t know how he got there in time to not only break up the pass, but actually make the interception. Just an unbelievable play on the biggest stage for the undrafted rookie free agent.

3. I hate talk that centers around cementing legacies. Tom Brady was already an all-time great before this game, but what he did in the fourth quarter against the best secondary in the league has to be recognized. Brady went 13-for-15 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. He was 8-for-8 for 65 yards on what ended up being the game-winning drive. He twice climbed the pocket on third downs and fired strikes for 20+ yard gains. Brady threw a couple interceptions. And he missed a wide-open touchdown to Julian Edelman. But down 10 in the fourth quarter, the game was in Brady’s hands, and he came through.

4. I think there really needs to be a follow-up on why Edelman was not checked for a concussion after that hit by Kam Chancellor.

5. Had the Seahawks won that game, the Jermaine Kearse catch would have gone down in history just like the David Tyree catch. Now? I’m not sure how many people will even remember it five years from now.

6. I don’t know what it says about me that I’d really like to see both A Most Violent Year and Pitch Perfect 2 in the theater. Please don’t judge.

7. I think we as media need to agree to do away with the coaches’ interviews seconds before kickoff. No one gets anything out of those. And while we’re at it, let’s trash the in-game interviews with managers during baseball games. Hate those too.

8. Andy parlaying his Johnny Karate fame into a starring role in Jurassic World is really one of the great Hollywood stories of my lifetime.

9. Wifi in cars is going to once and for all destroy any hopes my fellow bloggers and I have at maintaining lasting marriages. On the other hand, my daughter is going to be pumped about the prospects of watching Peppa Pig on YouTube during long road trips.

10. Does Al Michaels have a Dixon Ticonderoga endorsement deal? Did this have something to do with a prop bet? He mentioned Belichick’s No. 2 pencil twice in the first six minutes of the game.

11. I’m fully expecting a call from my Dad this week telling me how proud he is of me as he stands in line at McDonald’s demanding his free coffee.

12. Was the theme of last night’s commercials to make all parents feel a sense of guilt, worry and dread in between the action? If so, it worked.

13. Sometimes, I would love to see footage of these advertising meetings:

Exec 1: “What if we have the Fiat take a Viagra?”

Exec 2: “Brilliant! Our work here is done. Who’s ready for lunch?”

14. Actual Bob Costas quote at halftime: “Katy Perry may have blown some of us away at halftime, but in the main attraction, no one’s going to get blown out.” It really felt like an SNL skit, not real life.

15. I can’t decide if Doug Baldwin pooping out a football for his TD celebration was my favorite part of the Super Bowl or just a complete embarrassment. Either way, I was denied a potty training teaching moment with my daughter because NBC decided not to show the full footage.