Super Bowl XLI was another less-than-interesting game on the field, but will forever be remembered as being the first Super Bowl with two black head coaches and for being the game in which Peyton Manning answered his critics.
So let’s ramble.
The Colts. No matter how bad their defense was against the run at times during the season, during the playoffs the Colts got the job done and shut down their opponents and made plays when the outcome of the game was in the balance. Manning did a decent job, but the MVP of the game and of the playoffs should have been the Colts running game and/or their defense. Run the ball, keep the other team in long yardage situations and make fewer mistakes than your opponents: the formula hasn’t changed in over 100 years.
The Bears. Sloppy, unfocused, undisciplined. Horrendous tackling, poor offensive execution. However, with all these points against them, they still were in the game going into the final quarter. But they just couldn’t overcome the “Rex Grossman Factor.” Defensively, they played off receivers to keep them in front of them, but then missed first and second tackles way too often and allowed the Colts to move the sticks and keep the ball. Offensively, they didn’t seem to have anything that posed a threat to the Colts.
The Turning Point of the Game. Up 14-6, the Bears were moving the ball at midfield and had a chance to put up at least another 3 points. With all the momentum in the world and the crowd behind them and the weather with them, the Bears turned the ball over and threw away all their “plusses.” The Colts, to their credit, answered.
Peyton Manning. Didn’t play great, but did enough to win and got over an early, bad start that could have buried his team. Peyton should be grateful for the “Rex Grossman Factor,” for Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes and the Colt defense. The bottom line is that the Colts don’t need Manning to do it all – and they are better for it.
Rex Grossman. Could be the worst quarterback to ever start in the Super Bowl. Who cares that he completed over 70% of his passes? As evidenced by the Bears play calling, the team had little faith in his ability to make any kind of play. If you’re a Bear fan there’s no way that you could want Rex back at the helm next year. Give me Bobby Douglass, Bob Avellini, Steve Bradley, Peter Tom Willis, Mike Tomczak, or Brian Griese. Hell I’d take Archie Manning right now over Wretched Rex.
The Coverage. CBS does a good job minimizing the nonsense once the game gets started –- assuming you’re already accustomed to a certain level of nonsense to begin with –- as Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are a good listen. I give CBS credit for not cramming the booth with another body just because this is the Super Bowl. But please can we do away with the big desk and all of the talking heads during the pre-game, half time and post-game reports? It looks like a “Man Law” commercial is going to break out.