By In Stuff

Super Bowl L

From NBC SportsWorld:

Michael Schur and I write (a lot) about Super Bowl L.

L is for Losers

21 Responses to Super Bowl L

  1. BobDD says:

    Am I the I? Or am I II? I would hate to be III!

  2. NRJyzr says:

    I admit this piece lost me when they said it was a catch. I’ve watched it on DVR, the point of the ball turns down, hits the ground, and the ball slides through his grip a bit.

    • zeke bob says:

      I agree completely, there just wasn’t enough evidence to overturn the call.

      If you want to see a really good .gif check the Footballoutsiders link below:

      Otherwise, I largely agreed with the article, especially his daughters’ assessment of the halftime show – so much nope.

      • Norm DePlume says:

        I agree as well. I thought it was incomplete live, and I was more certain after the replay. I’m stunned that so few others seem to agree. Between CBS’ need to go to commercial and their poor coverage in general, the narrative that it was a catch stuck quickly. Mike Pereira did a good piece on it on Colin Cowherd’s show: . I hate using anything from “The Herd” as evidence against Joe and Michael, though Cowherd himself said he saw a catch.

        I have no particular objection to anyone thinking it should’ve been a catch, but their objection is with the rule, not the (correct) call. It reminds a a little of Joe’s recent piece on popup slides in baseball and how often the runner briefly comes off the bag when viewed frame-by-frame.

        • Mike Pereira is excellent. So well informed & usually accurate. It’s funny that Carey can’t seem to get anything right. It makes you wonder about the guys they have up in the booth. If the “expert” is wrong, I believe he’s wrong 10% of the time, then what about the schmoes they have reviewing the plays?

        • KHAZAD says:

          I disagree with both of you, and clicking your links just reinforced my opinion. In the first link, it is a good angle on the ball, and the point does barely touch the ground. However, it is in the player’s control in his hand, and the ground does not in any way cause the ball to move. He comes up off the ground with the ball still under control, and after the ball is already off the ground, it is struck by Stewart’s helmet, which jars it somewhat, then it is moved further by Cotchery’s elbow after the initial movement. Then he still manages to reacquire the ball afterwards before it hits the ground on the other side.

          As far as Perreira goes, he is an awesome interview, but he mostly reinforces whatever the company line is. He is good at it, and I am extremely sure that if the call had been different, he could have argued the opposite side just as convincingly.

          The biggest problem in the NFL today, in my opinion, is the crazy slo mo rules regarding catches. No one really knows whether it is a catch – not the players, not the announcers, not the refs – and they are terribly inconsistent, both on the field and on replays. (This is why Perreira can ALWAYS argue whatever side they want him to after the fact. The whole thing with the ball “moving” is somewhat crazy at the super slow speeds. The ball is nearly always moving when there is a collision of any kind around the play.

          The difference in the way catches and runs are called in the end zone is silly also. A runner can reach out with one hand, wave the ball through the magic goal line, lose the ball of his own volition just afterwards, and it is a TD. A receiver can make a secure catch in the end zone, land with both feet in the end zone, take three steps with the ball, and then trip over a piece of rubber, or fall trying to avoid a cameraman, hit the ground and have the ball move a little, and it is an incomplete pass. It defies all logic.

          • There’s no question that the “catch rule” is incomprehensible to almost everyone. If the rule doesn’t make sense to anyone and catches we know are catches are called not catches, that’s a big problem. The good thing is that the NFL, unlike MLB, is not averse to making rule changes. They regularly fine tune the rules. Now, the issue is that there are a lot of moving pieces with catch/ no-catch situations. How do you cover all of those pieces without making the rule just another different complex un-explainable rule? How do you make the rule very simple? That’s the question they should be asking, but I don’t know if they are. For me, the issue of a “football move” is the biggest problem. How is taking three steps and diving for the end zone “not a football move?” I have less of a problem with the “ball moving” stuff. But if the guy clearly catches the ball and reaches for the end zone, he shouldn’t then be greeted with a whole host of other requirements to “complete the catch all the way to the ground”. To me, that’s the part that makes not sense. Maybe something simple like a “two-step rule”. If you make two steps and have the ball, then it’s a catch. Anything after that is after the catch. I honestly felt, for a lot of years, that this was the basis for the way things were actually called, until recently.

  3. lostinbaltoG says:

    Every time you wrote “dispel with” you actually meant “dispense with.” You “dispense with” something, and you “dispel” something.

    There is no “with” with “dispel.”

  4. MJ says:

    I genuinely curious why the Doritos commercial was so disturbing to Joe. I thought it was hilarious.

  5. David says:

    Two things:

    1. If you guys did one of these every day, I still wouldn’t think there were enough of them.
    2. I would put Favre and Elway in that discussion of greatest QBs, as well. But that’s just my take.

  6. Dan W. says:

    Joe, you were wrong in your prediction but your caveat was accurate. You wrote:

    “The Panthers might turn the ball over a bunch. The Broncos’ special teams might score a touchdown or two. The replay officials might overturn every Panthers catch. ”

    The Panthers did turn the ball over a bunch. The Broncos had a record punt return and the replay officials did not grant the Panthers challenge.

    • 15 Denver points off turnovers. 3 points off a punt return. Two field goals were generated by the Bronco offense. So yeah, I thought the same thing. Joe did say that turnovers, special teams and weird stuff could happen. That’s exactly what happened. But it’s not really weird. A lot of NFL games are decided that way. And the NFL refereeing is definitely spotty. Catch/no catch, interference/no interference are often coin flips.

  7. Pat says:

    Man, did I not think anything was going to be as good as the Super Bowl. Thanks to Joe and Michael for showing me that a guy who hates John Elway more than he hates cancer and a guy who hates Peyton Manning more than he hates ISIS bitching about how lucky the Broncos were for proving me wrong.

    Coupla things:

    1) Wade Phillips and Gary Kubiak had the best game plan of the season saved for this game. The opening drive was aggressive and as successful as 3 points can be. The defense played better than they did all season, even better than those first four or five weeks when nobody seemed to know what to make of them. Speaking of:
    2) The punt return: Does anyone else think it was odd that the first two or three punts ended with a fair catch signalled when the returner had a pretty good amount of room before this one resulted in an impressive fake? I don’t know for sure that Kubiak had anything special planned, but for the Super Bowl, that seems a decent possibility.
    3) As many times as Manning has fallen down in the past month with zero or close to zero defensive contact, one has to think the Denver staff has him wearing a ski boot to protect his heel, or possibly has his right foot nearly totally anaesthetized, no?
    4) Re: Cam Newton’s weird game, am I the only one to see this? Denver had the ball first, and Newton took the ball with a pretty small point deficit (ex ante). Before his first snap, the camera focused on his face as he took account of the biggest game (so far) of his game being about to start, and he looked… I don’t want to say scared, and I’m sure he wasn’t. But it was a glimpse of the moment getting into his head. And as many mistakes as the Panthers started to make on both sides of the ball in the fourth quarter, it’s kind of easy to write the story as the triumph of psychology.
    5) Manning probably will retire. But he’s 60 yards away from 72,000, a win away from sole possession of the record. Would it be so crazy for him to sign a league-minimum deal with Indy, make a start if Luck goes down, or else start against the Jags in a home game, so he can retire in a Colts jersey?

    • 1.) Yes. Great game plan, but it really wasn’t different than what they did against the Pats. Harass the QB, run the ball and hope to get turnovers.
      2.) No. It was just a freak play. No intent. This is almost a conspiracy theory.
      3.) Good point. Although the turf was really in horrible shape too. Lots of players were falling. I’m actually surprised the winning play didn’t occur because a DB fell down leading to a wide open TD pass.
      4.) Here’s the deal. The pathetic Falcons defense got in Newton’s face when they beat Carolina. They hit him, sacked him, picked off a pass and ended the game on a strip sack. Sound familiar? The Broncos had to know from that game, and they did watch that video carefully, that if the pathetic Falcon defense could do what they did, then the Broncos surely could too. The offensive line of the Panthers was a mirage. It was pieced together & managed to work most of the year. But it wasn’t a good O-Line. Wade Phillips had to see that. It wasn’t Newton being awed by the moment. It was his offensive line being exposed for the bailing wire and chewing gum that it really was. Cam got pounded just like Brady got pounded. Cam’s not Brady either, yet, at least. Brady kept scrapping, while Cam kind of didn’t step up to the challenge. Most QBs would have crumbled under that kind of pounding.
      5.) Let’s say Manning doesn’t retire. That 72K yards and 200 wins is a big deal to him…. which I can’t imagine. Nobody really cites those records as big milestones. The first time I heard it was at the Super Bowl as a kind of filler comment that they come up with. Interesting, but useless, facts. I don’t see him chasing minor stats that nobody cares about. The only stat he would care about is if he could win another Super Bowl. Anyway, what’s the scenario for his return. First, the Broncos. They have to manage the cap and they can’t afford Manning’s cap number if they want to retain their key defensive players like Von Miller. No, they will go Brock Osweiler at a much lower rate & sign the defensive stars. If the Broncos sign Manning, their defense will be diminished and they won’t be as good next year. So, Manning has to go somewhere else. What NFL team, after watching Manning’s season, is going to think…. yeah, I’ve got $10-15M I’ll put into a broken down 40 year old player. Maybe the Browns? Would Manning sign with a non competitive team that’s stupid enough to sign him? No. OK, so realistically, Manning would be a Plan B somewhere, maybe, for a good team. A team could think… reasonably… hell, having Peyton Manning as my backup makes sense. He can mentor our young QB and he’s not a bad #2 option if our starter gets hurt. So, would Manning go somewhere to be the #2? And would he take #2 money to do it? The answers are probably no, and no. Peyton’s not stupid. He’s run down his options. There are no scenarios where he starts for a competitive team with a shot at the Super Bowl. There are no scenarios where he doesn’t take a huge pay cut. I don’t see him taking a #2 role, at a much lower salary, with a good team. For that reason, he’s going to retire. He won’t have any options that are to his liking. He’ll never have another shot at going out as a champion.

    • Pat says:


      Yes, exactly. I was about to add the caveat, “… other than two weeks earlier against the Patriots” but you said it better. Let me add this: After seeing John Fox completely fail to prep for the Seahawks, it’s a lot more fun as a fan to see the team lose winnable games to Oakland during the regular season and keep some rounds in the chamber for the ones in January (and February).

      Since it’s beer-thirty where I am, I may as well go on: Pittsburgh, New England, and Carolina were the #4, #3, #1 offenses this year. They combined for seven (!!!) third-down conversions against the Broncos in the playoffs. I’m still shaking my head at that.

      Also since it’s still beer-thirty: After week 6, there were five undefeated teams, namely New England, Cincinnati, Denver, Green Bay, and Carolina. I can’t find it now but I BELIEVE that was the first time in league history for five in week seven. Denver was scheduled to play three of the other four—they handed the Pats and Pack their first losses—and wound up facing the last in the Super Bowl. That’s, uh, that’s probably a piece of trivia that doesn’t mean that much.

  8. Marco says:

    “I thought the Broncos’ offense stood no chance of moving the ball against the Carolina defense. None.”

    You were right!

  9. BMan says:

    I was a little disappointed that you guys didn’t delve into Ted Ginn’s penchant for running out of bounds at the first sign of a defensive player. It’s the Super Bowl, and if you can gain 3-5 more yards, you don’t hop out of bounds like that.

    • I didn’t over obsess on the play, but my initial take was that he could have gotten more than 3-5 yards. Maybe make a move and get 10-20. Maybe a missed tackle and take it to the house. That kind of left turn is usually reserved for QBs and Tony Dorsett. Yeah, dude liked to keep the wear and tear down a bit back in the day.

  10. John Leavy says:

    It was probably more fun and interesting to take part in that conversation than to read about it.

    Regardless, the one important point you made came at the end. The man I was happiest for at the Super Bowl was Wade Phillips. Wade has been a superb defensive coordinator and a good football man for decades. Jerry Jones put Wade in a no-win situation in Dallas, where he was head coach in name only, and couldn’t possibly exert authority or command respect.

    I’m glad Wade got a chance to go to a team where he could just do his job, at his usual high level, without dealing with the nonsense that always comes with working for Jerry Jones.

  11. rfaronson says:

    Commenting on Terrell Owens: unlike MLB, five guys (at most) get selected to Canton, plus three old-timers; easily ten or fifteen or more deserved it this year, but the rules say five. And you don’t get stats in a vacuum. He started catching passes from Steve Young, who is darned good, and he had Jerry Rice drawing attention, making his job easier. Then he had Jeff Garcia, who went to the Pro Bowl three years in a row. He had Donovan McNabb, another Pro Bowl quarterback, tossing him the ball when he showed up in Philadelphia, and McNabb (and Young) both had Pro Bowls before Owens arrived; he didn’t make them. All that talent makes it easy for one to accumulate great statistics, but for all his accomplishments on the field, he never led the league in yards or receptions. He was selected to six Pro Bowls. Compare him to Tim Brown, who you disparaged. Brown had a terrible series of bad quarterbacks throwing to him. His best QB before then Gannon’s magical season was probably Jeff Hostetler, and Brown was already aging. Gannon’s not in the HOF, and of the various QBs chucking the ball to Owens and Brown, Gannon’s probably fourth best, maybe even fifth best (Tony Romo was the QB in Dallas). Yet Brown managed to garner eight pro bowl selections (one was as a returner), but he was the best Brown got. And even Brown had to wait a long while to get into the HOF.

    Nothing against TO; he was a great receiver, one of the best. In a vacuum, he belongs in the HOF. But elections are not in a vacuum. Do I think TO deserves to be in the HOF ahead of those five? It’s unclear to me. At this point you have to consider changes in football, and time spent waiting, and yes, how good a teammate you were and how many titles you won.

    Maybe two or five or ten years from now, with less of a logjam at wide receiver backing up Canton, TO would have become a first ballot Hall of Famer. But this year, being compared to Marvin Harrison, who has some good arguments on his behalf (third in career receptions, twice led the league in yards, twice in receptions, eight pro bowls, and retired two years sooner) it’s completely human to think one guy was a great teammate, never heard anything bad about him, and the other caused problems, kept on being allowed to leave town. If it wasn’t close, I think TO deserved to go in first (Harrison had even better QBs, on balance, after all). But you cannot with a straight face say it’s not close. And if it is close, you cannot say that TO’s quality as a teammate is a legitimate deciding factor as to whether he or Harrison goes to Canton first.

    I’m a big fan of karma. Owens will have to wait at least one more year, maybe even a few more years, because voters have memories and are human and the Canton backlog is even worse than Cooperstown. But he’ll get in. And being the kind of man Owens has always been, he’ll blame something other than his own actions for the delay. But there’s no conspiracy. If you want to be TO in the locker room and still be a first ballot HOFer, you’d better be Lawrence Taylor on the field. Or Jerry Rice.

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