Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Super Bowl retrospective and quick thoughts on the Browns

For a championship game the Super Bowl was a pretty sloppy. The *winning* team had a 12 men on the field penalty, a 12 men in the huddle, burned two timeouts in the second half to avoid delay of game penalties, and, while they recovered all of them, put the ball on the ground three times. Their passrush wasn't nearly as good as in the past, but in the 4th quarter it did enough.

The game taught me that Rob Gronkowski was even more important to the Pats than I had realized, it was similar to watching a V-6 car run on five cylinders. Also on the Welker drop, that was more a bad throw on Brady.

What did not surprise me was New England's poor defense. The Pats D has been living off of is reputation for several years (turns out that constantly trading down in the draft eventually means your defense is less talented). They get a pass thanks to an argument that goes something like this: The Patriots are winning - ergo Belichick is a genius. If Belichick is a genius and his specialty is defense then - ergo the Pats defense is great. Truth is they have been outscoring teams to win since '07 - and now they are apparently so thin with playmakers losing one TE all but kills them.

By far and away my favorite part was when people commented about how their defense was 32nd in the league Belichick came back with that they were 15th in scoring. There are 32 teams in the NFL. 15th is the definition of AVERAGE.


More than anything else Cleveland needs weapons on defense. I'm not convinced DeSeah Jackson (apparently the popular target in Ohio) should be the guy - he's a headache in the locker, candyasses it when he is pouting, is injury prone, and for returns you already have Cribbs. Also if you resign Hillis (which I like) given his injury history you should add a better backup than Montario Hardesty. Colt McCoy sure doesn't appear to be the answer (good backup though), although maybe if he had better weapons he could prove me wrong. I have not really seen enough of RGIII to be comfortable one way or the other with the concept of taking him at 4 (if he is there), but if they do nab a shiny new rookie QB though could afford to upgrade the OL along with finding some playmakers They also pick 22nd in the first round (Falcons). Don't overspend for Matt Flynn.

The Brown's D was 10th overall, 5th in points, an impressive 2nd against the pass...and 30th against the run. Part of that might have been teams running out leads because the offense could not score, but they were far from good. Last's years first pick DT Phil Taylor will be in his second year so he may continue to develop, but picking up another wide bodied DT in free agency might not cost that much.


Finally...San Fran will not be contender for the next five years without serious improvements at QB and WR. It was a good season, but there is still much work to do. Which is ironic, because after the Super Bowl I am convinced they would have had a reasonable chance to be the Gronkowskiless Pats.


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