First of all, the day after the Super Bowl should be a national holiday. How many people are still drunk this morning? Or if not still drunk, hungover?
I am not among them, but I certainly have been in that situation. And if the Green Bay Packers had played in the Super Bowl, regardless of whether they won or lost, you can bet your ass I would still be celebrating (or drowning my sorrows) and thus, doing absolutely nothing today. It’s not like it’s an afternoon game where you’ve got the evening to get it out of your system.
What’s holding this up? Stupidity?
Anyway, that was a great game. The first overtime game in Super Bowl history left me pretty speechless.
Here are several thoughts on the New England Patriots’ win over the Atlanta Falcons and how they pertain to the Green Bay Packers.
We all kind of like to think that the Packers should be like the Patriots. That they should be in the championship game every year and be in the Super Bowl most years. That would be great, but I tend to believe the Packers have a tougher road simply because they play in the NFC. If you think about it, who the hell is always good like the Patriots are in the AFC? Pittsburgh is probably the closest team, but they are rarely elite. I look at the NFC and I see that Seattle is always strong. The Giants always seem to be good since Eli has been around. Although they’ve fallen off in recent years, the Saints. Hell, one of the other teams in the NFC North is always good, which makes winning the division hard. Who the hell is any good in the AFC East? Just the Patriots. They have an easier road every year because of the AFC. They play those weak-ass teams and secure home field advantage. Aaron Rodgers was right — the Packers should be worrying about home field advantage in the playoffs, but they don’t have the easy road to it every year that the Patriots do.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick now has five Super Bowl wins. That means the idiots calling for the NFL to rename the Lombardi Trophy for Belichick are only going to get louder. This was the primary reason I was cheering against the Patriots in this game. Anyway, I would still point out these stats to those people. Lombardi has five championships. Belichick lost two Super Bowls among the five he’s won. Lombardi was 9-1 in the postseason. Lombardi’s overall winning percentage is .738 vs. Belichick’s .673. Belichick has coached for 22 years to Lombardi’s 10. So yeah, Belichick should have more Super Bowl wins at this point. I’m not denying the guy is a great coach, but people should look at all the facts. These idiots just want to rush to judgment.
Tom Brady certainly had an argument as the greatest quarterback of all time before this game, but in my mind, that guy was still Joe Montana. Not anymore. As I’ve said many times, I value championships as part of what makes a great quarterback. That’s why Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning aren’t even in this conversation. Brady now has five and the way he pulled out this last one leaves no doubt in my mind. The score was 28-12 when the Patriots got the ball back after that Matt Ryan fumble. That’s when I said to myself, the Patriots are going to come back and win this game. I could just feel it. Tom Brady, hat’s off, man.
I’m talking about the game the Packers played in Seattle, which we’d all like to forget. I’m also talking about strategy. You’ve got yourself a nice lead. What do you do to bring home the win? As you’ll recall, the Packers went conservative pretty much across the board in that game, from running the football to Morgan Burnett’s slide on the interception. Mike McCarthy caught hell for that, but as I always point out — Aaron Rodgers was playing like crap and didn’t deserve to have the ball in his hands. Atlanta faced a similar situation in the Super Bowl. Momentum had or was swinging, but they held a nice lead. What did they do? They did what the Packers didn’t. They put the ball in the hands of their MVP quarterback, even though their running game was having success. That obviously didn’t work either, as the Falcons didn’t score but seven points in the second half. It was really two plays by Matt Ryan that ultimately cost them the game. The fumble was obviously one, but not much he could have done about that. On the following drive, Ryan took a 12-yard loss on a sack shortly after hitting a big play to Julio Jones. That was a pretty dumb play because he could have thrown the ball away. It moved the ball back to the Patriots’ 35. A holding call followed and then a punt. A field goal on that drive and the game was probably over. I say it was the right call, though. You put the ball in the hands of your MVP, unless that guy is playing like butt and Ryan wasn’t.
Two things we should look at in terms of how the Patriots build their roster. First, they utilize all means in doing so, unlike the Packers. That’s the obvious point. Second, they always have these role players who step up. On Sunday, it was Badger great James White, who set a Super Bowl record with 14 catches and scored three touchdowns. At other times, there have been guys like Chris Hogan or LeGarrette Blount who have stepped up. None of these guys are great players. You could say it’s the system. You could say it’s coaching. You could say it’s scheme. Maybe all of those. What I think is clear, however, is the Patriots somehow get more, often, it seems, out of less than the Packers do, particularly in the playoffs. Can we identify why that is? I think, to a degree, the Packers are looking at the wrong kind of players. You can’t construct a team entirely of lunch pail guys, but it sure seems like the Packers don’t have enough guys who will just do their job properly or step up when called upon.
“……as the Falcons didn’t score a point in the second half.” <—-did you even watch the game?
Let me explain a little something somethin.
Atlanta blew the Super Bowl in a huge way. But it was by putting the ball in the hands of Matt Ryan. Which you contend was the right move. I say putting the ball in Ryan's hands was a bonehead move that cost them the Super Bowl. I don't need hindsight to tell me this, as i wondering out loud why they weren't running it.
They have 1st and 10 on the Patriots 22 with 4:40 left. They haven't been able to score or move the ball. The score is 28-20. YOU RUN THE BAll!! You take time off the clock. Even if you don't get a 1st down, you run the ball 3 times, you get the clock under 3:00 left, kick a field goal and you go up 2 scores at 31-20…..A NO BRAINER. You do not….Try throwing the ball, giving the Patriot defense more opportunities to make a play, ie: interception, sack, in this case, a sack and a holding penalty. Running the ball only exposes you to a fumble.
I hate to say it, but if in that point in time, McCarthy was coaching, he would have ran the ball 3 times and most likely won the Super Bowl.
Running the ball and kicking the field goal was the smart move, not in hindsight, in common sense.
Agree 100,000%. As soon as Jones made that catch I told my son “you’re going to see Atlanta run the ball 3 times, kick a field goal, and it’ll be over.” I could NOT believe they passed. It was eerily reminiscent of Seattle passing the ball at the goal line 2 years ago. Both times, the Pats opponent passed when running was a NO BRAINER, both times pass plays created exactly the window of opportunity they needed to drive thru for a W.
How dare you criticize Aaron Rodgers!!!! Pffft. Brady>Rodgers. Sorry.
Not sure how often Ryan snapped the ball with 10 to 15 seconds still on the play clock, (with the game clock running) but he did it at least once on their drive that should have resulted in at least a field goal attempt. Falcons defense was gassed, Ryan should have been running that play clock down to at least 2 to 5 seconds on each play.
He did it at least 3 times. Snapping a couple seconds on the play clock would have ate up a total of about 30-40 seconds on that drive.
Very astute observation Howard.
Howard, i went back out of curiosity and they did the same thing on their 2nd to last drive with over 9 minutes left and up by 16 points, 1 snap they had 18 sec. left. Then on that Hightower sack/fumble they left 14 seconds on the clock.
That’s pretty basic shit to eat the play clock as much as possible. I’m amazed nobody (but you) out in TV land caught this.
Can’t blame that on not having Super Bowl experience. That is just a basic clock/game management failure.
All told i’m guessing they could have milked the clock for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes total and if they ran the ball and kicked the field goal the next series, that would have left the Patriots with about a 1 to 1 1/2 minutes down by 11. What a gift!!
That is a lot of time they could have burnt. I thought they were rushing the snap when they were up by two scores. I didn’t know it was that much. I started paying more attention to the play clock on the last drive. The Falcons D needed rest, more time needed to come off the clock, and the Falcons needed to make the Patriots use their timeouts. Falcons blew it.
I know a lot of people get mad at the Packers (Rodgers) having to take timeouts because the play clock is going to run out. I have always felt (more this year) that taking the play clock and game clock down (even early in the game) when you have the lead protects the defense by keeping them off the field.
I found myself kind of rooting for the Falcons for most of the game. My feelings changed the second I saw the Falcons owner and wife on the sideline getting ready to celebrate a victory. That was a mistake by the owner. There should be an enforcer on every teams sideline squashing even the hint of early celebration victories by players and even owners. It’s the NFL anything can happen.
Their coaching staff is excellent. The DC, the OC and of course the HC. They always find ways halfway through a game to apply successful adjustments. Brady may be the best QB in history, but he is not perfect. He lacks a good deep ball. Nevertheless, their short passing game is unstoppable, and allows them to wear defenses out. Mix that in with runs by quick guys like White, or the bulldozing LaGarette Blount, plus the occasional trick play, and they are able to control the clock by sustaining long drives and being unpredictable. A key point that makes Brady the best is that he is unfazed by pressure. The game depended on him to put points on the board. Did he have a scared or concerned expression? Heck no, he was focused like a surgeon. That separates him from the vast majority of humans.
Not to mention he plays within the offense. He takes what the defense gives him better than anyone else. He gets rid of the ball and trusts his guys to make the plays. He doesn’t hold onto the ball looking for a big play that may not be there. They did this without gronk
Yeah, they didn’t have Gronk, which would be a threat himself, but also spare his teammates from defensive attention. Think what could happen with Gronk being healthy for a change. The league has a lot to figure out for next season. But don’t worry, the Pack will sport their soft zone scheme again and hope that Rodgers puts up a mountain of points.
Have some faith in McCarthy, he knows the defense is a problem. He’s in charge of all coaching and Coordinator personnel.
Breathe easy my friend. McCarthy has this figured out and will make the necessary changes to have it corrected without delay.
This is a highly successful regime. they see a problem, they fix it. McCarthy, Thompson, Murphy….they got this!!
They aren’t just going to sit by and do nothing, hoping Rodgers can overcome it.
Agree they do have an easier path every year. The NFC is loaded with veteran qb as well as young stars. Look at teams like Seattle, Atlanta, Carolina, geeen bay, Dallas, to a certain extent ny and az and no aren’t slouches either. Who’s in the afc? Pats, Pitt and kc and kc chokes every postseason.
Aside from that, the pats do it the right way. They draft well and pick up vets here and there that help. In the past it’s been moss, Dillon, now it’s guys like long, Blount, trading for a cb from philly.
They traded away a couple of their main defensive players and didn’t miss a beat. A lot will be made of Brady, but if you look at it, aside from the pick 6 and the fumble, the pats held that vaunted Atlanta o to 14 points. I mainly stick to watching packer games so it was different to see contested passes and secondaries actually making plays. Easy road or not, they always get it done and if we don’t get better in the secondary and pass rush, Rodgers can forget about another ring. Too many good “teams” out there. The packers aren’t a team. It’s Rodgers carrying everyone on his back. Last night wasn’t just Brady, it was his d, James white, and coaching. That’s what it looks like to be down 28-3 and not give up. We coulda done the same thing down 24-0 but we gave up and it’s kinda hard to put up a fight with that d we have.
Rodgers > Brady. Give Rodgers a Top 10 defense every year and see what he can do. Didn’t the Pat’s get two turnovers last night? Held the number one scoring offense to 28? Did Butler get that interception two years ago to win a SB? Rodgers has only had one top 10 defense his whole career and won a superbowl with it. Time to give the Pat’s TEAM credit not just Brady.
Except Rodgers has been awful in NFC championships. Lucky to win the 2010 one. 2014? The defense had 5 turnovers and running game contributed over 100 yards. Rodgers did next to nothing. Brady lit that defense up two weeks later. Brady takes what the defense gives him. Makes a decision and gets the ball out. Aaron Rodgers is the more gifted quarterback, and makes throws outside the pocket no one else can. But Rodgers gets greedy at times and wants to force the ball down the field, even though he has open receivers that aren’t as deep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Shaun has noted this more than once watching film. I have seen the same thing. If Rodgers can just go back to executing the offense, i think they will be better off, especially against top defenses.
Belichick: ” If you wait until half time to make adjustments you waited too long”
McCarthy: “You don’t just abandon your game plan. We set a goal of running the ball 30 times, thought it was important to accomplish that.
Yes Sir, my knowledgeable friend. Did you also notice Belichick coaching up and talking over game photo’s with various defensive players even before halftime.
That’s coaching, getting involved. We’d expect no less from highly successful NFL coaches.
Just be happy we don’t have some coach in a NFCCG, that doesn’t even have a clue that his best defensive player decided to “sit it out” the last 5 minutes.
This says it all.
Patriots looked just as unstoppable early in the year with 2nd and even 3rd string qb play (both were even playing injured at some points).
Packers were on life support even with aaron rodgers.
It is unfair to compare both qbs when the teams, head coach, and system in general are so one sided in favor of the patriots.
And Matt Ryan MVP? Wtf? Julio jones is more valuable to Atlanta than ryan
I have some comments that are going to come from a different direction.
If you know anything about cryptography, you are familiar with names like RSA and Kerberos. RSA is part of TLS which basically is the encryption that keeps internet transactions and communications secure. Kerberos is an authentication system that allows servers to communicate with each other. These are major cryptography solutions, designed by geniuses, that were invented by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
If the Patriots decided they wanted to cheat, MIT is less than an hour away from Gillette stadium. Dozens of the worlds best cryptographers are readily available to them. The guys who sell the headphone system to the NFL are a tiny shop in Nebraska who have no cryptography experience, although they claim to have “military grade” encryption systems.
I’m not saying the Patriots cheated, but a man in the middle attack would a look lot like the opponents head set suddenly going out and coming back online. Seems to me that was the point at which the Patriots suddenly seemed to be able to stop the Falcons and moved the ball at will.
Should Falcons have run, not thrown, when they got those second half sacks? There’s a middle road. If you want to pass, have the QB roll out – move the pocket. First, it allows him to see an impending sack, not have blitzers coming around from behind or the side. Second, it buys the QB a bit more time. Third, it puts him outside the tackles, so even if he’s being tackled he can heave the ball into the stands rather than get an intentional grounding penalty. Rodgers has taken his share of sacks (especially on third down) at just the wrong time too. This strategy would prevent those big losses.
in the first half belichick and company got outcoached. but by damn they made the serious adjustments that needed to be made and look at the difference an elite coaching staff can make in a game. the second half they outcoached them in every facet of the game.
“The Easy Road”?
Not too poorly written overall, Monty, and better than much that you write. But that first section, “The Easy Road” is an embarrassment of excuse making for TT and MM. I thought it was written by a Ted Sheep. I don’t know, maybe it was. You are setting up a thought process that if the Packers had an Easy Road” as “Easy” as the Patriots then they would have 7 Super Bowl appearances and 5 of them wins in the last 16 years. For 16 years the Patriots have had Tom Brady and for the past 16 years the Packers have had Brett Favre and/or Aaron Rodgers.
We’d have to look at the overall records of the AFC East non-Patriots teams vs. the NFC North non-Packers teams over the course of, I guess, what, the last 16 years? Personally, I am too lazy to do that (*) and obviously so were you as you did not supply any stats to back up your argument. Before you do, if you do — and I know we’ll only see it if it supports you and should assume if you do not supply it that you admit you made a false statement — subtract the game results those teams had vs. the Patriots and the Packers. You see the AFC East as per won-loss record is at a distinct advantage with basically 2 near automatic losses each year to the Patriots. The more they beat their division rivals the weaker those rivals appear in the standings. You see? You get it?
(*) Turns out, no, I am not as lazy as Monty. See below.
A glance at the standings from 2001 to present, only looking at regular season games, shows that the Jets and the Vikings have identical records in that time span. So they cancel each other out. The Bills and Dolphins combined for 224 wins in those 16 seasons. The Bears and Lions combined for 214 wins in those 16 seasons.
Conclusion: Within their respective divisions the Patriots faced the more difficult road and the Packers had the “easy” road in truth. Contrary to this article. You must choose: Will you choose facts or to believe Monty?
Here is a factoid: “The overall interconference record between the AFC and NFC is 1160-1041-11.” That is to say the AFC teams are more likely to beat the NFC teams and have won 119 more times. Thus, Monty’s argument “…the Packers have a tougher road simply because they play in the NFC” is illogical and false. The facts are exactly the opposite of that wild claim.
Just to really make even more obvious how wrong Monty is and just keeping it to very recent history compare the strength of schedule this past year 2016 between the Packers and the Patriots. The Patriots had the 9th toughest schedule and ran up a 14-2 record. The Packers had the very most easiest schedule in the NFL, 32nd out of 32 teams, and ran up a 10-6 record.
Thus, Monty’s argument that the Patriots enjoy “The Easy Road” while the Packers do not, is entirely false in every facet of that argument.
Is Monty ignorantly unaware, too lazy to look up easy to find stats, and just pulls falsehoods out of his butt or, was he aware and intentionally spewing falsehoods to deceive and/or prop up the delicate psyche’s of the readership at this site?
That is the only remaining question now that we have totally and completely put to rest this whole “The Easy Road” false claim.