One more Not So Monday Morning Thoughts coming as I am recapping all things Super Bowl. Every year, I always am left with the feeling of wanting more throughout the course of the NFL season. The conclusion is always epic and has me begging for the next season. So considering me counting down the days until I get Scott Hanson’s famous “SEVEN HOURS OF COMMERCIAL FREE FOOTBALL STARTS NOW!”
I will give my overall thoughts on the game, the broadcasting, the officiating, the halftime show and Eli Apple getting burnt on more than the field…fucking shmuck.
Let’s start with the game itself. I went with my heart and my heart screwed me. I wrote a column talking about a potential blowout with this matchup because the Rams would be able to obliterate the Bengals offensive line. That happened, it just wasn’t a blowout. As the game got closer and closer, something told me don’t count out Joe Burrow and the Bengals. On the latest episode of the podcast, I predicted a Bengals 27-23 victory. I got the Rams score correct at least. It could’ve happened for the Bengals had the last drive not stalled. Of course it didn’t.
Ultimately, I got the close game I wanted as a fan of the NFL as a whole.
Both teams’ defenses kept the game close limiting what each offense did. It left me wondering when the game would break open. It never really did. There were moments where I thought both teams were going to do it.
The Rams offense was beginning to find their mojo close to half when Odell Beckham Jr. unfortunately left the game with a knee injury. Even though I am not the biggest OBJ fan, that just sucked seeing that happen. First, seeing injuries sucks to begin with. To make matters worse, it was in the Super Bowl during a resurgence of his career and who he was to some degree. Second, it deflated one of the tires of the Rams offense. He was the cog in the machine that looked like he could break it open for Los Angeles.
The Bengals opened the half with a 75 yard pass from Burrow to Tee Higgins. It didn’t stop there as they found themselves with a short field after Chidobe Awuzie picked off Matt Stafford. They unfortunately only capitalized with a field goal. Nonetheless, the Bengals looked like they were on their way to a big second half.
Then, all of a sudden, Aaron Donald and the Rams woke the hell up in a big way. After a quiet first half from the Rams pass rush due to Burrow getting the ball out quick, Raheem Morris made adjustments, stacking one side of the line that allowed that pass rush to start teeing off on Burrow with 5 3rd quarter sacks. After two straight scoring drives in the second half, the Rams forced the Bengals to go punt, punt, punt, punt and end it on downs. Donald making the two big plays on the final third and fourth down.
Aaron Donald began doing Aaron Donald things, getting double and triple teamed and beating it. Von Miller started doing Von Miller things, getting to Burrow off the edge. That also opened things up for the formidable Leonard Floyd. The person this really opened it up for was LB Ernest Jones who took advantage of his one on one matchups getting inside pressure.
Sean McVay out-classed Zac Taylor
To put it bluntly, Zac Taylor had moments that made him look like an infant. The NFL is a game of situations and clock management, especially when the game is shining brightest. It is why Kyler Murray and Kliff Kingsbury disappointed. They suck situationally.
This doesn’t mean Zac Taylor can’t learn from it. It was just a few years ago that Bill Belichick made Sean McVay look much of the same. Experience does that.
4th and 1 from midfield to open the game, Taylor got way too aggressive going for it. Even if they converted, I would stand by what I said even it makes look foolish. Too early in the game to play hero ball. Of all things, they dialed up a slant to Chase. Yeah, no one knew that was coming including the Rams who smothered him.
On 3rd and 1 on the final drive, he calls a run for Samaje Perine after they were moving the ball with the pass. Ummmm, dude, you had Joe Mixon if you felt running was the right call. I don’t necessarily hate the fact he called a run. I hate the fact it was fucking Perine. Donald demolishes him then on 4th and 1, Donald gets pressure on Burrow forcing him to throw a wild ball ultimately falling incomplete and game over.
I have just grown completely exhausted of the narrative surrounding NFL officials. This probably stems from the fact I am surrounded by Saints fans who love to cry about the no call. Anytime there is a call, whether a penalty or not, it of course is the officials and the NFL out to get the Saints.
Obviously the controversial call of the night was the PI called on Logan Wilson batting down the ball against Cooper Kupp on the Rams possession allowing them to take the lead.
This is what I told a friend and I am sticking to this…
It was a ticky tack call that hasn’t been made all game so I’ll agree that it probably shouldn’t have been called. He wrapped him on the break and if that was a better thrown ball and not slightly behind Kupp allowing Wilson to get a firm hand on it, we are probably not hearing as much noise about it today.
That leads me into something I have been saying for the last few seasons. Broadcasters feed into the crap that NFL officiating is the bane of it’s existence. It feeds into the idea it is miserably bad when it is not. *cough* replacement refs *cough*
It seems people have forgotten about that craziness.
Fans and broadcasters both often forget that they get the benefit of 97 angles and 47 speeds (hyperbole obviously). I was always hate when a broadcast or fan watches a game and talks about how obvious a call is after watching a replay. That is one more look you get that the refs don’t.
Cris Collinsworth and Al Michaels Suck
I am tired of pretending these legendary play by play and color commentators are any good at this point. I will get absolutely trashed for saying this about Michaels in particular. He’s become as big of a shmuck as his partner.
You could hear he didn’t give a shit about highlighting celebs in the audience. You could hear his distaste for some of the calls. All that plays into the feelings of the fans at home.
I will die on the hill that Kevin Harlan needs to be on every major sporting event. No moment is ever too big for him. He creates added life to any given play. He keeps it entertaining. He’s not the bland, dry and boring broadcaster.
The Halftime Show
Every year, we get a mixed bag of opinions about the halftime show.
The second it was announced Snoop, Dre, Eminem, Kendrick and Mary J Blige would be headlining, I got excited. You can read the recaps and thoughts on it in other places who heralded the performance. My own would likely sound similar. So I will keep it short, sweet and to the point.
The only thing I want to note before the final thoughts. The NFL knew Eminem would kneel to show support of Colin Kaepernick and it was fucking awesome. Of course certain people were screaming about it on Monday. Oddly enough, there was no anthem playing this time so I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. These same people also screamed about diversity in the performance and needing more white performers or more varieties of music. Ummmmm, I am not sure what rock you are living under, but there has never been a strictly rap / hip hop halftime show, so next please.
Here we go…
Dre and Snoop opened like the rap gods they are…
Mary brought some flare and sizzle in a big way…
K.Dot came in with an absolute vengeance (M.A.A.D. City, OMG probably my favorite set of the performance)…
Eminem did Eminem shit…
Bonus: Fiddy dropped in like a bat out of hell
I was grinning ear to ear the whole damn time. Watch the full performance here: 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show
Eli Apple Burned By Everyone
Run your mouth when you’re not that good and well…Get Bent.
The NFL chose violence absolutely trashing the corner for getting burned on 2 TDs in the Super Bowl. Seemingly being the soft spot for the Bengals. In the words of the great Chauncey Gardner Johnson…he a pillow foreal.
If you need some entertainment, just look up Eli Apple. You can see all the tweets. It is amazing.