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2016 NFL Super Bowl Pick'em


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I will say this though, Atlanta's decision to pass when they were at the 20 bit them in the ass.

 

I dislike it when people second guess play calling like this. It was about a 40 yard field goal from there, fairly high percentage but hardly a gimme. And Ryan was having a downright great game up until then. His passer rating was almost perfect and he'd just completed that ice cold perfectly placed pass to Julio Jones while on the run just a minute earlier (Ryan's play matched Jones's acrobatic catch).

 

If you're in that spot, you call the next play to move the ball. The passing game was working, you don't toss out that chunk of your playbook. The running game suddenly was hampered by injuries. It's not a bad call, it's just a call that didn't work out.

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If any two teams can do it...it will be those two.

While I would love to see that someday too, I'm having a really hard time figuring out how two teams can lose a game at the same time.

If the Browns aren't in it this year, I guess I'll have to go with the Patriots.   Would love to see a Browns vs. Lions Super Bowl someday.

Something note about Brady's Super Bowls, none of them have been duds. Here's the point difference for the Brady Super Bowls.

 

SB 36: Patriots +3 (Brady leads game winning last-minute field goal drive)

SB 38: Patriots +3 (Brady leads game winning last-minute field goal drive)

SB 39: Patriots +3 (Tied going into 4th quarter)

SB 42: Giants +3 (Brady and Manning both engineer late go-ahead touchdown drives)

SB 46: Giants +4 (Manning leads late game winning touchdown drive)

SB 49: Patriots +4 (Brady leads 10 point 4th quarter comeback, Butler seals game most important defensive play in NFL history)

SB 51: Patriots +6 (Brady leads 25 point 2nd half comeback capped with last-minute game tying TD and 2-point conversion, wins game in first ever Super Bowl OT)

 

I wonder if Brady will ever have a Super Bowl decided by more than one score.

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The sports press are so made up of sheeple going on and on about

 

Y'know what happened? New England made a play. They got into the backfield quickly and made the sack before Ryan could get rid of the football. Brady took a ton of sacks, ending drives and moving his team out of easy touchdown range too. It was a normal play in the normal flow of the game that the offensive coordinator wouldn't have hesitated to send in. If they complete the pass, no one says anything. If they don't get the holding penalty on the next play and still kick the field goal, no one says anything.

 

But the press love to find that one little moment to whine. It should only be remembered as a great play made by the defense in a big moment.

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I will say this though, Atlanta's decision to pass when they were at the 20 bit them in the ass.

I dislike it when people second guess play calling like this. It was about a 40 yard field goal from there, fairly high percentage but hardly a gimme. And Ryan was having a downright great game up until then. His passer rating was almost perfect and he'd just completed that ice cold perfectly placed pass to Julio Jones while on the run just a minute earlier (Ryan's play matched Jones's acrobatic catch).

 

If you're in that spot, you call the next play to move the ball. The passing game was working, you don't toss out that chunk of your playbook. The running game suddenly was hampered by injuries. It's not a bad call, it's just a call that didn't work out.

I actually think it's a very fair criticism. Mind you being a Bucs fan I'm rooting against the Falcons. When they lined up my first thought was "are you really going to throw the ball here?" Sack! Ultimately the holding call took them out of field goal range, but at that point you know NE has the momentum you don't, so making the game a 2 possession game is big.

 

I didn't win either way, but with both teams coming to Raymond James next year having the Falcons choke it away makes it easier to poke at their fans.

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I've never been happier not to be a fan of a losing team than I am right now. Man do I feel bad for the Falcons. I've got a couple of friends who are die hard fans. One of whom is a coworker who didn't show up today.

 

It would be one thing if it was a franchise who's had any real success. At least you could enjoy the old days. Not Atlanta. They've never won anything.

 

To be up by three scores and choke like that is something you'll never live down. Damn. Might be the worst loss ever.

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I woke up this morning totally expecting some crying about cheating though.

 

The Falcon's disappeared when they needed to play their best. That overtime part of the game had no drama or fun in it whatsoever. I felt like it was the dojo dude in the Karate Kid saying "Sweep the leg".

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I will say this though, Atlanta's decision to pass when they were at the 20 bit them in the ass.

 

I dislike it when people second guess play calling like this. It was about a 40 yard field goal from there, fairly high percentage but hardly a gimme. And Ryan was having a downright great game up until then. His passer rating was almost perfect and he'd just completed that ice cold perfectly placed pass to Julio Jones while on the run just a minute earlier (Ryan's play matched Jones's acrobatic catch).

 

If you're in that spot, you call the next play to move the ball. The passing game was working, you don't toss out that chunk of your playbook. The running game suddenly was hampered by injuries. It's not a bad call, it's just a call that didn't work out.

 

 

It;s not a 2nd guess, it was the obvious decision. A 40 yarder indoors is above a 90% make rate. You run the ball three times, make NE use all their timeouts and give them the ball back with 4:00 to go needing to score twice with zero time outs.

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It;s not a 2nd guess, it was the obvious decision.

 

Maybe to fans and television personalities, but throwing the ball on 2nd and 11 at the 23 when your quarterback is playing like he's in Madden is a solid option for pretty much every single offensive coordinator in the league. That isn't a situation where playing ultra-conservative and assuming that your place kicker won't suddenly get a case of the yips when the bright lights are on him in the Super Bowl necessarily gives you the best chance to win.

 

You say it was obvious, but similar plays get called all the time in the NFL in those types of situations.

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I disagree, coaches make mistakes. They make bad decisions. It happens all the time. Quinn made a bad decision there. He's obviously a good coach but he didn't do a good job in that spot. Just like his old boss made a bad decision 2 years ago against the Pats.

 

From the point where they went up 28-3 the Falcons ran the ball only 5 more times. And they averaged 5.7 yards per carry throughout the game. So it's not like they couldn't run it, they were running it well. Once up 28-3, you want to shorten the game and keep the clock running. Running it only 5 times after that moment is just stupid.

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I disagree, coaches make mistakes.

 

Of course they make mistakes. But the logic of the couch doesn't necessarily mean that it's the best move in the game. The question is whether a passing play was rational, and calling a passing play was well within those bounds.

 

For example, if the Falcons had gotten back into field goal range in that last drive, people would be up in arms that Brady mismanaged the clock. Well, from the perspective of a person sitting at home dealing with from a detached perspective, sure. But Brady and the offense were in a groove and snapping the ball with lots of time on the play clock increased their chances of staying in rhythm and getting the touchdown they needed.

 

The Falcons didn't put together a drive, so it's forgotten to time. If the lineman makes his block and Ryan throws a 10 yard completion, it's forgotten. People can't distinguish between whether a call is rational from when it's called and hindsight of the result.

 

 

 

Just like his old boss made a bad decision 2 years ago against the Pats.

 

Same deal.

 

The only way that passing the ball on that down was wrong is if a person thinks that running it twice is better than running it twice and throwing it once. Clock management said that a pass attempt would be required either on that play or the next in order to use all four downs. Throwing the ball as a surprise on that play made sense in that situation.

 

It just didn't work. Hindsight is why people are still complaining about it when the reasoning behind the call was completely rational.

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Anyone who would be complaining about Brady mismanaging the clock would be totally wrong. The Pats wanted to score quickly, in case they missed the 2 pt conversion.

 

You missed my first point though, it's not a second guess. I turned to my friend when Jones made that catch and said "the ball shouldn't go in the air again." So I, and I'm sure many others, didn't see the result and then say "oh, bad decision".

 

The fact is if the Falcons go up 11 with 4 minutes left and the Pats having no time outs their chances of winning the game are extremely high. The Pats at this point are not a quick strike offense. They are a dink and dunk offense. Thats not a knock, they are great at it, but they for the most part aren't throwing the ball down the field. It's going to take them time to move the ball down the field. Plus they'd need an onside kick and then do it again.

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Anyone who would be complaining about Brady mismanaging the clock would be totally wrong. The Pats wanted to score quickly, in case they missed the 2 pt conversion.

 

That would be a silly way to plan. The odds of recovering an onside kick and getting into field goal range in 45 seconds are much lower than the Falcons completing a couple of passes and getting into field goal range in 45 seconds.

 

 

 

You missed my first point though, it's not a second guess.

 

That fits the definition of second guessing.

 

to criticize or question actions or decisions of (someone) often after the results of those actions or decisions are known <meet almost every morning and, over coffee, second–guess the local coach — Bruce Newman>; also : to engage in such criticism of (an action or decision) <second–guess the general's strategy

 

And just because you thought that, doesn't mean it was the right call. There's no such thing as the right call in those situations.

 

 

 

The fact is if the Falcons go up 11 with 4 minutes left and the Pats having no time outs their chances of winning the game are extremely high.

 

Yes. And? That doesn't mean that throwing the ball wasn't a bad play. They were attempting the maximize the chances of scoring on that play. You keep acting as though making a 40 yard field goal in the Super Bowl is some automatic thing. It's not. They get stuffed on two straight running attempts and have their kicker push it wide right, then the coordinator spends the rest of his life wishing that he put the ball in the league MVP's hands when the game was on the line.

 

It's all a matter of what happens.

 

Also, you need to stop saying the Patriots would have had no timeouts. They'd have to burn all 3 in the next 2 plays for that to happen.

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If the Falcons had run the ball and kept the clock running the Pats would have used their TOs to stop the clock. If they didn't use them that would be even better for the Falcons as they could have run the clock down to basically 2 minutes.

 

The Pats used their first TO after the one yard loss on first down. If the Falcons had run the ball on 2nd and 3rd down the Pats would have used their 2nd and final timeouts after those plays.

 

Also, if you don't trust your kicker to make a 40 yarder indoors on turf then you need a different kicker.

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Also, if you don't trust your kicker to make a 40 yarder indoors on turf then you need a different kicker.

 

I don't put blind faith in any kicker when you put them in the spotlight. I sure as heck don't adjust my strategy and abandon all the plays taking advantage of my MVP quarterback on the off chance you lose 20 yards in two plays. As I said, the odds of that are a lot lower than a placekicker thinking too hard.

 

Let's also not forget that the Patriots had a blocked PAT earlier in the game called back on a bad penalty and barely missed a second one later. And, of course, we saw the Patriots miss their own PAT.

 

 

 

The Pats used their first TO after the one yard loss on first down.

 

No they didn't. They used their first timeout after the sack on 2nd down.

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Ok, you are right. I read something

 

wrong before or what I read was wrong. Either way, it doesn't change the situation that much. They would have had 1 time out left.

 

I just think the entire Falcons risk/reward thought process was wrong throughout the 2nd half of the 4th quarter. Even the play with the sack-fumble earlier. It's third and one, you ran the ball for 9 yards on 1st and 2nd down. Just think out all the possible risks/rewards between run and pass. It's third and one, so you can get it either way. It's not third and 7 where you need to pass it. The risk of a turnover on a run play is far less than on a pass play. Maybe they like the pass play better to get the first, but I mean they have to have some confidence in the run game too. Maybe they think its 70% chance if they pass it, 50% if they run it. Even in that case, I run it because of the lower risk. Plus even if you don't get it, the clock keeps running. 45 seconds in that situation is valuable. A punt is not a bad play. A punt is not always bad. I mean it's never the best outcome but it's not always a bad outcome.

 

And the QB also deserves blame. You keep talking about their MVP QB, and he was a worthy winner, but he cannot take sacks in these situations. If you are going to call passes he needs to realize that when he finishes his drop back that ball has to come out right then. You cannot hold the ball in those situations.

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I just think the entire Falcons risk/reward thought process was wrong throughout the 2nd half of the 4th quarter. Even the play with the sack-fumble earlier. It's third and one, you ran the ball for 9 yards on 1st and 2nd down. Just think out all the possible risks/rewards between run and pass. It's third and one, so you can get it either way. It's not third and 7 where you need to pass it. The risk of a turnover on a run play is far less than on a pass play. Maybe they like the pass play better to get the first, but I mean they have to have some confidence in the run game too. Maybe they think its 70% chance if they pass it, 50% if they run it. Even in that case, I run it because of the lower risk. Plus even if you don't get it, the clock keeps running. 45 seconds in that situation is valuable. A punt is not a bad play. A punt is not always bad. I mean it's never the best outcome but it's not always a bad outcome.

 

This is prototypical armchair offensive coordinator strategy. It doesn't take into any account the rhythms of an offense and instead really only focuses on not losing and eating up clock. It's a prime way to hand the defense a series of 3-and-outs.

 

If a professional tried doing this, his team would quickly gain a reputation for not being able to put the game away, his players would buy into that, and he'd soon be out on his butt.

 

 

 

And the QB also deserves blame. You keep talking about their MVP QB, and he was a worthy winner, but he cannot take sacks in these situations. If you are going to call passes he needs to realize that when he finishes his drop back that ball has to come out right then. You cannot hold the ball in those situations.

 

And now you're changing the quarterback's style and expecting there to be no negative repercussions. It just doesn't work that way. A quarterback tightening up and not trusting his instincts causes bad things happen. This should only come to a quarterback's mind if a sack causes time to run out. Otherwise, you play the game. And Flowers causing Ryan to pull the ball down after 3 seconds is hardly Ryan being careless with the football. He just broke free of his blocker and was suddenly right in Ryan's face.

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You are buying into this coach speak hogwash about "we need to stay aggressive" "we need to be who we are". No, you don't. You need to make decisions based on the game situations: the time, the score, the opponent. How in the world is it possibly not part of the flow or whatever to run it twice to set up a third and one and then run it again? That would totally set the offense off their rocker I guess. Would throw them off terribly I guess.

 

Like I said, game situations matter. If it's third and one in the 2nd quarter of a 10-7 game, then throw the ball if you think you can get the first down. If it's the third quarter and its 14-10 and you are in the red zone, by all means throw it. But there are times when you need to take a step back and realize "hey, unless we help them. Unless something bad happens it is going to be very hard for them to come back." There are times when you just need to choke the life out of a game. There are times to go into a 4 minute offense. There are times when you say "I cannot throw a pick here" "I cannot take a sack here". And I get it, the other guys are on scholarship too and its not always that easy. But I mean it happened twice. Fool me once...

 

You are just overthinking things, thats what some of these coaches do. But in reality football isn't quite as complicated as they'd like us to think. When you are up 28-9, you run the ball. When you are up 28-12 with only 8 minutes to go and have a third and one, you run the ball. When you are in FG range for a 40 yarder with a chance to go up 11, you run the ball.

 

And I don't put this at the OCs feet, I put it at Quinns. Its his team, he needs to tell Shannahan to run it there.

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Also, if you don't trust your kicker to make a 40 yarder indoors on turf then you need a different kicker.

 

I don't put blind faith in any kicker when you put them in the spotlight. I sure as heck don't adjust my strategy and abandon all the plays taking advantage of my MVP quarterback on the off chance you lose 20 yards in two plays. As I said, the odds of that are a lot lower than a placekicker thinking too hard.

 

Let's also not forget that the Patriots had a blocked PAT earlier in the game called back on a bad penalty and barely missed a second one later. And, of course, we saw the Patriots miss their own PAT.

 

 

 

The Pats used their first TO after the one yard loss on first down.

 

No they didn't. They used their first timeout after the sack on 2nd down.

 

 

 

Also, if you don't trust your kicker to make a 40 yarder indoors on turf then you need a different kicker.

 

I don't put blind faith in any kicker when you put them in the spotlight. I sure as heck don't adjust my strategy and abandon all the plays taking advantage of my MVP quarterback on the off chance you lose 20 yards in two plays. As I said, the odds of that are a lot lower than a placekicker thinking too hard.

 

Let's also not forget that the Patriots had a blocked PAT earlier in the game called back on a bad penalty and barely missed a second one later. And, of course, we saw the Patriots miss their own PAT.

 

 

 

The Pats used their first TO after the one yard loss on first down.

 

No they didn't. They used their first timeout after the sack on 2nd down.

 

Oh really?!

 

The Packers put their faith behind their kicker, not once, but twice, and he delivered to send my Cowboys out of the playoffs.

 

You don't pass the ball when you are within field goal range and up by 8 with less than 5 minutes left. That's football 101. You do everything to run down the clock and make your opponent spend their timeouts. There was absolutely no reason for Atlanta to run passing plays in that situation, especially when you know that your defense has been on the field for way too long.

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You are buying into this coach speak hogwash about "we need to stay aggressive" "we need to be who we are". No, you don't. You need to make decisions based on the game situations: the time, the score, the opponent.

 

The mental aspect of the game is not hogwash. Those players on the field aren't robots, they're real people with real psychology and real group dynamics playing perhaps the most intricate of sports.

 

 

 

You are just overthinking things, thats what some of these coaches do

 

I'm pretty sure I'm refusing to overthink things. I'm just continually coming back to what gives you the best chance to win the game. And, at the 20, throwing the ball isn't a bad call. The chances of being knocked out of field goal range are fairly small. Even with the sack, they still were within field goal range.

 

 

 

You don't pass the ball when you are within field goal range and up by 8 with less than 5 minutes left. That's football 101.

 

And yet it's not. If it were fundamental, you would think that a few more coaches would buy into it. Yet coach after coach would prefer to move the ball forward, get that 1st down, eat up more clock that way, and improve their chances at getting points.

 

So many seem to have bought into this strange notion that a passing play was some huge gamble in that game situation. It was not. I will say once again that the odds of missing a field goal are a lot higher than getting knocked out of field goal range from that spot on the field. It's very much a spot where you continue playing.

 

 

 

especially when you know that your defense has been on the field for way too long.

 

Sounds like a good reason to try and extend the drive to me.

 

 

 

The Packers put their faith behind their kicker, not once, but twice, and he delivered to send my Cowboys out of the playoffs.

 

Incorrect. The Packers passed the ball on 3rd and 13 at the 38 on that first field goal.

 

I'll also point out that they lost 5 yards on 2nd down with a running play in that series taking them to the edge of field goal range.

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You don't pass the ball when you are within field goal range and up by 8 with less than 5 minutes left. That's football 101.

 

And yet it's not. If it were fundamental, you would think that a few more coaches would buy into it. Yet coach after coach would prefer to move the ball forward, get that 1st down, eat up more clock that way, and improve their chances at getting points.

 

So many seem to have bought into this strange notion that a passing play was some huge gamble in that game situation. It was not. I will say once again that the odds of missing a field goal are a lot higher than getting knocked out of field goal range from that spot on the field. It's very much a spot where you continue playing.

 

 

 

 

especially when you know that your defense has been on the field for way too long.

 

 

 

Sounds like a good reason to try and extend the drive to me.

 

 

 

 

The Packers put their faith behind their kicker, not once, but twice, and he delivered to send my Cowboys out of the playoffs.

 

 

Incorrect. The Packers passed the ball on 3rd and 13 at the 38 on that first field goal.

 

I'll also point out that they lost 5 yards on 2nd down with a running play in that series taking them to the edge of field goal range.

 

 

It is fundamental. Seattle got burned by trying to throw a pass on 3rd down in the Super Bowl, even though they had the best short yardage running back in the game. They were trying to be tricky, instead of doing what needed to be done. The same goes for Atlanta. New England was getting to Matt for most of the second half. Even when he threw that pass to Julio had had New England players breathing down his neck. They were also down a right guard that went out late in the 3rd. Freeman is a good running back and since Atlanta was battling time, running the ball WAS the only choice.

 

Green Bay put their faith in their kicker. There is absolutely no recutting that. He misses the 1st one and the game is over. Also, Green Bay had to pass the ball because time was not on their side.

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It is fundamental. Seattle got burned by trying to throw a pass on 3rd down in the Super Bowl, even though they had the best short yardage running back in the game.

 

It was 2nd down. And, with the amount of time left, they had to stop the clock on each of the next two downs in order to assure themselves 4 downs to put the ball in the end zone (or run two plays in only a few seconds and hope time didn't run out on them). Since they only had one timeout left, that meant either 2nd or 3rd down had to be a passing play.

 

Seattle passing on that down was totally justified and not at all being tricky. It was basic clock management and making sure the team had 4 downs to put the ball in the end zone.

 

 

 

Freeman is a good running back and since Atlanta was battling time, running the ball WAS the only choice.

 

You can keep repeating this, but it's not true. Once again, the chances of getting knocked back 20 yards in two plays is a lot lower than missing a 40 yard field goal.

 

You just can't get around that when you're trying to maximize your team's chances of winning.

 

 

 

Green Bay put their faith in their kicker. There is absolutely no recutting that. He misses the 1st one and the game is over. Also, Green Bay had to pass the ball because time was not on their side.

 

Kicking a field goal on 4th and 13 and then later with :03 seconds left on the clock isn't putting faith in your kicker. They kicked the field goal because the odds were strongly against them moving the ball forward any further. If there's any faith to be found, it's that they didn't punt on 4th and 13 and facing a 56 yard field goal. Now if the choice were kicking it on 4th and 1 from the same distance instead of putting the ball in Rodgers's hand, that would have been a case of having faith in your kicker.

 

I'm willing to bet if that had been the case, they would have gone for it on 4th down.

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