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Monday, February 07, 2005
Observations on the Super Bowl
by Mark Quarderer
A couple of things that struck me.....
Both of these teams play pretty good defense. Not great, not dominating, but good solid defense. Even so, they both gave up some big plays to their opponent and at times didn't get very good pressure on the QB. Now, if either of these teams had done what they did against the Packers it would have been proof that the defense sucks, especially all those scores given up in the fourth quarter.
I especially enjoyed the comment by one of the analysts that New England doesn't expect much of a pass rush from its defensive line....they just want them to stop the run. I really think that we should take a page from their book on that. I think our lust for a pass rush was a direct contributor to the ill-fated blitzarama defense and the score of long touchdowns it engendered.
New England was uncharacteristically sloppy in the first half with penalties and the fumbled snap/exchange......but Philly didn't take advantage of that. New England isn't going to do very many things to beat itself and you have to take advantage. The interception that McNabb threw near the end zone.....what was he thinking? You lose a game by three points and then go back and look at something like that.......Philly basically gave away points there, and that's something you just can't do against good teams in big games and expect to win.
Brady is a very accurate passer......Donovan McNabb is not. Brady is a precision guy...he does remind me of STarr in that regard. He also didn't attempt to force anything into a place where it wouldn't fit. It's no wonder that this guy just does not throw interceptions in the playoffs. Think about it....New England has won three Super Bowls, each of them by a field goal. And in those games Brady hasn't thrown a single pick.
If Brady had gone out there and thrown 2-3-4-5-6 interceptions, I don't think we'd be talking dynasty right now. This guy does his job very, very well.
New England kept McNabb from hurting them with the run. I hope that we study the tape of that, because we haven't kept a running QB from hurting us since Pamela Anderson was an A cup.
When you look at a guy like Rodney Harrison, you see how much good safety play can help a defense, and how poor our safeties are in comparison. Likewise the linebacker play of these two teams is much better than we're getting. When they tackle you, they're stripping at the ball. When they're in pass coverage, they're in the passing lanes and reading the QBs eyes. When they blitz, they actually get some pressure.
We're going to need to upgrade those two areas, for sure.
Once again I am struck by just how thin the margin is among the really good teams in the NFL. The difference between the best team, and the 4th best team, and the 8th best team turns on a handful of plays. Packer fans should not despair.......despite the fact that we have some work to do, we aren't light-years behind these guys.