Super Bowl Thoughts

Ten days removed from the Super Bowl, it’s time for some thoughts.

Most every word that was written in the aftermath of the game centered around Pete Carroll’s decision not to run the ball with Marshawn Lynch on the play that ultimately cost Seattle the game. Hindsight is always 20/20, and it’s very easy for “armchair head coaches” to second guess the playcall after the fact. Of course, if Seattle had scored a TD and won the game, the story would have been different. The internet has made this type of “insight” grow x1000, but most people are crazy to think that the decisions in sporting events are that easy, especially until time and pressure constraints. Coaches spend weeks watching film and scouting opponents in other ways. They know the intricacies of every one of their players, and presumably every strength and weakness of said players. To assume that every decision is as cut and dry as the Madden video games make things seem it just ludicrous.

Sure in retrospect Pete Carroll made the wrong decision to call that pass play. But there is no guranatee that running the ball with Lynch would have resulted in a touchdown. And every other decision by both coaches all game led them to be in that exact situation anyway. While it’s easy in a vacuum to say it all came down to that one play, that idea has been supremely overblown.

The fact that Seattle had lost two key defensive players before halftime, and another several had significant injuries they played through, it seems like a miracle that Seattle was as competitive as they were. This underscores the fact that Pete Carroll has proven to be a pretty impressive football coach who has been pretty unlucky in a couple of key moments.

Tom Brady now has played in six Super Bowls, and won four of them. It seems amazing to think about how impressive that is in the current state of pro sports, and particularly football. Because the titles were so spread out, the multiple scandals, and the two failed attempts against the Giants, it’s possible that in the moment Brady’s accomplishments are being overlooked. Comparing players across eras is damn near impossible, especially in football where the game has evolved so much, but when Brady’s level of success is compared to recent guys like Manning, Big Ben, Favre, and such, no one is even close to the four rings. 10–15 years from now people are really going to be talking about how amazing this was.

Bill Belichick seems to get a lot more credit for being great, but his personality has probably also cost him some due credit. Although it’s also possible that the scandals haven’t helped that either. The playoff wins and Super Bowl success are a major feather in his cap though. 10 years after he retires, and everyone has forgotten about all the nonsense, he will be remembered in a much better light.

Marshawn Lynch seemed like a dud when he got to Seattle. Now he has ripped off some of the most incredible runs over the last decade. Will he be remembered? Most backs in the top 30 of career rushing yards played around 11 or so seasons. Lynch is at eight. He is only 28 though, and doesn’t have as much mileage on his body, so he could play a while longer. But statistically he probably isn’t going to turn any heads, and when Steven Jackson is currently 16th all-time the bar to be significant is a long way off. Lynch will likely be a guy remembered fondly by Seahawks fans, and that’s about it.

Russell Wilson had a rough end to the playoffs and looked far more like a third round pick than a long-term star. A year ago he seemed like a gem in the 2012 QB class, a third round wonder. But that class suddenly looks amazing, especially if RG3 rebounds (it also includes Luck, Tannehill, Foles, Cousins and Lindley). Wilson had the makings of the solid QB who would win a lot of games and not cost his team many. But this playoffs he did not look like that guy. He is closing in on a huge new contract , and not it looks questionable whether he is an elite QB long term. Teams often had to reload after playoff runs, and someone of Brady’s caliber can roll with that, whether or not Wilson can is the big question for his legacy.

Overall the Super Bowl was tremendous. It was definitely one of the best games in years and lived up to the hype and excitement for once. It seems impossible to imagine either of these teams making it back here, and both teams could be looking at that post Super Bowl rebuilding that seems so regular. For Pats’ fans that might mean a long road ahead. For everyone else, the hope is that next year’s game is even close to this good.

Crazy Early 2016 Super Bowl prediction: Philadelphia vs. Indianapolis