Normally I use this blog just to review history books that I have read. Tonight however I am ecstatic about my favorite team’s victory and want to blog about it. The last ten or eleven years have been hard on me. I have a lot of intense disappointments in my life both personally and professionally. I think I am starting to turn it around but progress can be very slow. Every week however Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the rest of the Patriots can give an exciting three hours for me to forget all my problems. And to that I am grateful. Over the last ten years the Pats kept getting close but kept finishing short of their main goal. I am happy beyond reason with their current win in the Super Bowl.
|One of the most exciting Super Bowls to date|
However I have two thoughts that keep dominating my mind.
NUMBER ONE: SUPER BOWL 49 IS THE REVERSE OF SUPER BOWL 46
In Super Bowl 46 the Patriots were up 17-14 and the Giants were driving in a scary repeat of what they had done in Super Bowl 42. The Patriots decided to let the Giants score a touchdown on purpose so that Tom Brady and the offense would have enough time get a touchdown of there own. Well the Patriots lost that one. This time Belichick put faith in his defense and refused to call a time out as the clock wound down the final minute. Now granted to the 2014 Patriots defense is a different animal than the 2011 version, yet the reason the Pats were in Super Bowl 46 at all had to do with a defensive stand against Baltimore in that year’s AFC Championship game. One year they willing decided not to trust their guys on a team that they built, on another they chose to trust their guys. One year they would lose a chance to claim a fourth Super Bowl and another year they would come home with the trophy. There is a moral lesson in that I am sure.
|Stood by his guys this time|
NUMBER TWO: CARROLL HAS DONE THIS BEFORE
When I saw Malcolm Butler make that legendary play as the Seahawks elected to throw it on 2nd and goal on the 1 yard line, there was something oddly familiar about what had just happened. It was as if I had seen it before. Then I remembered Carroll, as coach of the New England Patriots, had done something like that during a regular season game. I couldn’t remember against whom so I decided to look on-line, and I found an article for the Hartford Courant dated October 29, 1997 written by Terry Price. On Monday Night Football the Patriots were playing the Packers and a strange set up similar to the latest Super Bowl occurred. 1997 was Curtis Martin’s last year with the Patriots. They were down 14-10 on the 1 yard-line 1st and goal and took one shot with Martin and then from 2nd down on they had Bledsoe throw it turning the ball over on downs.
Price gives a more detailed description:
“ The Patriots trailed 14-10 when they took the second-half kickoff and moved to the 1. Here's their play selection from there:* First-and-goal: A run off right guard by Curtis Martin, who was stopped immediately by Santana Dotson and Leroy Butler.* Second-and-goal: A pass intended for tight end Ben Coates, but it's thrown away by quarterback Drew Bledsoe, who couldn't find an open receiver.* Third-and-goal: Bledsoe passes to Coates, who would have made the catch in the back of the end zone, except cornerback Tyrone Williams gets a hand in to knock the ball loose.* Fourth-and-goal: Bledsoe fakes to Martin, then rears up and throws toward Byars, but Williams steps in and knocks the ball away.”
In the aftermath of this year’s Superbowl, Carroll had this to say:
“We have everything in mind, how we’re going to do it. We’re going to leave them no time, and we had our plays to do it. We sent in our personnel, they sent in goal-line (package) — it’s not the right matchup for us to run the football — so on second down we throw the ball really to kind of waste a play.
“If we score, we do. If we don’t, then we’ll run it in on third and fourth down. Really, (we called it) with no second thoughts or no hesitation at all. And unfortunately, with the play that we tried to execute, the guy (Butler) makes a great play and jumps in front of the route and makes an incredible play that nobody would ever think he could do. And unfortunately that changes the whole outcome.” (Quote taken from an article by Nick Eaton on Seattle Pi)
Now a quote from Carroll taken from Price’s article on the 1997 game:
``We called what we thought was the best call we had on second down,'' Carroll said. ``We thought we had a very nice call on third down. Fourth down, we came up with a call that we think is really good.
``As you look back and tell me that we're not going to score, I'd like to have done it a little bit differently I thought we would score on every one of those plays.''
Do those two sound a little familiar? I thought they did. Now in some ways it is not a fair comparison. There are key differences besides the obvious Super Bowl vs. Regular season. In that game against the Packers, the Patriots goal-line failure came at the start of the second half and they had the rest of the half to do something. However this one Pats fan is glad that Carroll forgot about the lesson he learned that day and didn’t do things "a little bit differently." I bet all Seahawks fans wish he had remembered.