Yesterday was America’s second birthday. A day of in which we all come together to celebrate what makes this great nation so unique: legal physical violence, gluttonous paths towards obesity, legalized drug use (alcohol, duh), and blatant capitalistic clips roughly 30 seconds long that cost more than a college education.
And yeah, I love it. The Super Bowl is one of the best days of the year. Bittersweet because I have to wait until February 23rd for the NFL Combine. I mean I have to wait 2 weeks for football to start again!?!?!?! That’s too long in my book. But anyway, on to the game.
I, like most people and Las Vegas, believed that Carolina Panthers would win. Why? They had the better quarterback and quarterbacks make or break the entire game right? What did I learn? A whole lot.
- Quick note, the halftime show was savage. Not a diehard Coldplay fan but they killed it, especially with that last song tribute to former halftime performers. Queen Bey killed it but did we expect anything different from American royalty? Oh and Bruno Mars got things hyped in particular when he rocked Sasha Fierce via Crazy in Love. The dance-off was the highlight but the whole show was excellent and man did they all look like they were having a great time! Second in my mind only to The Boss back in in 2009. Watch it and judge for yourself.
- Defense wins championships. That stands true today as much as it did when the ’85 Bears dominated the league. In a pass happy, spread offense era dominated by uber-athletic quarterbacks, defense leads to victory. The last three Super Bowl champions were all top 10 in scoring defense and each was incredible at taking the ball away from the offense. Turnovers dictate games and the Broncos feasted on them last night.
- Cam Newton didn’t play well, but his offensive tackles played worse. I’m not sure how we didn’t see this coming. If Tom Brady couldn’t figure it out with subpar tackles, why would a young QB like Newton have success with Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware doing as they pleased? This isn’t a knock against Newton, or a defense either. Just an observation. Don’t just blame Cam alone.
- Everyone is praising that front seven of Denver, especially Miller and Ware. But as great as they are, the secondary (in particular the corners) deserve the most love. The Panthers have thrived with a sub par receiving core most of the season. The Broncos simply told Aqib Talib, Bradley Roby, and Chris Harris to go mano a mano with the Panthers receivers while the rest of the crew went after Cam and that dynamic running game. Guess what, they never got beat and held Newton to a 43% completion rating. The Arizona Cardinals have a great secondary but they got burned in the NFC Championship game numerous times. The Broncos corners locked the passing game down and forced the Panthers into a limited playbook with limited options. Those three deserve to share MVP honors.
- Peyton Manning the game manager is pretty impressive. Weird to say but watching the Sheriff playing point guard is pretty neat. While I think he should ride out into the Western sunset, any team without a true franchise QB could use him (hint hint Eagles). Hard choice for the Broncos who will face a tough offseason with numerous players that need to get paid (
- Carolina is the team to beat in the NFC regardless of that perfomance. Newton will only continue to get better, a unique talent who is basically Gronk with an arm. The defense is young and missing only a decent safety. Kelvin Benjamin will be back and Devin Funchess will only get better. And they will find some offensive tackles soon. So while Arizona, Seattle, Minnesota, and of course Green Bay are all great; the Panthers are better. Next year – Patriots over Panthers in Super Bowl LI