WE’RE SURPRISED HOW SUPER BOWL XLIX TEAMS GOT THERE
This Korner has been telling you since before the Christmas holidays that the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots would face each other in Super Bowl XLIX on Feb. 1.
But we’re not tooting our own horn for calling it correctly for a change, but are almost embarrassed because both teams made it to the Big Dance exactly opposite the way we predicted.
We figured that the Seahawks would harass Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers because of his immobility and cause him to throw several interceptions and cover the Las Vegas point spread quite handily. In fact, the Vegas line went from Seattle favored by 7½–which it was all week long–to 8 ½ just before the kickoff.
And we anticipated the Indianapolis Colts would give the New England Patriots all they could handle and perhaps even send the game into overtime, correcting the flaws that created the Patriots blowouts that occurred the last few of meetings between the two teams.
Boy, did I have it wrong!!!
Who’d ever think that Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, who had thrown only seven interceptions in the 18 games he started this season, would chunk four picks in Sunday’s NFC Conference championship game at Century-Link Field? In fact three of the picks and a lost fumble all happened in the first half.
Nobody believed the Seahawks would go into the dressing room at halftime trailing Green Bay 16-0 and be out-gained 137total yards to only 3 in the opening quarter and not get their initial first down until eight minutes had elapsed in the second period.
And who’d have thunk it that Seattle needed a “gadget play” to “get off the schneide” with a fake field goal when punter and holder Jon Ryan tossed a 19-yard touchdown pass to tackle-eligible Garry Gilliam with 4:44 left in the third quarter making it a 16-7 score?
And who would have ever dreamed that after a Mason Crosby 48-yard field goal early in the fourth period that upped the deficit to 19-7 that the Seahawks even had a chance?
Who would have ever envisioned that football’s loudest stadium could be so quiet one could hear a pin drop when the Seahawks still trailed 19-7 and the game clock was under four minutes left to play?
And then who would believe that the Seahawks could generate 15 points in 44 seconds to take a 22-19 lead with 1:25 remaining?
To top it off it’s hard to imagine how Green Bay tight end Brandon Bostick could field Seattle’s on-side kick with his helmet and it bounce right into the hands of Seattle’s Chris Matthews, keeping alive the Seahawks’ dreams of being the first defending champion to repeat getting to the Super Bowl in 10 years.
And just when Packer fans thought Rodgers’ gimpy leg didn’t hamper his performance, he had to turn down running to wide open gaps in Seattle’s defense because of his calf injury and settle for short passes as Green Bay tried to win the game in the final minute with a touchdown or tie it with a field goal.
With the score tied at 22-22 as regulation time expired, who’d ever think the Seahawks’ luck would change so that they won the coin toss and elected to get the football to start the overtime period.
By this time the Seattle fans once again were the loudest in football as the Seahawks began marching toward victory.
And who would ever believe that Wilson would try to heave a long pass to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, his intended target for all four of his intercepted passes?
The 35-yard throw was perfect and Kearse caught it in stride for the winning touchdown for a 28-22 victory and another trip to the Super Bowl.
I have a hard time understanding why Packers head coach Mike McCarthy got so conservative on fourth-and-less than-one to go early in the game and kicked field goals instead both times.
I’m glad I didn’t take Indianapolis and the points because nobody in his right mind would have been willing to give me 39 points to offset the 45-7 final score in the AFC Conference Championship Game.
It looked as if the Colts panic whenever they see that Patriot insignia on the helmets of the New England players.
After the game rumors started floating around that someone with the Patriots let some of the air out of the New England footballs so that Tom Brady would have a better grip on the wet football.
That’s preposterous!! After all, Pats running back LeGarrette Blount carried the alleged deflated football 30 times, gained 148 yards and scored 3 touchdowns. But the NFL is investigating the allegation.
Some brilliant sports writer has dubbed the Feb. 1 game as “Super Bowl Exlicks” (XLIX). In the first 24 hours, the Las Vegas betting line of the game has fluctuated from Seattle being favored by 2½ points to the game being a “pick-em”.
New England has lost only twice in previous Super Bowls and that was by a combined total of seven points.
It should be an interesting 10 days before the 24-hour countdown begins.
KWICKIES…Orange’s Earl Thomas missed a portion of the second period with a shoulder injury but the three-time All-Pro safety returned after having it looked at by the team’s trainers. His Seattle teammate Richard Sherman appeared to have injured his arm, but refused medical attention and didn’t miss any action in Sunday’s exciting come-from-behind 28-22 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
While playing in the Sunset Grove Men’s Golf Association One-Man Scramble Saturday morning, Bob Hood sank five putts of 20 feet or more. Unfortunately the rest of his game wasn’t as hot as his putter as he finished with an 84.
Major league pitcher Max Scherzer, who turned down a six-year, $144 million contract extension from the Detroit Tigers last spring, reportedly signed a seven-year deal worth $210 million with the Washington Nationals Monday. The 30-year-old Scherzer was 18-5 last season with a 3.15 ERA. He had 252 strikeouts in 220 1/3 innings.
Vidor’s Michael Defee finished fifth in the 40-44 age group that participated in Sunday’s annual Chevron Houston Marathon. Defee covered the 26.2 miles in 2:37:11. Billie-Kay Melanson of Orange came in third in the 60-64 age group of the Women’s Half-Marathon, posting a time of 1:51:50.
JUST BETWEEN US…It’s not surprising that Gary Kubiak was hired as the replacement for Denver Broncos’ head coach John Fox. It also makes sense why a couple of the available former head coaches bailed out of their interviews for the job. Who’d want to coach for an organization that canned the last coach who had won four division championships in the four years he was there? Kubiak was Denver’s offensive coordinator for many years before leaving to take the Houston Texans job, so maybe he can handle Broncos’ executive vice president and general manager John Elway, who had a lot to do with Fox not being there any more. Kubiak did a great job as the Baltimore Ravens’ offensive coordinator this past season.