IN FOCUS:FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM SUPER BOWL XLIX
By Stephen Hu
Super Bowl XLIX was a very exciting game. I remember it like it was a week ago on Sunday. A historically great defense went up against a historically great quarterback; this Super Bowl became an instant classic. The game kept the fans on the edge of their seats throughout, even during the Katy Perry halftime show. Aside from being a very entertaining game, many lessons were taught during the most watched television program in the US history. Here are some takeaways from one of the greatest football games ever played:
- STATS DON’T ALWAYS MATTER
When it comes to professional sports, statistics seem to matter the most. Everyone thinks that the team that has the better numbers is destined for victory. However, during the playoffs, all the stats are out the window. For example, during the Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh game in January, The Steelers definitely had better numbers than the Ravens. Their quarterback is tied for the most passing yards and their top wide receiver is leading in receptions. Baltimore Raven QB was throwing 12 interceptions during the regular season and they barely even made it to the postseason. What happened during that night? That’s right, the Ravens won. Not because they had the numbers, because they played better. Lets go to the Super Bowl, where Seahawks defense only allowed 185 passing yards per game. Despite the great secondary, Tom Brady threw for 328 yards and four touchdowns. Need or evidence? Go to NFL.com, they will provide all the information you need.
- PASSING THE BALL WAS THE RIGHT PLAY CALL
This is a very intriguing topic. If you didn’t catch the game, this is what happened: The Seahawks were on the one yard line with less than a minute to go, and Pete Carroll chose to throw the ball rather than handing it off to Marshawn Lynch. However, Russell Wilson threw an interception to a rookie free agent named Malcolm Butler, which resulted into a Patriots win. Many people are mad because they got the idea that Marshawn Lynch would’ve won the game for the Hawks, resulting in a repeat. However, that is not the case. Remember when I said numbers don’t always matter? Well, stats are the reason that Lynch might not have been the hero that will score the game-winning touchdown. Lynch only scored once out of five attempts under ten yards in rushing touchdowns. He scored against the NY Giants defense, which is third in rushing yards allowed. The Patriots are ranked 24. (lower the better) They are also ninth in rushing defense, so passing the ball would’ve given the Hawks a better chance. The play call that was good, but the execution was terrible.
- SEAHAWKS LOST MORE THAN GAINED FROM THE TWO INTERCEPTIONS
Intercepting a quarterback is usually a good thing. In this case, it was not. Early in the first, the Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane picked off Tom Brady, but he got a concussion during the process. Pete Carroll had to put in practise squad member Tharold Simon, who was lined up against the dangerous Julian Edelman. Simon was not ready to go up against Edelman, who caught the game-winning touchdown and stacked up 109 receiving yards. When Brady threw the second pick, The Seahawks lost Cliff Avril. Avril was pressuring Tom Brady, and with him missing, Seattle’s pass rush lost some momentum. We all know that when Tom Brady has time, he will tear you apart.
- DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
This is an overused saying, and this game proved this statement to be completely true. The Patriots defense won the game because the defense stepped up. They brought the heat on Wilson so he couldn’t convert third downs. Of course, the offense did score the game winning points, but it was the defense that kept the Patriots in the game and ultimately winning it.
- TOM BRADY IS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
Step aside, Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Roger Staubach and even Peyton Manning. Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback to play in this league. He’s been to six Super Bowls, which is extremely difficult. He’s won four of them, three in his first five years. He won more playoff games than more than ten franchises in the league, set most major passing records in the playoffs, and had 13 winning seasons out of his 15 year long career. Brady made two comebacks in this year’s playoffs, scoring a total of 38 points in those two attempts.(against Baltimore, down 14 twice/ against Seattle, down 10) He never gives up, even when he is 2-2, when people told him he was done, he’s not good anymore or the Patriots aren’t legitimate Super Bowl contenders. There are young quarterbacks like Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill or even RG3 who can be the best down the road, but for now, Tom Brady is the greatest of all time.