Sunday, February 1, 2009

Blogging the Superbowl - First Half

Steelers first drive
Well, the Cards came out and did a lot right on the first drive. Unfortunately, they also did a lot wrong. They look a little less prepared than the Steelers, which makes sense given that Warner is about the only one that's ever played.

Interesting that we have the challenge right off the bat. NBC has something like 1.5x the number of cameras in the game. They have so many angles to look at. One way or the other, it was a great challenge, regardless of the outcome (which took 4 points off the board).

Very good result for the Cards to stop them at the 3 yard line.

Cards first drive
It's 2nd and 20 for the Cards first drive, and they looked like they just gave up? The play-calling there was questionable to say the least. That looked very conservative, like "Okay, just don't want to give the ball up."

Steelers second drive
Great, great defensive play by Rogers-Cromartie. He just had a major burst at the end there and closed on the ball and got in the air in a way that you rarely see for DBs.

Vintage drive by the Steelers. They look really zoned in right now.

Cards second drive
Wow. The Cards offense is just so efficient when it's in tune. Boldin made a sensational play to get open and almost get into the end zone. Then an absolutely amazing catch by Patrick in the end zone.

The Cards had to answer there, and they did. That should take some of the wind out of the Steelers. If the Steelers shut down the Cards, this game was at risk of becoming a blow-out. Now, the Cards D can come out with a bit more confidence and know they can play their game.

Big drive for both teams coming up.

Steelers third drive
Rogers-Cromartie is having a highlight first half. Two really big pass break-ups. He's making AZ look like they made a great pick.

Roethlisberger is so ridiculously good out of the pocket. There was holding on that 3rd down play, but Big Ben just makes an insane amount of plays when he gets outside. As a Ravens fan, it's really frustrating, cause you think they have him, and then all of a sudden he's across the field, throwing it across his body, completing it to someone standing wide open.

That was a big, BIG stop for the Cardinals. I think they had to prove to themselves that they could get off the field without the Steelers putting points on the board.

Cards third drive
Terrific return by Breaston. He saw he had nothing, cut it back and just used his speed to get behind everyone. The Cards are definitely in this game, regardless of whether or not they score. Eight clock minutes ago it looked like this was gonna be a laugher.

Again it looked like a give-up call on 3rd and 22. Granted it's not like it's a high percentage play to pick up. But why not toss a jump ball to Fitzgerald there? The guy's consistently been killing double coverage on jump balls. It's just as good as a punt. Why not give him a shot to make a play?

Steelers fourth drive
Nice defense by the Cards. They sold out on the run blitz and didn't really look great. But that INT off the tip is really huge. If they can close the half out with a score, they can be tied or lead while getting the ball in the 2nd half.

Cards fourth drive
That first play made no sense. I dunno if the Steelers just read it perfectly or what. Warner rolls right in a designed roll-out. And I think we all know how well he runs. So here he is waddling along like a wounded duck, and the entire Steelers D is coming with him, and then he just throws it away.

What a terrific job by Tim Hightower on third down catching a ball that should have been a 4 yard catch, and getting 11 out of it.

The review was a HUGE call. It's a 7 point play, since the clock ran out. I think the call is the right one there. Honestly I'm not convinced there's any way it could get overturned either way.

What a huge let-down for the Cards. They coulda gone into half-time tied or with the lead, getting the ball at the start of the second. Instead, they go in with a 10 point deficit. One play is a 10-14 point swing.

Great first half.


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