Cards first drive
Some good running by Edge might help open that passing game up a bit. The Cards look cool and collected, not going to panic down by 10. They didn't score, but they did move the ball. They just need to stick with it and not panic.
The problem is, this tends to be where defenses sort of panic a bit. The Cards aren't out of this game, but the Steelers really do have control here. If they can put together a good drive, this game's done.
Steelers first drive
Really nice drive by the Steelers. That roughing the passer call was garbage, but the Steelers just looked really efficient. Clearly better in every way. They didn't run the ball other than one play, but they threw it with really incredible efficiency. They knew where to go with it, and they made more plays. That drive actually makes me think the Steelers aren't just the better team, they're also better coached.
That said, this drive was stamped by three just ridiculously huge penalties against the Cards. Two personal fouls that counted for 30 yards, and then a terrible personal foul to give the Steelers a first down after they were taking the 3 points. The 4 point play there wasn't just 4 points, it was more critical than that...it's a possession.
They held, so it didn't kill them. But man, that was such a costly penalty there! Terrific tackle by Watson to wrap Ben up and take him down by his shoe. He doesn't make that tackle, I think Ben's in the end zone.
Cards second drive
The interesting thing about this is we're basically out of the third Q by the time the drive starts. This has to be one of the fastest Superbowls ever.
The Cards seem to have about 78 penalties right now. 91 penalty yards is really tough to overcome.
With this drive fizzling, it would seem to me this game's over. Everything is going the Steelers way right now. They're very clearly the better team in every facet of the game.
Steelers second drive
So here's the Steelers looking like they're driving well, and suddenly Dockett comes up with two huge plays. Terrific defense of the rush, and then the sack on Ben on third down was really important to at least give AZ a shot.
Cards third drive
As Patrick said to me via IM, Breaston is an idiot. No excuse for not fair catching.
This is premature, but this drive reminds me a little about what happened when the Rams were leading the late drives against the Pats in the Superbowl. They were getting pounded, then suddenly just put one or two drives together. It really shows how dangerous Warner is. Can you really say he's ever out of it?
The Steelers are largely killing this team up to this drive. The Cards have the Ben INT, but other than that, everything is going the Steelers way.
And the funny part of it is, if the Cards get a TD at the end of the first half, rather than the Steelers, the Cards would be winning and driving to go up by 8 points.
I mean, not really. Obv the Steelers play it differently in the second half if they're down 4 instead of up 10. But what it highlights is how important every play is in this league.
This is another critical drive coming up for both teams.
Steelers third drive
If the Cards win, Dockett deserves consideration for MVP of the game. Warner or Fitzgerald will get it (probably Warner), but Dockett's had now three HUGE plays on two drives where the Cards absolutely had to have stops. Dude has been CLUTCH.
Cards fourth drive
How many QBs are there in NFL history that you want leading this drive for you? Warner's unquestionably one of them.
The pass to Breaston was a thing of beauty. That's what I like to call an NFL play. Text-book perfect offensive play. Two scary WRs get outside, open up the middle, the third WR is wide open for a huge gain.
Then of course they run the worst third and 20 play ever. I understand the screen, but man I'm not sure I've ever seen a more pooly executed play when it "should" have worked. i.e. The defense sold out on a blitz, and Warner just threw it into the turf.
Steelers fourth drive
Terrible foul by Harrison. I agree with Madden, he probably should have been ejected there. As it stands, it cost them less than a yard, so meh.
Parker is REALLY lucky to have gotten out of the end zone to avoid that safety. The Cards have been great on run D. Parker has 1 rush for 15 yards, and 18 for 38.
Huge, HUGE penalty on Hartwig. It was a great play by the Steelers to pick up the first down. First down, out of trouble, three to play and Cards with only 2 TOs left. But nope, holding in the end zone completely changes the complexion of the game.
Cards fifth drive
Wow. Just wow. Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald have been RIDICULOUS this post-season.
What a football game this has been.
Steelers fifth drive
We had one drive for each team in the 3rd Q, and this drive makes it 4 for each team in the 4th.
The play right before the 2 minute warning was a little weird. It seems like it's a really bad idea to run that play. You maybe catch the D off-guard. But you're costing yourself a play now if you don't get it. Maybe it's not a big deal cause the odds of picking up 6 yards in 2 plays is reasonable. But it seems like it'd be a better idea to try to keep the play.
Lucky play for the Steelers that the defender fell down on Holmes to pick up about 20 extra yards and get into TD scoring range. Holmes made a really nice play though, getting turned around, the defender fell, and getting way downfield.
Other than that ball the next play going through his hands, Holmes has had a terrific game. Makes up for it the next play with an amazing TD catch. I think that drive just sealed him the MVP.
Cards sixth drive
78 yards in 29 seconds. Um, unlikely. Though it does allow for some interesting shots. 20 yards two separate plays, you've at least got a chance to throw a jump ball two or three times, or take another 20 yard to the sideline and then one shot at the end zone.
But no dice. That last play for Warner looked awful. Three man rush and he lets that happen?
It was a terrible finish for the Cards...very sloppy final play for Warner. But in general, what a terrific and entertaining football game! Very back-and-forth, and really exciting. It's great to watch Superbowls like these, cause they really live up to the hype.
And by the way, the Steelers have one helluva coach in Tomlin. Really fantastic.
Congrats to the [VOMIT]
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Cards first drive