New England’s 34-28 win was a fantastic game. Tom Brady cemented his status as the best NFL quarterback ever by throwing for 466 yards and leading the best Super Bowl comeback in history as the Patriots rallied from 25 points down in the third quarter. But it wasn’t all perfect, and here are four things I hated:
1) What in God’s name did they do to Mr. Clean and why was he hitting on that guy’s wife? That commercial grossed me out.
2) Look, it was amazing and thrilling and all of that, but a coin flip absolutely cannot play such a big role in an overtime Super Bowl.
Digital Access for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In the postseason at least, the NFL must alter the overtime rule and allow the team that doesn’t get the ball first to try to match the other team’s score if it happens on the first possession.
Right now the possible “match” only happens on a field goal. A first-possession TD wins the game. Atlanta probably would not have scored anyway, but it would make a lot more sense to make this rules change and let the team that doesn’t call the toss right at least know that it will get to put its offense on the field.
3) What was Falcons owner Arthur Blank doing on the field long before it was all over anyway? (Hat tip to tennis star John Isner, one of the biggest Panthers fans you will ever meet).
4) Why was Atlanta, with a first-and-10 at the New England 22 and needing only a field goal to change an eight-point lead to 11 with 4:40 left throwing the ball at all?
Just run it three times, have the Patriots burn all their timeouts, kick the field goal (Matt Bryant is nearly automatic in a dome) and the game is over unless New England can figure out both how to score quickly and convert an onside kick.
Instead, Atlanta calls two pass plays: Sack, penalty, out of field-goal range. Brady still has a chance. C’mon! The guy doesn’t need any help! I am convinced if Atlanta takes the field goal there that one of the most epic comebacks we will ever see never happens.
Incidentally, I took a quick Twitter poll right after the game, asking fans whether they would rather have a Super Bowl like the Panthers did (never leading and getting beaten 24-10) or like Atlanta did (blowing a 25-point, second-half lead).
The result: More than 80 percent believed the Panthers loss would be easier to swallow. And I tend to agree. You have most of the game to come to the awful realization that it’s just not going to be your night, as opposed to having already picked out the spot for the Lombardi Trophy in your trophy case and planned the parade through downtown Atlanta.