Now that we’ve had a chance to digest the season, I almost can’t wait until next year. I don’t know about you, but there’s always a void between now and the combine. Much like the “Walking Dead” the NFL plot thickens even after each season’s finale.
First, my thoughts go deep into the playoffs and into next year’s new season by asking the questions that haven’t been asked after the last game. Then, I want to give some answers to those questions that are yet to be asked. Finally, I want to answer questions that no one dares to ask in the first place.
Let’s start with the Denver Broncos having the game signed, sealed, and delivered before Rahim Moore’s apparent bout with vertigo. The deeper question is why was the Denver defense in cover 2 with 31 seconds left in the game? Yes, I realize it was 3rd and 2, but instead of giving up a first down, they gave up a trip to New England. With 31 seconds left and over 70 yards to go, wouldn’t you think cornerbacks would be more equipped to play the pass than having 2 safeties take half the field?
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Atlanta Falcons probably played the best football throughout the season, but failed to recognize that the fundamental philosophy of football is to run the football. The dirty birds were 29th in the league in rushing. When a hot 49er offense came rolling into Hotlanta, the dirty birds offense couldn’t collect enough yards on the ground in the 2nd half, nor chew up enough clock to stop the charging Niner’s offense from extra possessions in the second half.
Next, on to the Soup bowl. Outside of the lackluster commercials and the smoldering halftime show by Beyonce, there was in fact a game, a contest, a blackout, and then a whole other game seemed to unfold. I almost wanted to say to the Niners, through the television, “You cannot have a slow start, like Atlanta, against the next best team in the NFL and expect to win.” And guess what? They did. Yes, what the NFL was begging for before the blackout, as well as the audience, was a comeback. The power outage meant a renewed mental attack by the Niners. It was almost like it was another game and they decided they were ready for it this time. Alas, the underdog held off a furious attack and the heroes’ hero had emerged. David had slayed Goliath as if the hand of God had thrown the stone himself. (The credits will read that Ray Lewis was David).
As the credits scroll, a small box rotates and previews the next season’s premiere episode. Then the voice promos the upcoming season and hears how it sounds. Will the Niners finally get that receiver, like Boldin, Jones, Johnson, or Cruz they so desperately desire in order to get back to the Super Bowl? Will the Pats decide to pull the trigger on Reggie Bush and get a daring receiver to help Brady? After the Giants lose Bradshaw, will they be able to rebound with another running back to take his place and get back to the form they had a year ago? The Broncos are as hungry as ever, with a defense to match. Will they make the same mistakes again that sent them home before the round of 2? Does Seattle, Washington, Indianapolis (don’t forget about Indy), have a real shot to get to the title? It may surprise you with the next group of teams to compete for the Lombardi trophy. They include New Orleans (Sean’s back), Cincinnati, and Da Bears.