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One Step Down 05-02-2007 12:16 PM

The comment about Grossman is a little unfair. As Phil Simms pointed out in the colour, the second INT it looked like the weather simply caused the ball to slip in his hand as he released it. I'm not saying he had a great game -- he obviously didn't -- but he played sensibly in the first half (i.e. he didn't beat his own team) and threw a good TD pass to boot. Once the Bears started to lose control of the game, in that kind of rain it was always going to be very tough for a QB that was under constant pressure from the opposing DL to really throw effectively. With that said, as usual Rex did try to force it before he needed to. Just saying I don't think he was awful; more "not good enough." But come on, the Colts played superbly and if Rex played poorly as the game went on, that's because they put him in a corner.

Strathclyde Eagle 05-02-2007 12:53 PM

I thought the Bears defence was more disappointing than Grossman. Lots of missed tackles and they began the second half very passively. It didn't give the Bears much of a chance to get their running game going.

saxoneagle 05-02-2007 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by nookiebear
Addai should have been MVP

Rhodes had a bigger game IMO than Addai. Although, between the two of them they WERE the game, really.

Strathclyde Eagle 05-02-2007 01:40 PM

If Addai and Rhodes had been joint MVPs that would have been very fair.

However overall the Colts won it as a team. No-one was other-worldly, it is just a shame that the default seems to be to take the QB. Reminded me a little of the first Patriots win when Brady won the MVP with very mediocre stats (albeit with a great final drive) when Ty Law was possibly a better candidate.

One Step Down 05-02-2007 01:48 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Strathclyde Eagle
I thought the Bears defence was more disappointing than Grossman. Lots of missed tackles and they began the second half very passively. It didn't give the Bears much of a chance to get their running game going.
There's some truth in that, but I pointed out before the game (see previous page) that they were going to play an out and out cover defense and that the key would be whether the front four, on their own, could generate any kind of rush. Once -- by half time, even when the score was still close -- it was obvious that Anderson, Ogunleye, and the other DEs had been taken out of the game the Bears were in a no-win situation because really, fundamentally changing their defensive alignment wasn't an option at that point, halfway through the Super Bowl.

This is why the real MVPs were the Colts OL. The Steel Curtain/Tampa 2/whatever you want to call it defense has worked so well for the Bears this year because the front four have consistently managed to generate pressure on their own -- especially Mark Anderson. That's freed up the backers and corners to be very, very aggressive in coverage (have you noticed how physical Peanut and Nate Vasher are off the line?) and it allows the Bears to make a lot of interceptions because the safeties are free to sit deep and read the throws. But if you handle the front four, which the Colts did perfectly, everything else falls apart because the QB and flankers have time to adjust, and you can't cover aggressively for the longer periods that come into play on each snap. That's why Urlacher was getting so frustrated halfway through the third quarter; not because they couldn't be aggressive but because they couldn't sustain the aggression for long enough due to the fact that there was no pressure and therefore each play had so long to evolve. When that happens, sooner or later receivers are going to get free.

I don't think there was a big problem with the Bears running game; if anything there were suggestions that if they'd had more of the ball and been able to control the clock more effectively, Thomas Jones might have had a field day. I don't think their offense really came into play enough to have a significant impact on the game in some ways. What will be interesting, next year, is if Lovie decides he's going to try to make a flanker out of Devin Hester (there have been suggestions that they are going to try and find a way to incorporate him into the offense.) They really need more speed threats than just B2 (a lot of good possession receivers but not enough pace.) One other thing was that, in the second half and certainly later in the game, the Bears OL also came somewhat unstuck at times. That, however, did not change the course of the game as much as some other things.

Andrews69 05-02-2007 02:24 PM

Last night was the first time I've ever watched American football.

I thought the pre-match show was very weak and not very entertaining at all. I was suprised that something like that would happen at an event where I would assume the majority of fans are males drinking beer.

The half time show, was quite good, although I'm not a fan of Prince and didn't think it really suited that sort of event. As I say, first time watching so maybe it's tradition to put something like this in the middle in order to keep the people who may not be football fans entertained. Prince was very good though, considering it was p*ssing it down.

The game itself, I was supporting the Chicago Bears as I put a fiver on them to win, wasn't really sure what I was doing so I went for the team that I recognised... bad move in the end really.

The game itself, although long winded, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, I quite enjoyed it. Loved the return from the kick off, that number 23 was amazing, unfortunately the colts didn't let him near the ball for the rest of the game.

Bears were under the kosh all game and it was only a matter of time until the Colts were going to run away with it, they should have been miles in front by half time really.

Grossman started ok I thought, but when they really needed him to make the passes he showed nerves and failed quite miserably.

First time I've ever watched it as I say, so this is really a rookie's point of view. On the whole I enjoyed the game (despite losing a fiver), but it didn't seem like a very good superbowl in comparision to others, or that's the impression I got from the proffesionals, although they said it was a good game.

Chicago were too defensive, despite having a relatively weak defence in the second half, Grossman and the lack of involvment for 23 were their downfall really I though.

Would be interested to see how "far of the mark" I was in my analysis from some of you that have seen previous games. Please be gentle though!

Latvian Eagle 05-02-2007 02:28 PM

As my mate pointed out last night, Bears have the best defence in the NFL, yet last night they didn't turn up. Their tackles were weak, and they lost the game by not playing to their strengths. That and the fact they turnedover the Colts 3 times on fumbles only to fumble it straight back the very next play! :eek:

nookiebear 05-02-2007 03:32 PM

I think the Bears showed a lack of faith in Rex early on by running it all the time on 3rd down. The Colts just kept stopping them, the Bears went 3 and out too many times, and the poor old Bears' defense had to spend another seven minutes chasing shadows

I don't think it matters how good your defense is, the only way to beat the Colts is to keep Manning off the pitch - and you do that with good offense, long drives that eat up the clock.

Grossman was asked to manage the game, instead of win, it for three quarters, then step up and pull a rabbit out of the bag in the 4th when the Colts were already out of sight. it was so obvious he'd make mistakes by then.

One Step Down 05-02-2007 07:51 PM

I don' think the problem was running it on 3rd down (that's a good strategy when it works, and there were reasons for going with it) but otherwise I agree your analysis, Nookie. Much of it is true.

FFS the Bears defense DID what they did all year. They played exactly the same system exactly the same way. In so doing, they played to the same strengths that got them to the Super Bowl. They also "showed up." Do you think Anderson, Tank, et al were drinking bloody pina coladas on the beach last night? The fact is the Colts OL downright beat the Bears DL. They were exceptional, and their ability to stop the rush (which virtually no one else the Bears had faced this season had been able to do) meant that the system fell apart. But being outplayed by a better team is NOT the same thing as not showing up.

The 47 only works if you get pressure on the QB (what I said countless times before the game; read this thread. EXACTLY what I wrote in my keys to the game on page 24 of this thread before the game two pages ago: "The Bears will effectively play a 47 defense (they'll rush the front four and the rest will drop back into out and out coverage.) The key will be Ogunleye, Anderson, Tank, etc....they have to generate a pass rush to give the DBs a chance.")

The Bears' failure to generate pressure doesn't mean the system didn't work; it means the players couldn't execute it properly because they ran up against a better side. The Colts won far and square. Respect them. But try to understand the defensive system (which I have explained at great length here) and you will grasp why that's the case.

saxoneagle 05-02-2007 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by One Step Down
I don' think the problem was running it on 3rd down (that's a good strategy when it works, and there were reasons for going with it) but otherwise I agree your analysis, Nookie. Much of it is true.

FFS the Bears defense DID what they did all year. They played exactly the same system exactly the same way. In so doing, they played to the same strengths that got them to the Super Bowl. They also "showed up." Do you think Anderson, Tank, et al were drinking bloody pina coladas on the beach last night? The fact is the Colts OL downright beat the Bears DL. They were exceptional, and their ability to stop the rush (which virtually no one else the Bears had faced this season had been able to do) meant that the system fell apart. But being outplayed by a better team is NOT the same thing as not showing up.

The 47 only works if you get pressure on the QB (what I said countless times before the game; read this thread. EXACTLY what I wrote in my keys to the game on page 24 of this thread before the game two pages ago: "The Bears will effectively play a 47 defense (they'll rush the front four and the rest will drop back into out and out coverage.) The key will be Ogunleye, Anderson, Tank, etc....they have to generate a pass rush to give the DBs a chance.")

The Bears' failure to generate pressure doesn't mean the system didn't work; it means the players couldn't execute it properly because they ran up against a better side. The Colts won far and square. Respect them. But try to understand the defensive system (which I have explained at great length here) and you will grasp why that's the case.

They just came up against a QB who can make the big plays but hits the 7/8 yarders just as comfortably. The number of screen passes and short dumps off to Addai in space showed how intelligent Manning is, not how bad the Bears D is.

Watching Urlacher was quite funny. He just didn't know whether to push forward or drop back for almost the entire game yet still came up with ELEVEN tackles. What a great player he is.

Although, he was a particularly moody b*gger in the interview straight after the match but I don't blame him for that. As you say, they played their game but were prevented from executing something they've done pretty regularly for at least two years now. You can see why he was frustrated.

Strathclyde Eagle 05-02-2007 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by saxoneagle
Watching Urlacher was quite funny. He just didn't know whether to push forward or drop back for almost the entire game yet still came up with ELEVEN tackles. What a great player he is.
Urlacher had several tackles where he was covering for other guys who had missed.

When I said about the Bears defence being disappointing I meant in regard to their tackling, their plan certainly wasn't necessarily poor (especially in the first half). As One Step Down correctly pointed out though the Indy OL was fantastic.

I'm trying to think of when the last time was that a team won the Super Bowl with a poor OL. It's where it all starts, you can't do anything without it.

One Step Down 05-02-2007 11:29 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Strathclyde Eagle



I'm trying to think of when the last time was that a team won the Super Bowl with a poor OL. It's where it all starts, you can't do anything without it.

That is so true. If the OL controls the game, the other team doesn't have the ball. If they don't have the ball, and if you add to that a smart QB who doesn't make mistakes (i.e. doesn't turn the ball over) then the rest is gravy because the opposition won't be able to score and you therefore almost can't lose. Take out the first 14 seconds and, as I said, the Bears got gubbed. It was a 30-7 Super Bowl to all intents and purposes. I'm dissappointed, sure, but credit where it's due: the Colts offense was simply superb (and their defense wasn't bad, either.) No excuses, the best team won it.

One Step Down 05-02-2007 11:36 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by Hedgehog
I find it distasteful that someone credits being a Christian for the fact they won (The Colts owner also mentioned it!). This should not have been an issue on a World stage.

I'm sorry... it's a personal pet peeve of mine.

While the point is taken when abstracted from any sort of context (and my personal knee-jerk reaction is not dissimiliar to yours -- smug as he is, I tend to be a Dawkinist in such matters, too) the reality is that fundamentalism is part of the culture of America and this speaks to the comparitive youth of the nation, the lack of maturity of much of its thinking, and the way it has developed socio-historically. You cannot react to Dungy's comments simply on the basis of a considered European's understanding of the world. To us, they border on almost being outrageous but they are entirely rational and altogether commonplace in the States, far beyond simply the fundamentalist deep south. Remember, religious persecution was the bedrock on which the country was founded and Dungy's thinking remains the way many people view the forces that shape their lives. It's easy to make fun of (something I often do myself) but there is something more important going on that that.

nookiebear 05-02-2007 11:57 PM

Quote:

Originally posted by One Step Down
I don' think the problem was running it on 3rd down (that's a good strategy when it works, and there were reasons for going with it) but otherwise I agree your analysis, Nookie. Much of it is true.

FFS the Bears defense DID what they did all year. They played exactly the same system exactly the same way. In so doing, they played to the same strengths that got them to the Super Bowl. They also "showed up." Do you think Anderson, Tank, et al were drinking bloody pina coladas on the beach last night? The fact is the Colts OL downright beat the Bears DL. They were exceptional, and their ability to stop the rush (which virtually no one else the Bears had faced this season had been able to do) meant that the system fell apart. But being outplayed by a better team is NOT the same thing as not showing up.

The 47 only works if you get pressure on the QB (what I said countless times before the game; read this thread. EXACTLY what I wrote in my keys to the game on page 24 of this thread before the game two pages ago: "The Bears will effectively play a 47 defense (they'll rush the front four and the rest will drop back into out and out coverage.) The key will be Ogunleye, Anderson, Tank, etc....they have to generate a pass rush to give the DBs a chance.")

The Bears' failure to generate pressure doesn't mean the system didn't work; it means the players couldn't execute it properly because they ran up against a better side. The Colts won far and square. Respect them. But try to understand the defensive system (which I have explained at great length here) and you will grasp why that's the case.

Not many defense can cope with Manning though. he'll either murder you deep or with the screen, a joy to watch

Totally agree about the Colts Offensive Line. They give an awesome QB all day to throw

Personally, i think the Colts defense knew from the word go the Bears would run it on third down, which put extra pressure on Rex as soon as it stopped working

The Bears just didn't seem to have much faith in him, apart from his early TD throw and in the 4th when it was too late and the Colts just had to sit back and wait for the picks.

I think Grossman will get better though - the bears are a young team with plenty of room for improvement

More worried about the state of the Redskins, to be honest :( :)

One Step Down 06-02-2007 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by nookiebear


I think Grossman will get better though - the bears are a young team with plenty of room for improvement


I think you're right, and it's nice to finally see some sanguine analysis of this. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that Rex is the second coming but a lot of people forget that, to all intents and purposes, this was his rookie season and furthermore, while he made mistakes he also did some very good things and he has shown that he has the physical tools. Most of his shortcomings relate to the mental side of the game (judgement -- or lack of it -- foremost amongst them) and in theory, it should be able to coach these out of him. But if a guy lacks the basic tools (which Rex has) only then is there nothing you can do. What's killed Rex's reputation is that his mistakes are like buses; when he makes one, he makes three of four just for good measure. So when he has a bad game, it tends to plumb new depths of badness and people remember this to the exclusion of all else. That's a mistake.

A lot of people better informed than me, including almost all of the media QBs (Simms, Marino, Boomer, etc.) think Rex can be the real deal. I think he can play in this league and I think he will learn and be a far better player next year.

The Skins are suffering, aren't they? I'm not sure where they go from here but I know we're playing them in DC and I am already trying to engage a consultant down there whom I will need to visit in the autumn :-)

jlmatthews 06-02-2007 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by nookiebear
I think the Bears showed a lack of faith in Rex
Exactly. They were trying to hide him and not let him make mistakes. The goal for the Bears was to make him play ball control and not turn the ball over.

Also, I don't think the colts have a poor OL. Most of these guys blocked for Edge when he won rushing titles. Plus, having Peyton back there helps, too. But they are a seasoned veteran group.

Bears tackling was horrendous. IMO one of the most surprising aspects the game had to offer.

One Step Down 06-02-2007 01:32 AM

Did anyone say the Colts had a poor OL? This thread has been the Colts OL fan club unless I'm missing something. Where did that come from?

I don't think it was exactly a lack of faith in Rex but no one is going to let a first season starter run an offense uncontained, let alone one who makes as many mistakes as Rex. Remember, Manning (and Brady and all the greats at present) have about half a dozen years more experience than Rex so they can be trusted to a degree that he can't. The Bears gameplan was simply a realistic reflection of the balance of the offensive weaponsat their disposal; B2 aside the Bears have no deep/speed threats and only if you can run the ball effectively are you going to be able to exploit posession receivers. The Bears thus took the approach they had to.

By the way, no one here (myself included) has noted Cedric Benson's injury as being pivotal. I don't think it was, but you could argue that losing half their ying/yang running tandem also didn't help the Bears cause.

jlmatthews 06-02-2007 02:45 AM

I misread about the Colts OL.

Also, the Benson injury didn't matter. TJ has been the workhorse all season. CG wold spell him, and got more carries when a playoff position was more or less wrapped up.

One Step Down 06-02-2007 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally posted by jlmatthews
I misread about the Colts OL.

Also, the Benson injury didn't matter. TJ has been the workhorse all season. CG wold spell him, and got more carries when a playoff position was more or less wrapped up.

The second part is inaccurate. While TJ is indeed 1 and Benson 1a, Benson got few carries in September and October because he was first hurt and then coming off the injury and out of shape. Things picked up not because the Bears were in a playoff position (they were in a playoff position from week 1 :-) ) but because he was finally fit and, moreover, running very effectively. This continued in the playoffs and he played a significant role against NO. In fact, because they're very different runners (TJ is more lateral and creative, CB more a crash baller) each makes the other more effective.

With all that said, as I said earlier, I agree with you. Benson's absence almost certainly didn't make a difference. However, that is just our opinion and you could construct an argument to the contrary. What is encouraging for Chicago, if there is a light in this weekend, is that they are an incredibly young side. Truth is, Chicago--Indianapolis is a Super Bowl that may be repeated more than once in the next few years.

One other thing: whoever it was earlier who said that they'd (correctly) realised that great Super Bowl teams all begin with great offensive lines: this is precisely why one team that is going to win a Super Bowl in the next few years is the New York Jets. You can put your money on it.

LLCOOLSTEVE 06-02-2007 10:54 AM

Titans are a team who will go close in the coming years, as of course are the Saints....


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