After final further review it is 2 plays that lost the SuperBowl
A ton of fans will refuse to watch a replay of a horrible, heartbreaking loss, and many players do the same.
I am the opposite. I watched the Packers at the podium, and all the post-game interviews, jubilation, and highlight shows full of praise for the champions.
I emersed myself in the misery of the Steelers players who were despondant and who felt they let their city, team, and fans down.
I followed all the coverage through the week, and all the analysts shows that pick apart every single aspect and play of the game.
perhaps I am just sick, or perhaps it is just part of the healing proces, or perhaps it is just because I am an NFL junkit and it is whaat I do after the end of every season whether the Steelers win, lose, or arent even in the playoffs.
Since the loss hurt so bad, it is easiest to understand it, put it behind me, and then appreciate the game and season for what it was.
For me that means simplfying the loss. Many people want to complicate it by saying Ben was off, or Arians had a horrible gameplan that was too predictable, or that it was because of drafting, linemen being out, or the play of cornerbacks, penalties, slippery turf and injuries.
It is very easy and almost overly simplistic to blame the 3 turnovers. People want a scapegoat. But in this instance there is no scapegoat. In a game of 120 or so plays it came down to 2-
Ben's second interception and Clay Matthews forced fumble. I could say each play was a potential 14 point swing and we should have won 38-17. Since Bens misread on his pick only definitively cost us 7 points i will say we wouldve won had these 2 plays not happened.
Im throwing out all the penalties, missed tackles, dropped passes, and supposed bad play by individuals. It happened to both teams and is a wash. Most importantly I am throwing out the Pick 6 on Ben's 1st interception where his arm was hit. Sometimes a team is just "out physicalled" on a play. That happens in football; its the nature of the beast. Its where you have the least opportunity to control the outcome.
I had initially thought this was the backbreaking play of the game, but not no more.
The other 2 are more crucial because they were made between the ears as much as on the field.
Inside The NFL had the best footage, coverage, and analysis of these 2 plays I have seen thus far.
On the interception, the packers were in man-to-man coverage at the line. heath Miller was uncovered. Say what you want, but Manning, Brady, Brees woulda instantly recognized this pre-snap and it wouldve been an easy TD. Miller was wide open because of the Packers mistake.
On the forced fumble, Kevin Greene told Clay Matthews "it is time" whose fault is it that a coach fired up his player to make the play of the game when it was most needed by them? In the pre-snap huddle you hear Matthews predicting the correct run play saying he "has a feeling".
A great play by Matthews, a horrible play by Ben. sometimes it is that simple.