With the headlines declaring yesterdays Super Bowl an instant "Classic", I think back on what I witnessed and think, "Huh?"
There was no scoring until just over 3 minutes to go in the first half; One missed fieldgoal, one blocked field goal, two punts under 25 yards. Then the scoring began as the over-hyped defenses began to sag.
The games outcome was decided by special teams gaffes, defensive lapses and penalties, rather than stellar play. Neither mediocre offense could generate much of anything while the defenses were playing their game. The Patriots were probably the better offense, they could at least move the ball against the Panthers in the first half.
When the scoring finally started, it came in spurts. Seventeen points in the last three plus minutes of the first half. thirteen points in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter. Seventeen points in the last 3 minutes of the game. The lone unanswered score came in the middle of the fourth quarter.
While the game was exiting, it wasn't a classic. There were just too many mistakes. When the defenses started to give they gave up big time. Receiving yards per attempt were 20.2 for Delhomme and and 11.1 for Brady. There were rushes of 33, 23 and 21 yards. The Patriots and Panthers were penalized for 60 and 72 yards respectively.
The defenses were the focus of the pre-game hype, yet they allowed a total 61 points (which would have been 63 points if not for some coaching blunders).
Tom Brady did end up with MVP numbers, they were comparable with some of Joe Montana's numbers. With Brady's numbers, however, it should have been a blow out. And Brady's final drive of 39 yards (+/-) for a field goal cannot compare to Montana's 92 yard drive for a touchdown.
So congratulations to the Patriots and thanks to the Panthers for making it exciting. But please don't tell me that I witnessed one of the "Greatest Super Bowls Ever".