Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 Super Bowl XLVII Commercials

After the phenomenal Super Bowl XLVII with the San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens, John Harbaugh and his quarterback Joe Flacco overcame the surge — and the 34-minute blackout at the Superdome — to win the game 34-31.  With the San Francisco 49ers mismanaging the clock and Colin Kaepernick‘s inability to run a two-minute drill effectively, the Ravens scraped one out in the final minutes of the game.  After all that commotion, the commercials were much the same.  Close to the second half, the real commercials decided to show up, and with that, these are Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 selections for best Super Bowl XLVII commercials:

Oreo “Whisper Fight”

I enjoyed this one. Subtly funny.

M & M “Love Ballad”

What are friends for when you have friends like Ms. Chocolate

Taco Bell “Viva Young”

Not funny in a funny kind of way but charming in a Taco Bell kinda way.

Toyota RAV 4 “Wish Granted”

The Rock Milk “Morning Run”

Volkwagen “Get In. Get Happy.”

Minnesota people. Represent.  Not just about Harley Davidson motorcycles and bratwursts.

Bud Light “Journey”

I liked this one. Perhaps the voodoo dolls caused the power outage. Or not.

Deion Sanders NFL “Leon Sandcastle” 

Funny. Very funny. Kind of a jilt on Randy Moss, Terrell Owens and others.

Kia Motors “Hot Bots”

Kia Motors got double honors this Super Bowl.  I think the advertising people left Volkswagen and came here.

Kia Motors “Space Babies”

This one had lots of charm to it — and the babies faces were priceless as they rocketed to Earth.

This is Philly Fantasy Sports Top 10 commercials for Super Bowl XLVII.  What do you think?  Do you agree?

 

Andy Reid and the Philadelphia Eagles: The End of an Era

Former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid gets handed a gameball in his last press conference as a head coach

It’s officially the end of an era for former Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid with a devastating record of 4-12 for the 2012 regular season.   Eagles owner Jeff Lurie stood by his word as he bid Andy Reid farewell after an 8-8 record for the 2011 season.  For those fans clamoring that we should not have let Andy Reid go since he was the Eagles franchise most successful coach to date, the Eagles organization is still a business.  And if Jeff Lurie kept Andy Reid for another season as a coach or otherwise, Lurie would be made to be nothing more than a paper tiger at best and a pushover at worst.  In as much as some of us criticize Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder for being a pushover, Jeff Lurie would made to look much worse.

Former Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Terrell Owens and quarterback Donovan McNabb

Andy Reid became head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles on January 11, 1999.  It was not without criticism upon arrival in Philadelphia after he was lured from the Green Bay Packers. In 2000, the Philadelphia Eagles reached the playoffs with a 11-5 regular season record.  In 2001, the chain of playoff wins came.  With quarterback Donovan McNabb, running back Brian Westbrook and safety Brian Dawkins coming to maturity, the Philadelphia Eagles was the team to beat in the NFC East with conference championships in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004.  In 2004, with the acquisition of wide receiver Terrell Owens, the Eagles were at this time the cream of the crop of the NFC East and decisively the NFL.  The Eagles made it to Super Bowl XXXIX but was ultimately defeated by Tom Brady and his New England Patriots 24-21.  Donovan McNabb simply cracked under pressure in this Super Bowl, and with the Eagles essentially without a functioning quarterback, the New England Patriots won.

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jeff Garcia on the Sports Illustrated cover

After the stream of successes prior to 2004, the wheels of the truck began to fall off in 2005 as the disputes between Terrell Owens, Donovan McNabb and David Akers tore apart the team in the locker room. In 2005, the Eagles ended with a regular season record of 6-10.  In 2006, with the season-ending injury to Donovan McNabb in October, backup quarterback Jeff Garcia took over the reigns and nearly led the Eagles to another Super Bowl after defeating the Carolina Panthers, the New York Giants and the Washington Redskins. However, as Jeff Garcia led them closer and closer to the Super Bowl, Donovan McNabb came out of the woodwork and became disruptive from the sidelines in a sense.  This antagonism ultimately led to Jeff Garcia being released — and Donovan McNabb as well.

In 2008, the Eagles made their way to the NFC Championship game whereupon they lost to the Cardinals 32-25. The Eagles traded Donovan McNabb to the Washington Redskins in 2009, and after McNabb’s departure, then backup quarterback Michael Vick was named starting quarterback in 2010.  Vick’s most notable game as a Philadelphia Eagle was the decimation of Donovan McNabb and his  Washington Redskins on the night of November 15, 2010. On that night, Michael Vick was unleashed as he had four passing touchdowns and two rushing touchdowns with a passer rating of 150.7.

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick after another loss

After Michael Vick’s spectacular run in 2010, the wheels began falling off the truck again.  Most teamis had developed a gameplan for Vick’s weaknesses and tendencies as the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys both built sufficient defense gameplan templates the season before.  The other teams in the NFL basically followed suit, adjusting their templates as needed.  And with Michael Vick not holding much better himself in the 2011 and 2012 regular seasons, the Philadelphia Eagles demise was gradual and climaxed in this regular season with compounding losses with ridiculous amount of turnovers.

Juan Castillo as Philadelphia Eagles defensive coordinator

With the loss of defensive coordinator Jim Johnson on July 28, 2009, the Philadelphia Eagles defense never was the same.  Sean McDermott took over, but he could never build the Eagles defense as Jim Johnson could.  Soon, even he was released to the Carolina Panthers on January 5, 2011.  And with the acquisition of Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie in the 2011 season, it seemed like a recipe for success.  Perhaps under the traditional defense of Jim Johnson.  With Juan Castillo and his implementation of the Wide-Nine defense, the defense collapsed unto itself as there were no leaders, only highly-paid players.

Andy Reid should be remembered for the successes he bought to the Philadelphia Eagles organization.  With few notable candidates currently to fill the void, 2012 Maxwell Coach of the Year Penn State’s Bill O’Brien seems to be the leading candidate.  Quite possibly, in my opinion, the former Chicago Bears Lovie Smith would be a potential option as well.  In either case, the options are not particularly tempting.  Reid went over his head with the promotion of Juan Castillo as a defensive coordinator, the firing of Sean McDermott and the wholesale acquisition of free agents. These are perhaps what did him in as a head coach.  Most likely, he will be acquired by the Arizona Cardinals as Ken Whisenhunt was recently fired.  A change of scenery will do him good.  Will it bring him as much success with the Philadelphia Eagles?  Perhaps, but I remain skeptical.

My Top 10 Favorite Super Bowl XLVI Commercials

While the Super Bowl was a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, unfortunately, most of the commercials for the Super Bowl were mere regurgitation for the most part.  Some were inventive, and others were not.  With the car companies, after the American public initially bailed them out from their financial meltdown, it’s nice to know that nearly all of these car companies have money to burn for the Super Bowl.  But we’ll leave that issue for another day…when your hangover is over.

Now to my top 10 list of favorite Super Bowl XLVI commercials:

2012 M & M’s “I’m Sexy and I Know It

This commercial was hilarious.  The red M & M made the show.

2012 Honda CR-V “Matthew’s Day Off”

Bueller, Bueller, Bueller. Enough said.

2012 Volkswagen “The Dog Strikes Back”

Fantastic commercial throughout from the dog to the Darth Vader chokehold in the cantina.

2012 Coca-Cola “The Catch”

Amusing Coca-Cola commercial. Best CGI commercial although not quite as inventive as the Warcraft commercial of the past Super Bowl.

2012 Toyota Camry “It’s Reinvented”

The Toyota Camry is reinvented and so is everything else.  Very creative and witty.  The best of the Super Bowl commercials in my opinion.

2012 Skechers “Go Run, Mr. Quiggly”

Funny commercial yet involving another dog.

2012 Doritos “Sling Baby”

Funny but wrong in all sorts of ways. What’s with Doritos launching projectiles in recent Super Bowls anyhow?  First, it was chips, and now, it’s babies.  I guess it’s a step up — sort of.

2012 Acura NSX “Transactions”

Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno and a 2012 Acura NSX.  Of the three, I want the NSX — in black please.  Amusing commercial nonetheless.

2012 Careerbuilder “Business Trip”

Not quite as inventive in the past, but the satire is perfect in today’s business world.  We all have office monkeys in our midst.  It is particularly entertaining when they decide to join for a business trip.

2012 Volkswagen “The Bark Side” 

One last commercial involving a whole slew of dogs barking the Imperial March.  The dog AT-AT and Chewie dogs made this commercial special.

Volkswagen made the best impression in this Super Bowl, but they always have creative advertising minds whether it’s the Super Bowl or not.  In my opinion, Toyota Camry’s “It’s Reinvented!” commercial was the tops.  After the slow-as-molasses (generally) Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and New York Giants, it’s time to prepare for next season’s hangover as the New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI with the score of 21-17.

New York Giants vs. New England Patriots: Super Bowl XLVI Post-Game Analysis

After the singing of the national anthem by Kelly Clarkson, it’s time for the Super Bowl.  It’s a rematch of of Super Bowl XLII in which the New York Giants performed the 2007-2008 playoff run and ultimately a Super Bowl championship with a 17-14 win.  With New England Patriots Tom Brady third in quarterback rating in the playoffs with 105.8,  New York Giants Eli Manning is not far behind with 103.1.  On the Giants offense, the tandem running backs of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs are presently second and fifth in the postseason in terms of running yardage, and their wide receiver corps of  Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are ranked first and fifth.   With the offense as hot as it is, the Giants look like the team to beat, but the Patriots Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick are fired up and out for revenge and blood.

Now to the post-game analysis:

  • After a decent drive established by Giants Eli Manning via rushing of Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, Eli Manning got sacked twice during the series by Patriots defensive ends Mark Anderson and Brandon Deadrick.
  • After an  intentional grounding call on Patriots Tom Brady in the end zone, the Giants get a safety to bring the score 2-0 with 9:00 in the first quarter.  The pressure from Giants defensive end Justin Tuck forced the call.
  • Sticking with the run by Ahmad Bradshaw, Eli Manning threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz for a Giants touchdown to bring the score 9-0 with 3:29 in the first quarter.
  • After a 17 and 19-yard pass to Patriots wideout Wes Welker, Tom Brady’s drive stalled, and their kicker Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 29-yard field goal with 13:52 in the second quarter.
  • After defenses contested each other for most of the second quarter, Patriots Tom Brady threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Danny Woodhead to bring the score to 10-9 Patriots with 15 seconds left until halftime.
  • The Madonna halftime show was incredibly average, but then again, this is Roger Goodell’s iron-fisted NFL.  Madonna has matured and become incredibly outdated and boring.
  • Led by a 21-yard pass to his wideout Chad Ochocinco and a 17-yard run by BenJarvus Green-Ellis, tight end Aaron Hernandez 12-yard touchdown reception brings the score 17-9 Patriots with 11:25 in  the third quarter.
  • With the Giants drive stalled at the Patriots 20-yard line, Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes kicked a field goal to make the score 17-12 Patriots with 6:47 in the third.
  • After steadily moving down the field with Brandon Jacobs, Bear Pascoe and Hakeem Nicks, the Giants drive stalled at the Patriots 9-yard line, and Lawrence Tynes kicked a 33-yard field goal to bring the score 17-15 Patriots with 4o seconds left in the third quarter.
  • After defenses contesting each other throughout much of the fourth quarter, with the New York Giants burning two timeouts and the drive led by Mario Manningham, running back Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a 6-yard touchdown to bring the score 21-17 Giants with 1:04 in the last quarter.

The first half was unusually subdued as both offenses could not gain any sort of rhythm.   However, it was the New England Patriots looked out of sync on both sides of the ball in the first half.  The safety from the end zone was perhaps the most pronounced mistake of the Patriots.  The first half of this Super Bowl mirrored the rematch of Super Bowl XLII — again, slow and low-scoring.

Unfortunately, the second half was much the same.  Both offenses were methodical as they moved down the field without any demonstration of their offensive firepower.  Both the Patriots and Giants had a few spurts of offense, but nothing of any significance until the last couple of minutes. It became a matter of tactics on both sides.  With Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s blessing, Giants Ahmad Bradshaw was allowed a free run for a touchdown with a minute left. Stunningly, the New England Patriots Tom Brady and his wide receivers faltered when it mattered most.

If you were watching this Super Bowl, you possibly burned through a lot of pizza, pretzels, chips and beer for your guests and yourself as slow as this game went generally.  It was like two trains in a wreck Matrix-style without Morpheus and the Twins on the roof…that is, until the last two minutes of the game.  The New York Giants won the game 21-17, overcoming Tom Brady and his New England Patriots once again.

Philadelphia Eagles CEO Jeffrey Lurie: A View on His Pressing Conference

The Philadelphia Eagles fans have been calling for head coach Andy Reid‘s head over this past season like the past seasons, but this time, it was justified as the Eagles ended at .500 with an 8-8 record.  They demolished the hapless Washington Redskins in their last regular season game with a 34-10 win, but it was all for nought.  The New York Giants defeated the New York Jets the previous week with a score of 29-14 and sealed the NFC East title with their 31-14 win over the Dallas Cowboys.  The Jets win saved Giants head coach Tom Coughlin’s job and winning the NFC East title gave them an opportunity to enter the Super Bowl.

On the topic of head coaches, Andy Reid was on the hot seat this season as his team could not gel together until midway through the regular season.  The “Dream Team” could not power offensively through teams like in past seasons, and it hurt them.  Quarterback Michael Vick’s above-average performance this season with 18 touchdowns, 14 interceptions and an above-average quarterback rating of 84.9.  It was only slightly better than his 2004 season with the Atlanta Falcons.  Vince Young did only worse with 4 touchdowns, 9 interceptions and a depressing 60.8 quarterback rating.  Neither of them were salvaging Andy Reid’s head nor their offense.  Andy Reid is the NFL’s winningest head coach earning 136 total career victories through the 2011 season.  Reid may be a bit overdrawn at his coaches in important personnel positions — like Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator.  However, he does find gems in the rough on the field.  Running back LeSean McCoy is one of his hidden gems that came to fruition this season.

Concerning wide receiver DeSean Jackson, Lurie commented that he is a “terrific player,” and that he is.  But Jackson has also been toxic in the locker room.  Vince Young could relate as his problem with the Tennessee Titans former head coach Jeff Fisher.  There is no doubt the Eagles will attempt to keep DeSean Jackson.  How much money the front office is willing to separate to keep him is the question here.

One last note is that the front office will not be changed in any way.  At least, the   Philadelphia Eagles aren’t quite as desperate as the Jacksonville Jaguars nor as brain-dead as the Oakland Raiders.

Jeff Lurie didn’t say anything that wasn’t expected, given the failure of the Eagles this season.  He knows there is another season, but if Andy Reid ends up at .500 or less, Reid better prepare to pack up.  Lurie won’t have the patience, the money or the blindfold of Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

The 2011 Philadelphia Eagles Oddsbreaker: Super Bowl or Smoke and Mirrors?

Is this the year of the Super Bowl for the Philadelphia Eagles?

With all the media hype, it appears that the Philadelphia Eagles are already carrying the Vince Lombardi Trophy even before the season has formally begun.  I wouldn’t be so quick yet to place them on a mantle quite yet.  ESPN has already held the Philadelphia Eagles to placing third overall in this upcoming season, once said and done.  Luckily, they didn’t quite adorn Eagles starting quarterback Michael Vick with garlands in his 2010 overall season performance.  His 2010 performance ranked him 18th for his performance last season with the Total Quarterback Rating (QBR) of 66.6.  He is comparable to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans Saints Drew Brees and Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger in their 2010 regular season performances.  Surprisingly, Vince Young, his backup now, had a higher Total Quarterback Rating than Michael Vick in his 2009 performance with the Tennessee Titans.  He is ranked 12th and has a QBR of 69.2.

With this in mind, Michael Vick unfortunately collapsed last season in the Wild Card game as he could not withstand the Packers perplexing defensive packages with Clay Matthews at the helm.  The Philadelphia Eagles lost to the Green Bay Packers 16-21.  He had 292 passing yards, a touchdown, an interception and a mediocre 79.9 quarterback rating.  On the bright side (sort of), he had a better performance against the Green Bay Packers in their loss of 20-27 at Lincoln Financial Field on September 12, 2010.  He had 175 passing yards, a touchdown and a 101.9 quarterback rating.  Then again, Vick was healthier at that time, and he had not yet undergone the punishing defenses later on, like the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys.

This season, after their week 7 bye, the Philadelphia Eagles offense led by Michael Vick will be in one punishing gauntlet of defenses.  The Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants defenses again rear their heads, and they will have the Washington Redskins right before their bye week.  Unfortunately, I don’t believe Michael Vick can pull off that dominating performance last November 15th, but he should still be capable of winning the game.  Washington Redskins quarterback Rex Grossman commented that his team may be a sleeper since their acquisitions of wideouts Dante Stallworth and Jabar Gaffney.  They have also acquired Tim Hightower, one of the running backs of the Arizona Cardinals.  However, that game will be highly dependent on which Rex Grossman decides to show up for that game.

After week 7, if Michael Vick (and maybe Vince Young), can survive the gauntlet of defenses, the Philadelphia Eagles will be in good playoff shape, as their last regular season game is against the Washington Redskins.  Again, like last season, I would expect that Eagles head coach Andy Reid rest his starters by first half of that game.  If Michael Vick is still in one piece, he would be resting after maybe a series or two.

I don’t doubt that the Philadelphia Eagles can make the playoffs and quite possibly clinch the NFC East with a regular season record of 11-5 or 10-6.  Again, if they face teams with stiffer defenses in the playoffs, the explosive Philadelphia Eagles offense implode, like last season.  The playoff curse might again catch up to the Philadelphia Eagles, particularly in the NFC conference playoff game.   This time, you can’t blame it on William Penn or Donovan McNabb.  It may as well rest on the shoulders of head coach Andy Reid.

Fans of Super Bowl XLV Sue Over Seating: The Gluttony of Luxury Sweets

After the debacles of Super Bowl XLV of the Green Bay Packers and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium, ranging from Christina Aguilera‘s problems with the Star Spangled Banner to the disastrous techno-rap halftime show of the Black Eyed Peas, Super Bowl XLV’s problems began when seats of some 1,250 fans were pulled after the fire marshall deemed the temporary seating dangerous. All were moved elsewhere, and 400 fans watched the game on monitors or standing-room platforms.

The NFL attempted to acquiesce of these roughly 400 fans with money, tickets and merchandise.  Originally, the league offered $2,400 and tickets to next season’s Super Bowl, but this offer appeared less than charitable for these fans.  So the NFL offered a second option: they can choose to await for the conference championship to determine if they wish that year’s Super Bowl in the future, and they will be provided round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.  But this appeared to be not enough compensation for these fans either.

Now these fans are suing $5 million in actual damages and unspecified punitive damages from the NFL, the Dallas Cowboys and their owner Jerry Jones for the faulty seating.  This class-action lawsuit will repayment of the full price of the tickets and travel expenses.

This lawsuit represents the state of American culture nowadays with its gluttony.  Whenever something doesn’t go as one wants it to go, the first and best option is often reliance on lawyers and their lawsuits.  From the blatant markings on cups of hot beverages to the sanitation of smoking, this is the culture of America and the rampancy of frivolous lawsuits. When the NFL attempts to give one better accommodations as apologies for their error, most of these fans still want more — more in terms of money.  Admittedly Jerry Jones own greed got the better of him in this issue, the NFL did attempt to accommodate these fans on his behalf with merchandise, money and future tickets.  These things didn’t satisfy these fans — only more money does, only their greed does.  From the outside, these fans are not gaining much of any sympathy, at least for me.  The repercussions of this lawsuit will be that the price of these tickets will only increase more for other fans in the future, and these tickets will now include more legalese on the back.  Saddening, just saddening.

My Top 5 Favorite Super Bowl XLV Commercials

This wasn’t a particularly good showing of television commercials during this Super Bowl XLV between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers. Aaron Rodgers came home with a Super Bowl ring, the Super Bowl MVP Award, a Camaro and the fourth Vince Lombardi Trophy for the Green Bay Packers. Then again, over the last few seasons, the creativity for Super Bowl commercials has dropped significantly.  The recession didn’t do these companies any favors.  Enough about the economy, here are my top 5 Super Bowl commercials.

Volkswagen Passat: The Force Commercial

This was one funny commercial.  The Darth Vader Imperial March background music just capped it off.  Being an avid Star Wars fan also helps, and who wouldn’t want that Darth Vader costume?

Pepsi Max: Love Hurts Commercial

This was a great commercial in my opinion, but some people have taken the social issue in this commercial a bit too seriously.

Pepsi Max: Torpedo Cooler Commercial

Simple yet effective in my opinion.

Coke: Dragon Siege Commercial

A short, brilliant tribute to World of Warcraft or Lord of the Rings.

Careerbuilder: Parking Lot Commercial

Haven’t us 9 to 5ers all been here before at some point in our fulfilling lives with our own respective office monkeys?

This is a bonus one since the Super Bowl is our game and our rules in our own houses. The multiple crossovers of television shows was brilliant from the oldies to the current ones.

NFL: Best. Fans. Ever. Commercial

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV Post-Game Analysis

This is one crazy battle of defenses with their stars Green Bay Packers Clay Matthews and Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Palomalu and their balanced offenses with their star wide receivers Green Bay Packers Greg Jennings and Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Wallace for the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers is fighting for his Super Bowl ring, and Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger is fighting for his third ring.  It is also the time of millions of dollars spent on a few minutes of commercial time for Super Bowl sponsors.  And lastly, it is the time for Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay Packers and football fans all around the world to enjoy lots of food, soda and alcoholic beverages. (And one final note, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones won’t be presenting the Vince Lombardi Trophy to his team in his stadium unfortunately.  For us Eagles fans and others around the nation, that is something to relish.)

Now to the post-game analysis of Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas:

  • The fumble on the kickoff by Tramon Williams was a close one early first quarter for the Green Bay Packers.  Luckily, the Green Bay Packers recovered the ball.  Otherwise, this would have been a completely different ball game.
  • Donald Driver‘s 24-yard catch from Aaron Rodgers on their first drive in the first quarter was beautiful although the offense sputtered soon afterwards that drive.
  • The Pittsburgh Steelers defense harassed Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers early and often.  James Harrison ultimately caught up with Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter with a sack.
  • Jordy Nelson‘s 29-yard reception from Aaron Rodgers gave the Green Bay Packers at the close of the first quarter their first score of the game 7-0.
  • Green Bay Packers Pro Bowl safety Nick Collins interception of Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger returned for 37 yards and their second score in late first quarter to 14-0.  Wow.
  • Steelers Ben Roethlisberger’s late first quarter 18-yard rush was impressive.
  • Green Bay Packers cornerback Jarrett Bush’s interception in the last few minutes of the second quarter led to Greg Jenning’s 21-yard touchdown to bring the Green Bay Packers 21-3.
  • Ben Roethlisberger targeted Hines Ward for much of the last series of the second half and completed an 8-yard touchdown to bring the score to 21-10 Packers.
  • This was the half of injuries to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers. Green Bay Packers Sam Shields and Charles Woodson left for the locker room for examination before the half.  Unfortunately, Charles Woodson suffered a collarbone injury and would not return.  On the opposite side of the ball, Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders would not return as well.
  • Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was more effective into the half with a 134.6 quarterback rating on 2 touchdowns and 137 yards.  Meanwhile, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was less effective at 58.3 quarterback rating on 2 interceptions, a touchdown and 143 yards passing.
  • Interestingly enough, Green Bay Packers running back James Starks was more effective at 37 yards and 5.3 yards per carry into the half.  On the other hand, Steelers Rashard Mendenhall had 3o yards and 3.8 yards per carry.
  • Black Eyed Peas midnight rave halftime was interesting to say the least. Where’s a clothing malfunction when you need one?  On the bright side, Slash’s awesome guitar shredding  redeemed the show — a little bit. Remind me to gouge my eyes out next time — and not to watch any scheduled halftime shows on the NFL Network with the Black Eyed Peas anytime soon.
  • Early third quarter, the Pittsburgh Steelers relied on the run with the combination of Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman with Mendenhall rushing for a 8-yard touchdown for a 21-17 score.
  • Late third quarter, Steelers Shaun Suisham’s 52-yard field goal miss would have brought the score to within 1 point and was costly for this Super Bowl game.
  • After the recovered fumble of Rashard Mendenhall by linebacker Desmond Bishop on the 36-yard line of the Packers, Aaron Rodgers focused on Jordy Nelson again, but Greg Jennings got an 8-yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to bring the score to 28-17 early fourth quarter.
  • Middle of the fourth quarter, Ben Roethlisberger floated a 25-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace which was beautiful, and the score was brought closer to 28-25 via a successful 2-point conversion from Ben Roethlisberger’s lateral to Antwan Randle El.
  • Steelers coach Mike Tomlin‘s (with Ben Roethlisberger) burning of timeouts in the second half of the game is still about as bad as Andy Reid’s mishandling of challenges (and sometimes timeouts).
  • The 31-yard seam pass to Greg Jennings from Aaron Rodgers was fantastic late in the fourth quarter.  Unfortunately, Rodgers dipped in the pot once too much for Jordy Nelson, and the Packers had to settle for a field goal by Mason Crosby.
  • Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers had a stunning 111.5 quarterback rating for the Super Bowl on 3 touchdowns, no interceptions and 304 yards passing.
  • Running backs of both teams were both limited in the Super Bowl. Steelers Rashard Mendenhall had only 63 yards rushing, and Packers James Starks only had 52 yards rushing.
  • The receiving corps of both teams were the stars of the Super Bowl.  The Pittsburgh Steelers duo of Mike Wallace and Hines Ward had 89 yards receiving and 78 yards receiving respectively, and both had a touchdown in this game.  The Green Bay Packers tandem of Jordy Nelson and Greg Jennings had 140 yards receiving and 64 yards receiving respectively.  Nelson had a touchdown, but Jennings had two.

This was a game of turnovers recovered by both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay packers defenses and continuously shifting momentum. Green Bay Packers moved the ball well in the first half, but the Pittsburgh Steelers moved the ball better in the second half. In the closing minutes of the game, Ben Roethlisberger attempted a two-minute drill, but he rushed his passes with the Green Bay defense closing upon his receivers. The Green Bay Packers won Super Bowl XLV with the score of 31-25 over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Vince Lombardi Trophy is returning to the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field, and Aaron Rodgers has earned his first Super Bowl ring and a well-deserved Super Bowl MVP (with a brand new Camaro).

Now that the Super Bowl is over, football fans can await the drama of the off-season, including the labor negotiations. If these don’t entertain, I’m sure we can hear from some of the diva wide receivers of the league like Terrell Owens or Chad Ochocinco Johnson tweeting their pressing concerns. We can also look forward to the Arena Football League starting March 11, and this will temporarily satiate the football craving, if the NFL lockout occurs.  And then the playoffs for the NHL will begin soon.  Lastly, the beginning of the NASCAR season starting this week in Daytona with the new rules and the newly paved three-wide racetrack.  All these should be great sporting events to follow.

Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Green Bay Packers: Super Bowl XLV Pre-Game Analysis

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Green Bay Packers are meeting in Dallas Stadium for the Super Bowl in about a week.  In the meantime, their respective teams can get some rest and perhaps recover some of those who may have been injured in their conference playoff games.  The Pittsburgh Steelers against the New York Jets was a physical game, and the Green Bay Packers against the Chicago Bears was just as physical, if not more.  For the Steelers game, their defense and their running game with Rashard Mendenhall broke the Jets backs.  And for the Green Bay Packers team, their defense and the combination of Aaron Rodgers and Greg Jennings won their game.

Now to the pre-game analysis of the Super Bowl:

Quarterbacks

Neither quarterback was particularly impressive in their last conference championship game.  The Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger had 133 yards passing, 2 interceptions and a 35.5 quarterback rating against the New York Jets; and, the Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers had 244 yards, 2 interceptions and 55.4 quarterback rating against the Chicago Bears. However, in the post-season, Aaron Rodgers is currently ranked 1st in quarterback rating at 109.2 while Ben Roethlisberger is ranked 10th with an overall quarterback rating of 75.5. During the regular season, Aaron Rodgers was similarly more effective than Ben Roethlisberger. Aaron Rodgers had 3,922 yards passing, 28 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and overall quarterback rating of 101.2, which was 3rd overall rating during the regular season.  On the other side of the ball, Ben Roethlisberger had 3,200 yards passing, 17 touchdowns, 5 interceptions and an overall quarterback rating of 97.0, which was 5th overall during the regular season.  Given these statistics, the edge goes to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers by a moderate margin.  As of this time though, Rodgers is battling a sore shoulder during a hit that occurred during his game with the Chicago Bears. It shouldn’t change things though, unless he suffers another concussion.

Running Backs

Pittsburgh Steelers primary running back Rashard Mendenhall went on a tear against the New York Jets, rushing 121 yards, 2 touchdowns and 4.5 yards per carry.  Presently, in the post-season, Mendenhall is ranked 3rd in rushing yardage, has 3 touchdowns and averaging 3.6 yards per attempt.  Mendenhall was equally impressive during the regular season, as he was ranked 7th overall in rushing yardage. He had 1,273 yards rushing, 13 touchdowns and averaged 3.9 yards per carry. His reliever Isaac Redman contributed 247 yards during the regular season and averaged 4.8 yards per carry. On the opposite side of the ball, the previously third option James Starks of the Green Bay Packers has risen in the post-season.  He is currently ranked 1st overall in rushing yardage with 263 yards rushing, a touchdown and averaging 3.8 yards per attempt in the post-season.  During the regular season, however, he had a meager 101 yards rushing and averaged 3.5 yards per carry.  His reliever, now former starter Brandon Jackson, has only 28 yards during the post-season, but he’s become more of a wide receiver during these playoffs. During the regular season, Jackson had 703 yards rushing, 3 touchdowns, averaged 3.7 yards per attempt and ranked 33rd overall.  Rashard Mendenhall and the Pittsburgh Steelers get the edge on this one by a wide margin, if Steelers coach Mike Tomlin sticks with his present gameplan.

Wide Receivers

This is one interesting battle.  Starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, their receiving duo consists of Mike Wallace and Hines Ward. Mike Wallace of the Steelers was impressive during the regular season, racking up 1,257 yards receiving, 1o touchdowns and averaged 21.0 yards per reception.  He was ranked 5th overall in receiving yardage overall during the regular season, but in the post-season, he hasn’t made an impact yet. Meanwhile, Hines Ward had 755 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 12.8 yards per reception.  With the Green Bay Packers, the tandem of Greg Jennings and James Jones were originally the pair to be reckoned with during the regular season, but Jordy Nelson has replaced James Jones as the second wide receiver threat during the playoffs.  Greg Jennings, however, is currently ranked 1st overall in the post-season with 239 yards receiving and averaging 14.1 yards per reception. During the regular season, Jennings was equally impressive.  He had 1,265 receiving yards, 12 touchdowns, averaged 16.6 yards per reception and was ranked 4th overall in receiving yards during the regular season.  Comparatively, during the regular season, James Jones had 679 yards receiving, 5 touchdowns and averaged 13.6 yards per reception, and Jordy Nelson 582 yards, 2 touchdowns and averaged 12.9 yards per reception.  During the post-season, however, Jordy Nelson currently has 146 yards, a touchdown, averaging 12.2 yards per reception and is currently ranked 5th overall in receiving yardage.  Suffice it to say, the Green Bay Packers wide receiving corps is much more of a threat than the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Packers get the edge.

Tight Ends

Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller has maintained himself as a consistent threat into the post-season, with 77 yards receiving, a touchdown and is currently ranked 19th overall in receiving yardage.  During the regular season, he had 512 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns and averaged 12.2 yards per reception. On the Green Bay side of the ball, Andrew Quarless or Donald Lee have not been much of a factor during the regular season or the post-season. During the regular season, Quarless had 238 yards receiving, a touchdown and averaged 11.3 yards per reception.  And Lee had 73 yards receiving, 3 touchdowns and averaged 6.6 yards per reception. Heath Miller and the Pittsburgh Steelers get the edge on this one by sufficient margin.

Defenses

Both of these defenses have been the difference maker during nearly all the post-season games that they have played.  During the regular season, the Steelers defense was ranked 12th against the pass, 1st against the run and 2nd overall in the league.  Their playmakers were many.  During the regular season, Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons recorded 135 tackles and was ranked 8th overall. Safety Troy Polamalu recorded 7 interceptions during the regular season and was ranked 3rd overall in the league. To date, Lawrence Timmons has 19 sacks and is 4th overall in the post-season. Linebacker James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers have contributed 3 sacks in the playoffs and is currently ranked 3rd overall. During the regular season, the Green Bay Packers defense was ranked 5th against the pass, 18th against the rush and 5th overall.  Linebacker Clay Matthews was ranked 3rd overall in sacks with 13.5 by the end of the regular season, and cornerback Tramon Williams had 6 interceptions and was ranked 5th overall in interceptions.  Both of these defensive backs have maintained their momentum into the playoffs.  Clay Matthews recorded 3.5 sacks to his name and is ranked 2nd overall currently in sacks.  And Tramon Williams is ranked 1st with 3 interceptions in the post-season with his fellow cornerback Sam Shields who is currently ranked 2nd with 2 interceptions.  In terms of numbers and playmakers, the edge goes to the Green Bay Packers, but should Mike Tomlin retain his gameplan previously, the edge should go the Pittsburgh Steelers in reality.

Coaches/Intangibles

Both of these head coaches have adapted and changed their gameplans accordingly in the playoffs.  Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and Packers coach Mike McCarthy have both relied on the run and the pass when necessary.  The talent though still runs on the side of the Green Bay Packers, although Rashard Mendenhall could possibly be featured again against the Packers.  This remains a push, although the injury to Aaron Rodgers may be a concern in the Super Bowl itself.

The Edge

The edge goes to the Green Bay Packer2 24-20, but this score may be a conservative estimate.  In any case, Aaron Rodgers should find a way to squeak one past the Pittsburgh Steelers stifling defense in the last few minutes of the game.  This game will be hard-fought between these two teams though, and it should be a physical matchup and a mental one between the coaches.