How we got to an unwatchable Super Bowl
Two games, two dramatically different results. One I have plenty to say about. The other not so much.
The AFC Championship game kicked off our Sunday with a bang.
The Jaguars were obvious underdogs to the Patriots dynasty, but that was probably the least hyped storyline of the week.
Instead, we heard stories about the two quarterbacks. Nonstop news about Tom Brady’s right hand injury. Can he even play well, if at all? Blake Bortles got thrown under the bus by other teams’ players, media pundits and opposing fans. Can he handle the pressure?
When the ball was kicked off and the clock started, we saw both those stories collide in an explosion. Brady can, in fact, tear through the best defense in the league with 10 stiches above his thumb. Bortles is not a sham, and he delivered the goods in almost every way possible.
The Patriots won 24-20 in Foxborough. Jacksonville will sit at home instead of making their first ever Super Bowl appearance. That’s tough, and it could have been prevented.
There were two major moments that sealed the win for the Patriots.
The first was with a minute left in the first half. New England had just scored to make it 14-10, and the Jaguars have the ball on their own 30-yard line with two timeouts left.
They kneel and head to the locker room. Kneel? You’re playing the Patriots, for crying out loud! They will come back, and they will beat you unless you take every chance you get to score points. That’s terrible coaching and an opportunity now buried deep underneath red and blue confetti.
The second was in the third quarter with Jacksonville up 20-10. It’s third-and-13 on the Patriots’ 25-yard line. Brady takes the snap, looks and fires a wobbly ball to Danny Amendola on the 40-yard line. Caught. First down. Patriots go on to score a few plays later, putting them that much closer to the inevitable. New England outmuscled and outplayed the Jaguars on that play and it cost them.
Cashing in on either of those opportunities would have (probably) won Jacksonville the game. Alas, the Patriots did what the Patriots do: win. Frustrating.
The NFC Championship was not nearly as interesting. The Eagles obliterated the Vikings 38-7.
I watched the majority of this game completely dumbfounded. I was wrong about Nick Foles. The Philly quarterback stepped up in ways I never thought he was capable of. He was timely and accurate with his throws and commanded the Eagles offense confidently. I always knew the Eagles defense was good, but I had no idea the offense could fire like this.
Minnesota looked helpless after its first touchdown drive. I wanted them to win, so that fan base could keep riding the miracle win high from last week. Also, I think the skull clap is pretty cool. I think the Vikings were a better team than what they put on the field Sunday, but there was clearly some subconscious distraction there.So now we’ll have arguably my two least favorite teams in sports competing in Super Bowl LII. The chances are good that I won’t watch it. Super Sunday looks more like Ordinary Sunday for me.