Postgame Spread
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

MVP debate, other Superbowl loose ends    

I've been thinking hard about this, because my initial reaction was really:

1) That I would have liked to Rhodes get at least a share of the award, and...

2) That the people saying the choice of Manning was stupid were underestimating how good he was that game.

The stats don't really show it, and that interception was horrible, but starting from there I think he managed the game pretty brilliantly. He had a number of passes straight up dropped by his receivers--which I don't blame them for, obviously that rain was really hard to hold onto the ball in--and he was responsible, as much as or more than the running game, for keeping the Chicago defense on the field for as long as they were.

My most recent thought was that maybe the MVP should have gone to the offensive line, which opened up those huge holes that allowed the Colts to run the ball so well in the second half. Don't get me wrong, I think Addai and especially Rhodes had some phenomenal runs, and a number of the most exciting plays. But they also both got stuffed pretty bad a couple of times and did their best running, I think, behind really excellent blocking. And do you credit Addai or Manning for all of those play action passes back to Addai for 3-4 yards? All Addai really had to do there was catch, and all Manning really had to do was throw. Credit the coaching I guess, or the Bears' inflexible defensive game plan for leaving it open all game.

Anyway, so after all that, I'm back to thinking that a Rhodes/Addai co-MVP would probably have been the best choice, but honestly not by that much. I think pieces like this are underestimating how good Manning was, considering the rain and considering all the things he does besides throw the ball. I think how much better his stats would have been without simple drops is important, and I think how well he kept the Bears defense on the field was crucial to how great the offensive line was, which was crucial to how great the running was. Maybe it's just the best example I've seen in a while of things that are always true about football games (it's a team game blah blah blah), but I think feeling confident about a good choice is a tough call. Do you guys agree? What don't you agree with?

Also, I'm glad to have seen this piece today about the Colts' conservative playcalling. I don't know much about this ZEUS system, and I'm willing to admit that in the circumstances (in a Superbowl, in the rain, when you already have the lead, against Rex Grossman), you play conservatively. But it's nice to see a little validation, however potentially inaccurate, that my predictable calls to go for it on 4th were not completely stupid. Did other folks think the Colts' playcalling was a little on the conservative side? Does the rain make all the difference?

Finally, with all of the hype about Dungy being the first black coach to win and all (not to mention all the bizarre adds competing to show their love of African-Americans), I do think it's important that we keep this in mind. It's great, but let's not assume that one all-black-coached superbowl says that much about how teams approach black head coaches in general. On the other hand, the Pittsburgh signing was a big deal, etc. But anyway.

OK, that's it. The Colts won the Superbowl. Now, if I could only find some good progressive thinkers to root for in sports...

4 Comments:

  • The Colts' clear MVP was Rex Grossman.
    Failing giving the award straight up his ass, i really don't care who they give it to.

    By Blogger Alex, at 4:28 PM  

  • Ah, so that's where the "loose ends" bit comes in.

    By Blogger Jeff, at 4:31 PM  

  • Is an MVP really necessary for every game? Grossman aside, no 1 player made that much of a difference, other than that Kelvin guy.

    By Blogger K1, at 9:34 PM  

  • Oh, btw. I'm posting now as K1, that other guy from the colts is obviously #2.

    By Blogger K1, at 9:35 PM  

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