When Pete Carroll handed a free Super Bowl to the Patriots a few years ago, Dan Quinn was standing right next to him. Of all the people on earth who would learn from Carroll’s mistake, you’d think it would be Dan Quinn. Wrong.
From that fateful moment, you would think that Dan Quinn’s over-riding motivation in life would be, “If I ever get a chance to win a Super Bowl, I vow to never make the same horrendous mistake as Pete Carroll.” Quinn not only made the same mistake once. He made it twice. In the 4th quarter, no less.
He had a 16-point lead with 7+ minutes left, facing a 3rd and inches. He allowed a pass play.
He also had an 8-point lead with 3+ minutes left, inside of chipshot field goal range. He allowed a pass play.
If Quinn would have learned from the Pete Carroll fiasco in either of those cases, the Falcons would be world champions today. Instead, you know what happened.
To me, those insane play calls were the most frustrating part of the Super Bowl. But there are more.
The old saying is that if you “play not to lose, you lose.” Somehow, calling a rushing play became synonymous with “playing not to lose” so much, that certain coaches bought into it. Carroll and Quinn certainly did. They feel that ramming a ball down the opponents throat is playing not to lose, so they call passing plays in the most obvious rushing scenarios ever. You have a 16-point lead with 7+ minutes left, needing only inches to keep the clock moving? You call a rush. That is not playing to lose. That is winning a Super Bowl.
It’s frustrating that we now have to watch Edelmman’s “miracle” catch, as they are calling it. Instead of calling it like it truly was: He saw the ball resting on some dude’s leg, and he grabbed it. Luck, yes. Miracle, huh? We’ll have to watch that play a million times, when it should be Brady’s pick 6 that we remember as the play of the day.
It’s frustrating that Matt Ryan reverted to his choke label, turning in a terrible 4th quarter when everyone in the world was watching. He had a reputation for choking in the big games, and boy did he prove no one wrong. The sack-fumble was first, and that one hurt. Ryan was absolutely oblivious, fading back as if he thought a pass rush was against the rules. Yes, the lineman missed his block, but guess what? Linemen miss blocks all the time. You have to always expect it in the back of your mind. Ryan expected nothing. And because of his fumble and Dan Quinn’s pass play, the Patriots suddenly only had to march 30 yards.
The second sack did not result in the a fumble, but still Matt Ryan choked badly. How could he not expect the rush? How could he not throw the ball away, or at least lunge forward to keep the team in field goal range? These were both incredible mental errors from Matty Iceberg, and his team lost because of it.
It’s frustrating that the Falcon defense gave up 5 touchdowns (if you count the two-point conversions as TDs that New England had to score) in the last 17 minutes or so of game time. They shifted into a mini-prevent defense, and it showed. They also were exhausted from being on the field all day, and by the time that overtime came around, they were dead. In all my years of covering the Patriots, I never saw an easier drive than the overtime TD drive.
Listening to Patriots fans today is no picnic either. These morons actually think their team earned the victory, instead of realizing how incredibly lucky they are to have faced two of the most stupidest coaches in sports history in their last two Super Bowls. Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer simply gave away championships, and there are no two ways about it.
Am I missing anything? What are you guys frustrated by?