Our offseason Four Downs series ends with a look at the NFC West's biggest remaining holes and their most notable UDFA signings. The Rams and 49ers have to kick-start their passing games, Arizona's offense lacks a big dimension, and the Seahawks continue to rely on Russell Wilson's magic tricks.
04 Feb 2008
Mike Tanier: Best first quarter ever. Two good drives, clock keeps moving. 7:05 p.m. and we are a quarter of the way home. Last year's Super Bowl took three days.
(Eli Manning throws a pick to Ellis Hobbs at the New England 10-yard line with 12 minutes left in the second quarter.)
Sean McCormick: Ellis Hobbs was borrowing Jimmy Hitchcock's eyes on that play. Bad luck for Eli, but even so, the early story is the tremendous job of blitz pickup the Giants' backs are doing.
Aaron Schatz: In the second quarter, do you believe the officials should have thrown a flag on Amani Toomer when he pushed Ellis Hobbs away by the facemask, then made that great catch on the sideline? I think that was clearly offensive pass interference, although I don't take anything away from Toomer's good job getting the feet down in bounds.
Regarding penalties, clearly the officials have swallowed the whistles on holding, just like the rest of the playoffs. Since they are doing it equally for both offenses, it isn't that big a deal.
Sean McCormick: That was offensive pass interference. I would say that if the refs are going to let the players play, then it was reasonable not to call it, because Hobbs was using his hands as well and you can say both players were fighting to locate the ball. But I wouldn't have had a problem with an official throwing a flag on that play.
Ryan Wilson: Well, if it's a penalty against the Seahawks in Super Bowl XL, it should be here, I think. Also, I didn't think that was a delay of game on Eli Manning. The play clock just hit zero and I've never seen it called that early.
Mike Tanier: The Toomer catch should have been OPI. There was mutual contact but its hard to ignore a hand to the facemask.
Aaron Schatz: The Patriots need to stop sending five defenders. It is not working. Manning is fine against five. The Giants pick it up. Either send six, or send the traditional four and make sure guys are covered.
And color me shocked that the Patriots did not throw a challenge flag on the blown handoff to Ahmad Bradshaw, ruling that Pierre Woods recovered the ball and was down by contact. That was a major field position play if the Patriots win that challenge.
Russell Levine: Worse call obviously on the non-fumble recovery. That is New England ball. That is a challengeable play, is it not? Woods was clearly on the ball in possession when he was touched down.
Looked to me early on that Tom Brady was not comfortable. He failed to spot a couple of open guys and misfired a couple times.
(Late in the first half, the Patriots convert a long third down to escape the shadow of their own end zone.)
That first down conversion to Donte Stallworth on third-and-13 could end up being one of the key plays of the game even if New England doesn't score before half.
Sean McCormick: Beautiful play design, and yes, it could well prove to be a crucial play.
(The Patriots didn't score; Brady fumbled with about 15 seconds left in the half, and the ball was recovered by Osi Umenyiora.)
Aaron Schatz: And at halftime, the story of the game is that the Pats offensive line is getting completely destroyed, but the Giants offense has also looked pretty bad except for the first drive.
Doug Farrar: That's been the surprise to me through the first half. New England's line has been a clear liability. The Giants know that not even Tom Brady can get a big play off if he's running for his life all the time. Justin Tuck might earn his entire new $30 million contract in this game alone.
Also, I gained a new level of respect for Ahmad Bradshaw when I saw him carry Ty Warren about five yards. That guy's not just a scatback. I know that winning the physical battle isn't New England's game, but they have to be concerned about the fact that they're really getting pushed around.
Mike Tanier: In the first half, the Giants have been doing it with a mix of really daring blitzes and out-of-the-mind play by their big three pass rushers. But the Patriots are complicit because they are barely using their flats-and-short-crosses game. Their few screens were mostly effective. In the second half they are going to have to run more quick-strike stuff, especially if the Giants are going to send safeties.
Sean McCormick: The second half is probably going to come down to the conditioning of the Giants defensive line. In all of the Patriots comeback games -- against Indy, against Baltimore and the first Giants game -- the offense was able to make big plays in the fourth quarter after the pass rush slowed down. This is the best pass rush in football, and the Giants have the depth to hold up, but they tired down in the regular season game and it sprung Randy Moss for the deep touchdown. The Giants offense is going to continue to move the ball, and they'll probably score points But it's going to come down to the defensive line, I suspect.
Mike Tanier: Clunk. Tom Petty started "Free Fallin'" and I died of boredom. Can we get Air Supply next year?
Doug Farrar: Agreed. Anyone who actually survived the "Five Hours of Frank Caliendo" pregame show deserved better.
Sean McCormick: So, through three quarters, where does this defensive performance rank? If anything, it seems like the Giants have been more dominating than the 1990 team was against Buffalo or the 2001 Pats were against the Rams. Both those offenses moved up and down the field, but the Giants have really tamped down the yardage.
Doug Farrar: The front seven has performed as well as any I've seen in a Super Bowl. Thomas Boswell wrote a wonderful article about Mike Schmidt and Robin Yount many years ago in which he talked about the fact that we sometimes don't really understand true greatness until the player who had it retires. We know Michael Strahan because of the gap-toothed smile and the fact that he's funny and a smooth talker, and we know that he's a future Hall of Famer, but how many 36-year-old defensive ends do you know who can sack a quarterback before the guy blocking him can get out of his stance, then deflect a freakin' screen pass on a different play? Truly amazing.
Bill Belichick is going to hate himself for not taking the three and going for it on fourth down halfway through the third quarter. Aggressiveness index or not. And I wrote this before the David Tyree touchdown drive. They didn't make the Giants pay for the Eli pick, nor did they make them pay for the Chase Blackburn 12-men-on-the-field thing.
(Tom Brady throws a six-yard touchdown to Randy Moss with 2:45 left in the game, putting the Patriots up, 14-10.)
Russell Levine: Brutal decision by the Giants to go man up on Moss with no safety help on the go-ahead touchdown. Hard to fault anything about the defensive effort tonight, but that was a head-scratcher.
And David Tyree etches his name in Giants lore with that catch at the 1:15 mark, converting the third down, extending the drive, and joining Stephen Baker in Giants lore.
(Eli Manning ends the drive that was punctuated by the Tyree catch with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. The Giants win Super Bowl XLII, possibly the biggest upset in Super Bowl history.)
Mike Tanier: Well, that was intense.
One of the worst-called games by the Belichick coaching staff that I have seen. The fourth-and-13 was nuts, I hated the first-half offensive game plan, and I hated that single-coverage call at the end against Plaxico.
Absolutely amazing performance by the Giants defensive line. Count not just the sacks but the other plays, like Strahan breaking up that dumpoff to Kevin Faulk and all the times Laurence Maroney got stuffed. Amazing effort by the defensive staff to design that game plan, but a lot of it was just man-on-man dominance.
Brady had little time to throw, but he made some awful passes. Really bad game for him. Awful game for Matt Light. Awful game for Ross Hochstein. Rodney Harrison ... it wasn't just the Tyree catch; there were a lot of places where he was just a step too late or slow.
So much of this game was field position. The Patriots always had to drive 85 yards. That's why I wondered about the fourth-and-13. The Giants got the ball back and were able to play punt-and-pin again. The Giants touchdown drives were both long, but the first one could have been longer if Hanson had pinned them at the 10 instead of punting through the end zone.
This game was just another reminder of how much this sport is a game of inches and seconds. Eli eluding a sack by the fabric on his jersey. Tyree pinning the ball to his helmet. Bradshaw clawing the ball away from that linebacker in the pile. Jacobs' head and shoulders following through over Rich Seubert's body on that fourth-and-1 at the end. Suddenly we are watching the biggest upset since at least Super Bowl III.
Stuart Fraser: Strahan or Tuck should be MVP, not Eli. You don't give an offensive player the MVP award when his team scored 17 points.
Vince Verhei: I agree with you, but Tom Brady once won Super Bowl MVP for an offense that scored 13 points.
Stuart Fraser: The Any Given Sunday about this one is both really short and really long. The short version is "The Giants D-Line absolutely took the game over."
A slightly longer version notes that the Giants linebackers and secondary tackled very well, limiting the yards after catch on short passes that often kill teams going against the Patriots. After the first Giants game, we talked about how the Patriots were like Tiger Woods, how they could be beaten, but you had to execute to the best of their ability play after play after play, drive after drive. You know what? The Giants' defense did just that tonight. Congratulations to them, and to Steve Spagnuolo for the game plan. I wish him luck as head coach of the Redskins, because I think he just won that job tonight.
Whilst the Giants were playing the perfect game -- at least on one side of the ball -- the New England offense was misfiring on almost all cylinders. Maybe it wasn't 2001 or 1985, but 2005: the AFC Divisional round, where the sixth seed Steelers stopped the AFC's No. 1 Indianapolis offense with a pass rush, and the offense did enough to win out. Brady's stats -- 29 of 48 (60.4 percent) for 266 yards and a touchdown -- echo Manning's 22 of 38 (57.9 percent) for 290 yards and a touchdown, and each was sacked five times. The Patriots almost managed to win anyway -- and if they'd gone to the short passing game with both Moss and Wes Welker in the first half, maybe we'd be talking about Belichick's genius for adjustment again.
But while the offensive game plan for New England (and the call to leave Hobbs man-up on Plaxico Burress for the winning score, because we didn't learn that this was a bad idea on the freaking first series of the previous matchup, not at all) was horrid, the execution was worse. Rushers came unblocked much of the time. Brady handled the pressure poorly -- I mean, he was being hit all the time in the first Giants game, too, but it didn't seem to slow him down all that much. Maybe he was more injured than the Patriots let on.
And where do we put the 2007 Patriots in the sporting pantheon? Now it's easy: Best team not to win the Super Bowl.
Doug Farrar: They are absolutely the 1968 Colts, in my mind. Same "best team ever?" speculation, their quarterback was the NFL MVP, and they were beaten by a team that had weathered some major regular season struggles to win while the "better" team struggled in the big game. That Colts team won their Super Bowl two years later, so we'll just have to see what this means for the Patriots. Of course, Don Shula and Earl Morrall rose from that defeat to find perfection with the '72 Dolphins. But that's the question for the Pats now -- are they the 1968 Colts, with enough left in the tank for another run, or are they the 2001 Rams, where it's all about to go downhill and stay there for a while?
Sean McCormick: Another parallel with 2001: Remember how the Pats played the Rams unexpectedly tough but lost, then went on to not lose another game all year? It's more impressive when you get that loss in Week 8 than Week 17, but you can argue that the same dynamic was in effect. The Giants clearly used that game as a springboard.
Russell Levine: It seems that perhaps an older Pats team wore down at the end of the year. They had to grind out a few over the second half of the season and appeared beatable in all three playoff games. The accusations of running up the score against Washington, et al., seem like a long time ago.
Ridiculously early speculation, part I: You have to wonder how the Pats will bounce back from this. They suddenly look mortal, and the defense is awfully long in the tooth. Asante Samuel could be gone. They're potentially staring at an off-season spent combating more allegations and, if they're proven, further sanctions. They're already missing a No. 1 pick. I can't imagine they won't be huge favorites heading into next season, but watching their psyche next year should be awfully interesting.
Sean McCormick: In Vegas, maybe. Looking at the likely personnel changes, I would give San Diego the best odds of winning next year, followed by Indianapolis. New England would be third. As you said, they looked old and worn out, and they're going to be losing a lot on defense in the offseason.
Mike Tanier: Junior Seau should go. Harrison should go. But they still have a very young core.
Stuart Fraser: They're missing a No. 1 pick. They have San Francisco's, which is substantially higher than the No. 31 they've forfeited.
If they can bring back Randy Moss, then all the key components of the offense remain in place. I'm sure Belichick (assuming he's back and Spygate doesn't become a critical mess) is capable of doing what Tony Dungy has done, and holding together a defense which is good enough despite the roster turnover.
Also, frankly, who else is going to win the AFC East?
Vince Verhei: I'm trying to find a metaphor that describes my surprise.
I feel like I have learned which religion is correct, and it is not my own.
I feel like aliens have been walking among us, and they have chosen to reveal themselves en masse.
I feel like my life has been one great science experiment, and I am not in the control group.
I've got a mini-notebook filled with play-by-play notes and reactions, but ... we all saw the game. The Patriots' pass protection was futile. If the Giants blitzed, the blitzer came through unblocked. If they rushed four, those four got pressure anyway. The Patriots were outschemed (Steve Spagnuolo is a genius) and outmanned.
When Brady did have time, he was highly erratic. One example: He's got Randy Moss open on first-and-goal in the fourth quarter, and throws it way high and outside. Didn't matter much, because he found him on third down, but it was the most notable example of his un-Brady day.
The Patriots got away from their identity for the first 55 minutes of this game. Where were the slants and quick outs? They didn't show up until that last touchdown drive. It seemed like Brady was looking for the home run every play, and some of those sacks came because he held the ball too long.
I still can't believe this, but the Patriots were completely outcoached today.
I'm not sure what exactly to say about the Giants offense vs. the Patriots defense -- that's the only part of this game that went largely as expected. Eli Manning was great again, really going without a turnover (that interception was clearly not his fault, and the Giants recovered both of his fumbles) and leading two go-ahead drives in the fourth quarter. Is that a Super Bowl first?
So, here's what we say about the Giants: They were a very ordinary team for 17 weeks. They then caught absolute fire (Has any team ever beaten three better teams than Dallas/Green Bay/New England in the playoffs?) and won the Super Bowl. Why did that catch us off guard? Because there was no indication this was going to happen. It's unprecedented. It's inexplicable. It defies all rational thought.
Unfortunate advertising note: The NFL Network is doing a replay of the game on Wednesday. The commercial for this replay (which has been running for days) ends with Tedy Bruschi pumping his fist and screaming "That's how you finish!" Oh boy.
And I do not understand the fourth-and-13 call, particularly because they opted to punt on fourth-and-2 in the same drive before being bailed out by the 12-men penalty. I mean, fourth-and-13? Even if you're worried about a missed field goal moving the ball back eight yards further, well, I'd punt the ball from there before I'd go for it, and no, I'm not kidding. Worst-case scenario if you punt, Giants have the ball at the 20, instead of getting it at the 31, which is what actually happened. Really, that just made no sense at all. Which I guess makes it perfect for this day.
Stuart Fraser: Something else to think about: It's time to re-evaluate Tom Coughlin. He made the expansion Jacksonville Jaguars a winning team from their second year, and gave the franchise an identity it's held onto with Jack Del Rio and would be a widely recognized success story if it weren't stuck in Jacksonville.
He turned Tiki Barber into a great back, much as Barber is loath to admit this. He was smart enough -- and man enough -- to know when a coaching style wasn't working in New York and changed it to suit his players. And now he's won a ring and he's clearly out-coached Bill Belichick in so doing. He's 103-89, which is pretty much the same winning percentage as Jeff Fisher -- and he did most of it with an expansion team. Maybe he's not quite up there with the absolute best, but he's laid down another piece of what's shaping up to be a pretty good legacy.
Aaron Schatz: As far as Coughlin, nobody ever said he was not a good in-game coach. What we said was that his personality wore down his players over a few years, and we all believed we had gotten to that point. Clearly, he dramatically altered the way he interacted with his players this year, and it was very successful come the postseason. He gets a lot of credit for that. It's one thing to change your play-calling strategy. Not everyone can take a step back and say, "Wow, I'm an a**hole and it is hurting my ability to get the most from my employees. I need to change." -- and then actually change, and succeed. It is impressive.
Oh, and Jeff Feagles was swell. Someone should mention that.
Doug Farrar: I'm glad we're talking as much about the Giants as we are, because I think it would be horribly unfair to tell the story of this Super Bowl as the game the Patriots lost, not the game the Giants won. A lot of people are going to do that, and it's just not right.
As much as Brady was off with his passes, the Giants' pass rush was tripping him up all day, and Justin Tuck should have been the MVP, because he stopped Brady from being able to step up and throw when the pressure came from the sides, and Brady finally had the chance to go play action only late in the game when that front four tired out. The New England offensive line played like crap, but that was as good a front seven as you'll ever see in a Super Bowl. Antonio Pierce was a freak with the screens and outside runs. New England couldn't get anything going long because they didn't have time, and they couldn't get consistent short gains because the defense was set up for that as well.
There are a few comparisons that come to mind. Aaron and I had a long phone conversation after the game, and we were gong through the different trends and comparisons. Vince said it best -- there is no historical precedent for this. The 2001 Pats got hot a lot earlier in the season. The 2005 Steelers, who beat the NFL's best offenses on the road on the way to their championship, were rated far higher by FO's numbers -- better in team efficiency than the Seahawks. The 2006 Colts got hot later, but we know that they were good enough to win from what they had done in their previous year. The 2003 Panthers were a bit more decisive in the playoffs, and they didn't beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
I don't think there is a Giants comparison, unless we go back through the 12 years of game-by-game DVOA we have and look for trend graphs which indicate teams that got very hot late, so that we can maybe, just maybe, explain why the hell this happened. Aaron mentioned to me the fact that had FO existed in 2001, he would have been all over the Rams to beat the Pats in the Super Bowl, because while there was a perceived chance that New England could win, the Rams were on the tail end of their "greatest of all time" swing.
We like to think that we can use DVOA 5.0 (or 6.0 or 7.0, eventually) to map it all out, but we know we can't cover it all. There are intangibles such as emotion and chemistry and contrasting hot and cold streaks, and the sheer weight of momentum that defines a team either way. I thought that the Pats would win this game by 30, because I didn't think that I'd see the New England team I'd seen over the last six weeks -- the one that has won game after game by the thinnest of margins on borrowed time. In each of those games (except the Baltimore game, which they should have lost and somehow just didn't), glaring vulnerabilities were covered up by excellence in other areas. Well, I was right. I didn't see the team I had seen before. I saw the team with all of those vulnerabilities and none of the compensatory aspects that would have won the game.
And the Giants were a juggernaut. What an unbelievable performance. I want the Seahawks to fire Jim Mora and hire Steve Spagnuolo as Mike Holmgren's replacement. I want Brandon Mebane to play like Justin Tuck and Patrick Kerney to be half as good as Michael Strahan in six years. I want Shaun Alexander to carry Ty Warren on his back for five yards instead of getting tackled for losses by waterboys. I love physical teams, and I'm just jealous.
Aaron Schatz: I don't understand the fourth-and-13 either. Belichick coached horribly tonight, the offensive line was horrible, Brady looked bad -- but at least give Brady credit for leading a game-winning drive. The fact that the defense couldn't hold that lead doesn't make it less impressive, just like the failure of the Carolina defense in 2003 didn't make Jake Delhomme's performance any less impressive. This is two straight years the Patriots have blown the last game in the fourth quarter, and it is time to accept that they need younger linebackers and more depth.
The Giants' defensive line is amazing. The MVP of this game should have been given to Tuck, Strahan, Umenyiora, all together. Eli Manning was impressive again, although giving him the MVP is silly. The interception wasn't even really a bad throw. The Washington Redskins are insane if they do not offer their head coaching job to Steve Spagnuolo after this. I feel very good for Michael Strahan, a sure Hall of Famer who finally got a ring. I feel terrible for Junior Seau, a sure Hall of Famer who did not.
And don't forget Jacksonville when you talk about the teams most likely to knock the Pats off their perch next year.
Pat Laverty: I think one aspect of the defensive scheme that's being overlooked is the Giants' linebackers. The counter to that kind of DLine pressure is screens. The Patriots are the best in the business at running the screen and they tried it many times, but each time they did, it seemed that Maroney/Faulk/Welker just got hit by Mitchell/Pierce/et al as soon as they touched the ball. It seemed the Giants' linebackers had it sniffed out really well and shed the blockers really well.
Tuck/Strahan/Osi can get all the pressure they want on Brady, but if he's dumping off for 15-20 yard screen plays, Tuck doesn't look so good. The play of the linebackers in taking away the screens forced Brady to look a little more downfield and sit in the pocket for another moment or so.
Aaron Schatz: This is definitely a place where Spagnuolo's scheme for the Super Bowl took away what was a clear weakness of the Giants defense in the regular season.
Ned Macey: Analytically, I think an even better comparison for the Pats is the 1999 Rams. That team had an offense come out of nowhere and just throttle teams. By the playoffs, teams had adjusted, and they won two low-scoring defensive struggles to escape with a Super Bowl. Their full-season DVOA and Pythagorean ratings are through the roof because they pounded teams early.
My point is that the Pats' overall metrics were inflated because of the newness of their offense. Once countered, they became merely great rather than otherworldly.
New England's offensive DVOA averaged 51.1% through eight games. The last 8 weeks, it averaged 34.5% which is in line with other great offenses. I think this offense, once figured out, is no better than the Greatest Show on Turf or the great Colts offenses. Those are teams with a history of proving they can lose a playoff game.
To go further, their scoring differential through eight games was 331-127. The second half of the year, it was 258-147. We explained it away, naturally enough, as bad weather or the weight of the undefeated season, but I suspect that these Pats were not as good as we thought they were. Of course, I have free access to write whatever I want and never had the balls to write this until after they were upset in the Super Bowl. Still, hindsight is 20/20, and the Pats were definitively not dominant in the second half of the season.
I think everyone's reaction to Spagnuolo is a little odd. The Giants, to our eyes, were an average team who got on a hot streak. Their defense was an average defense who got on a hot streak (and, per Aaron in the preview, didn't really improve in the playoffs until the Super Bowl.) In the regular season, they were no better than they were the year before.
Then, they have one great game against what I suspect was a wildly overconfident opponent, and we're sure this guy is a coaching legend in the making? I'm not saying he won't be great, but if the Giants win was just "anything can happen in one game," I'm going to hold the same standard to the defensive coordinator. Especially since he got abused by this same team in Week 17; somehow I doubt he was holding plays for an eventual Super Bowl at that time.
Finally, in Super Bowl XXXVI against the Rams, Brady was 16-for-27 for 145 yards with one touchdown, and the offense scored 13 points. Today, he was 29-for-48 for 266 with one touchdown, and the offense scored 14 points. One time he was Super Bowl MVP, and the other time, he had a bad game.
Stuart Fraser: There was, maybe, one indicator from the Week 17 game we might have missed, though I don't know if we even have game charting data on it yet. The Giants had a ton of QB hits and hurries in that game. The Patriots barely got to Eli until the fourth quarter. We think, but haven't shown, that hits/hurries are often a harbinger of sacks to come. Well, certainly happened here. I wonder if in some way the Arizona surface was easier to play on for the Giants' speed rushers over the Patriots larger linemen when compared to the Meadowlands. Maybe New York just played better. Maybe the linemen the Patriots used in the first game are actually better pass protectors than the guys ahead of them on the depth chart, at least against the sort of rush the Giants brought.
This is the third straight year that a team has come from nowhere (or some value of nowhere) to win the Super Bowl. DVOA 5.0 is 1-for-3 on picking these out (it thinks the 2005 Steelers were about 5 percent off the #1 Colts). Unfortunately, the Super Bowl it picked was kind of retrospective.
It seems in general that maybe we're entering a different era here, where regular season performance is, for whatever reason, less indicative of playoff performance. A commenter on the board noted how the wild cards have had greater success since the NFL went to 32 teams, so maybe that's part of the cause. Maybe it's a change in the frequency of injuries - there's no such thing as avoiding injuries in the regular season, but the teams that break out in the playoffs are always pretty healthy.
Obviously we'll have to look at the Giants -- and the Patriots -- to see if there's anything we should have seen. It'd be nice to have DVOA for the run and shoot offenses of the early 1990's, to see if DVOA was systematically overrating the Patriots for some reason - I don't see why it should be, but I'm kind of used to the experimental data confounding expectations. I can't see any way we could have predicted this, but... well, we still have to look.
Aaron Schatz: I should clear up a misconception about the improvements we made to the formula in 2006. I didn't spend a month doing numbers with the express goal of making the 2005 Steelers look better than the 2005 Seahawks. The goal was to make the numbers correlate better to winning and from one year to the next over a 10-year period, not a one-year period. The fact that the changes moved the 2005 Steelers up to third in the league that year are simply a coincidence.
As far as this team, nothing that has happened for the past month changes the fact that the Giants were mediocre during the regular season. The indicators just weren't there. This team gave up 44 points to Tarvaris Jackson and the Minnesota Vikings less than two months ago. That's what makes this accomplishment remarkable. That's why the Giants will go down in history for doing something incredible -- not by luck, but by not accepting their regular-season level of mediocrity, and raising their game for the postseason, and overcoming the hardest schedule of opponents of any Super Bowl champion in history, and taking down the team that had just completed the greatest regular season ever. The proper response to an upset is to celebrate success, not to rejoice in failure.
As for me as a Patriots fan, I'm surprisingly serene about the loss. Obviously, it is a disappointment, but they were outplayed. The better team for five months isn't always the better team over a three-hour period, and you don't get the trophy for being better over five months. We learned that in 2001 when we were on the other end of this. The fact is, we got three championships out of this team. We've had seven years of winning football. This year was an amazing ride. This team added a lot more happiness to my life over the last few years than it did sadness last night. Furthermore, that had to be one of the most exciting Super Bowls ever played. Bummer for my team, but man, it was a really exciting game, especially if you like defense.
Onwards to 2008. In a couple days, we'll start talking about how to rebuild the Atlanta Falcons, and the whole cycle starts anew.
(P.S. We apologize for the problems our hosting company seems to be having today... this time it isn't even our server specifically.)
351 comments, Last at 09 Feb 2013, 1:02am by poussette-double