Tag Archives: Super Bowl

On Football: Baltimore Ravens Win Super Bowl XLVII; Patriots Offseason Talk

Baltimore QB and Super Bowl XLVII MVP Joe Flacco holds the Lombardi Trophy after the Ravens 34-31 in New Orleans (Picture/Sports Illustrated).

by CAMERON MERRITT

NEW ORLEANS – From a 33-minute blackout to a 22-point rally, big runs to a battle of brothers, and the final game of a future hall of famer, this year’s Super Bowl was definitely a memorable one.

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the San Francisco 49ers 34-31 to win the franchise’s second Super Bowl. Quarterback Joe Flacco was named the game’s MVP, throwing for 287 yards with three touchdowns in his first ever trip to the big game. It was also, of course, the final game of linebacker Ray Lewis’s career, and the always emotional veteran was going out a champion.

When the game started, all the talking, the speculation, and pre-game ceremonies was over. It was time for a champion to be crowned, and nothing mattered more than what happened on the field. It was the game every football player dreamed of playing in, and winning, and that dream was about to become a reality for one side’s players, many of which, including the both Flacco and 49ers backup turned starter sensation quarterback Colin Kaepernick, had never made it to the big stage before.

The Ravens struck first, scoring on their first drive with a leaping grab in the end zone by wide receiver Anquan Boldin off of Flacco’s 13-yard pass. The PAT following by Justin Tucker put Baltimore up early with a 7-0 lead. The 49ers would get on the scoreboard later in the quarter, but only on a 36-yard field goal by David Akers to make it 7-3. The quarter ended with an interception thrown by Kaepernick, the first time in Super Bowl history a Niners quarterback had done so, and the Ravens would make them pay.

Ten plays later, the Ravens capitalized on the turnover with a one-yard pass to tight end Dennis Pitta to give the team a wider 14-3 lead over the favored 49ers. That lead would grow even more a few minutes later with a 56-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jacoby Jones that made it 21-3. San Francisco, being unexpectedly outplayed, was able to manage another field goal before the end of the half, as Akers put it through the uprights from 27 yards out on his second chance, after the Ravens had been called for roughing the kicker on the previous try, which Akers had missed. A disappointed Niners, and an exuberate Ravens, team walked into the locker room with an unexpected 21-6 Baltimore lead.

After a halftime that featured Beyoncé and a reunion of her famous girl group Destiny’s Child, the 49ers came out hoping to get themselves back in the ballgame, but matters only got worse as Jacoby Jones returned the kickoff a Super Bowl record 108 yards and the Ravens were now up 28-6, inn what looked like to many was about to become a Big Easy blowout.

However, that was not to be as an unexpected power outage left half of the Superdome in darkness early in the third quarter. After 33 minutes of confusion and repairs, the game was back on, and so were the 49ers, who came out of the darkness as an entirely different team. Kaepernick connected with one of his favorite targets, Michael Crabtree, for a 31-yard touchdown to close the gap a little bit more, to 28-13. On their next drive a few minutes later, running back Frank Gore made a six-yard touchdown run, and on their next drive, a 34-yard field goal by Akers brought San Francisco within a touchdown of the Ravens, who still lead 28-23, but had seemingly switched roles with their opponent since the lights came back on. The Ravens also lost veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata came out of the game late in the third quarter with a knee sprain.

The Ravens started to fight back early in the fourth quarter when a 19-yard field goal by Tucker made it more than a one score game at 31-23. However, Kaepernick lead the 49ers down the field on the next drive, including his own 15-yard touchdown run, to put the game at a much closer 31-29, but the attempt at the two point conversion to tie the game failed as Kaepernick could not connect with one of his receivers and the ball went wide of them.

When Baltimore got the ball back, all they could manage was a 38-yard field goal, and San Francisco now had the ball with the chance to win it with a touchdown. The 49ers would end up brining it to the red zone, but the Ravens defense stood up and shut them out on all four chances from scoring the game winner.

The Ravens, with the ball and only seconds remaining, had their punter Sam Koch run time off the clock & take a safety, which made it 34-31. After the Niners couldn’t finish off the run on the next punt, both Ravens fans, players, an coaches exploded with excitement as Super Bowl champs.

“It’s no greater way, as a champ, to go out on your last ride with the men that I went out with, with my teammates,” said a joyous Lewis in the post game celebration. “And you looked around this stadium and Baltimore! Baltimore! We coming home, baby! We did it!”

Flacco, who threw 11 touchdowns and no interceptions throughout the entire playoffs, including three in the Super Bowl, was named the game’s MVP. During the first half especially, he had been unstoppable, managing to make big passes for first yards even as he was under serious pressure or getting hit.

“They have to give it to one guy and I’m not going to complain that I got it,” joked Flacco.

A disappointed Kaepernick walked off the field and a dejected Gore was spotted sitting on the bench has purple and black confetti rained down. Coming back from such a large deficit to only lose in the final seconds made the defeat even more crushing.

“It’s very tough,” said 49ers coach John Harbaugh, after losing to his brother Jim’s Ravens. “It’s a lot tougher than I thought it was going to be. It’s very painful.”

The two brothers met at midfield, as coaches do, and while emotions were still high, they were still brothers.

While it was hard for Niners Nation to swallow the loss, there was also disappointment in Patriots Nation, watching the team that had beat theirs in Foxborough only two weeks before, being crowned champions.

The Patriots, like the Ravens the year before, will bow have vengeance and redemption working towards them next year, as they’ll look to surpass the Ravens, make their way back to the big game, and try to finally get that fourth ring that has eluded the Brady-Belichick pair for almost a decade.

Perhaps the Pats will have a champion from this year joining them. Some have speculated that veteran Ravens cornerback Ed Reed, who made the game’s only interception of a pass intended for former Patriot Randy Moss, will test free agency and could be shipping up to Boston to provide needed help to a secondary that struggled over the past season, especially in the AFC Championship Game when Aqib Talib went out in the first quarter. Reed and Belichick are known for their mutual respect, and Reed has possibly hinted at joining him someday, saying he could see himself as a Patriot someday.

The 2012 NFL season has come to close and the offseason has begun. Teams will meet again in April for the 2013 NFL Draft, then new and old pieces will join together in July for training camp, and looking forward to new chances in a brand new year.

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Super Bowl Result Perfect For Patriots’ Fans

By: Alex Reimer

The result could not have been better for Patriots’ fans. The Steelers lost to the Packers, and will no longer “invade the conversation” regarding which franchise owned the 2000’s.

Even though he played relatively poorly, the game was still there for Ben Roethlisberger at the end. The ball was deep in Pittsburgh territory with a little less than 2 minutes to go. Down by 6 points, only roughly 80 yards stood between Big Ben and football immortality. With 3 Super Bowl victories in 6 years, Roethlisberger would have had to not be included with the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but also the likes of Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana.

But the Steelers came up short, and even though they faltered a bit in the 3rd quarter, the Green Bay Packers were crowned Super Bowl champions.

Aaron Rodgers was a more than deserving Super Bowl MVP, finishing the game with 304 yards and 3 touchdown passes. Nobody played better down the stretch than Rodgers, who at 27 years old has now cemented himself in the conversation among the game’s elite quarterbacks. Those 3 years on the bench behind Brett Favre seems to have paid off, just like Steve Young’s time behind Joe Montana paid off and yes, like Tom Brady’s time behind Drew Bledsoe paid off.

The window of opportunity appears to be wide open for the Packers, though admittedly it appears wide open for every champion. But the Packers may be a special case, as they won the Super Bowl with 16 players on IR. That wasn’t all though, as both Donald Driver and Charlos Woodson left midway through Super Bowl 45 due to injuries (by the way, the field last night appeared to be in terrible condition. It was by all accounts a wretched Super Bowl week in Dallas).

Any team with a QB like Rodgers, a receiving core featuring the likes of Greg Jennings, and a defense like that will likely contend for the title every year.

Ironically enough, to tie it back to the Patriots, the hometown team actually had a little bit to do with that. Bill Belichick traded up in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft to select Chad Jackson, leaving the Packers to take Jennings. The Patriots chose to not select Clay Matthews in 2009, instead opting for a collection of picks, which they turned into Darius Butler, Julian Edelman, and Rob Gronkowski. Dom Capers, Green Bay’s defensive coordinator, was an assistant under Belichick in 2008 and was let go after the season.

It was not by any means a perfect game last night, with both teams making several mistakes. Rashard Mendenhall fumbled in the 2nd half, setting up what was the deciding Green Bay touchdown drive. The Packers did not play all that well early in the 3rd quarter, and also got flagged for an “excessive celebration” penalty.

But the Packers played well enough to win and the Steelers played well enough to get there. In a lot of ways, Super Bowl 45 was a microcosm of today’s NFL: The theatrics were a bit overdone (Christina Aguilera butchering the national anthem, the Black Eyed Peas dressing up as…boxes), the football was good not great, and all of it led to an exciting game which was the most watched television event in US history.

The NFL as a league is on another planet at the moment. This is in large part due to the fact that parity reigns supreme, and nothing showed that more than last night. Neither team was perfect, which added to the enjoyment.

That was, except for Aaron Rodgers. And the result…for Patriots’ fans at least.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 3-5 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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Bad Weather In Dallas? Just Wait Until Super Bowl 48 in New Jersey!

By: Russell Simon

Surprisingly much of the pre Super Bowl talk this year has been about weather. The ice and snow have put a damper on festivities and injured 6 individuals who were hit by falling ice from the stadium. While everyone is shocked at the weather in Dallas they won’t be when Super Bowl 48 is be played 20 minutes from my House in East Rutherford, NJ. This is one of the most ridiculous decisions the NFL has made it recent years. We’ve had three blizzards already this winter and I haven’t seen grass since before Christmas. The NFL is setting itself up for something like this to happen in Super Bowl 48…The Super Bowl is on the line. The kicker stands ready to kick the field goal to either win the game or loose it. The crowd stands breathless, waiting to see if the Super Bowl will end 5-3 or 6-5. It’s snowing again at New Meadowlands Stadium, more then a foot now, and the temperature has dipped below 15 degrees. The snap, spot, and the hold is botched in the snow, game over. While this is the NFL’s worst nightmare it could very well be a reality since the 2014 Super Bowl will be played in East Rutherford New Jersey, in February, at night. Considering the winter that the tri-state area has had this year, it is mind boggling to consider that a Super Bowl will be played here. Here’s why this is a bad idea…

It Is Bone Chillingly Cold At New Meadowlands Stadium In February
The weather tonight at 6 p.m. at the home of Super Bowl 48 is a balmy 38 degrees, wind-chill 33, with a 90% chance of rain. Are you ready for some football!?!? While the organizers of Super Bowl 48 will tell fans to “Bring your Coats” They are dreaming. Having been to dozens of Jets games (By the way wasn’t that divisional round game between us and the Pats just GREAT) in January they should be telling fans “Bring your under armour, turtleneck, long sleeve shirt, fleece jacket, winter coat, ski mask, winter hat, 2 pairs of gloves, long johns, sweatpants, winter pants, 2 pairs of wool socks, and winter boots. Considering what it costs to go to the Super Bowl it is ridiculous to pay that money and freeze, outside.

The Weather, And The Stadium Will Affect Play
Even if it doesn’t snow the elements will still have a major role in the game. Just as the old stadium was New Meadowlands Stadium is a proverbial wind tunnel. At times kicking and punting can be downright impossible, I wouldn’t feel confident in any kick over 45 yards. This isn’t what the Super Bowl should be about. It should be two great teams, with an even playing field playing for the Lombardi trophy. Playing at New Meadowlands Stadium is advantageous to teams with strong running games, as throwing can be very difficult with the intense cold and wind. The team that wins the coin toss will have a huge advantage since they could possibly determine whether the kick to win the Super Bowl will be going into a 25 MPH wind, or against it. That’s unfair.

It’s A Logistical NightmareWhile the game will be played in New Jersey, most of the activities will take place in New York City. While media day will be in the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York teams will practice in the Jets and Giants facilities in New Jersey. There are only three routes to get from the City to New Jersey, and it’s hard to imagine them getting any more clogged then they already are. The thousands of media members who will shuttle back and forth between the practices and their bases in New York will be staggering, and at rush hour reporters will be forced to filing stories from the back of a car trapped in tube 2 of the Lincoln Tunnel. It will also be a hassle to move the teams from their NJ bases to New York for their obligations and there is tremendous potential for a logistical disaster to occur.

It’s Completely Unnecessary For A NY/NJ Super BowlFunny how the announcement that New York and New Jersey would be getting a Super Bowl came just as the Jets were unable to sell thousands of PSL’s for their new stadium, coincidence, No way! This move by the NFL generated tremendous buzz and was a way for the Jets to hype their personal seat licenses to fans that were not going to pay the astronomical prices. It’s completely unnecessary for the NFL’s great game to be played in this cold weather climate. The NFL was just motivated by money which is stunning considering how much the NFL already gets with all of the Super Bowl festivities. New York doesn’t need this at all, and for the NFL to give New York and New Jersey a Super Bowl is a terrible decision.

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The Super Bowl Expert Pick

By Cam Rogers

Regular Season: 158-98
Wild Card Round: 2-2
Divisional Round- 3-1
Championship Round: 2-0

Here we go, my final pick of the season, how depressing! However it’s exciting that the Super Bowl is right around the corner. It’s time to finish off the year strong so here is my expert pick:

Green Bay Packers vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Who would have thought that these two teams would represent their conferences, but this is the NFL and anything can happen (Patriots fans know). The Packers were my original Super Bowl pick and I’m sticking to them. They have no run game, but who cares, they couldn’t run on the Steelers if they had Adrian Peterson and Chris Johnson combined. However, Green Bay has what Pittsburgh doesn’t…the best receiving core in the league. The Packers excel at spreading out the defense and exposing team’s secondaries and that’ll happen this week once again. Big Ben simply doesn’t have the type of receivers that get open a lot (exception of Wallace) and that could very well be the X factor.

I also see that outstanding Packers pass rush overloading the beat up offensive line in front of Roethlisberger. Clay Matthews is the right player to face the Steelers’ quarterback because he’s so hard to take down. The Pack score more points in this shootout and will be the 2011 Super Bowl Champions!

Prediction: Packers 31-28

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Eric’s Super Bowl Vlog



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Ben Roethlisberger The Person Should Be Separate From The Athlete

By: Alex Reimer

Ben Roethlisberger is the quintessential example of when one should separate the athlete from the person. Ben Roethlisberger the person is a womanizing pig (to put it mildly) and shouldn’t be celebrated in the least for any sort of “comeback” he’s made this season. Ben Roethlisberger the athlete, however, is on the verge of winning his 3rd Super Bowl in 6 seasons, and well…that’s kind of a big deal.

Roethlisberger is not a criminal, because he’s never been to prison. But he’s also more than just your prototypical “bad guy.” You don’t get suspended for 4 games to start the season for merely being a jerk.

As Roethlisberger showed us in 2009, you don’t even get suspended 4 games for just one accusation of sexual assault.

You get suspended for 4 games due to repeated deviant behavior, such as being accused of sexual assault for the 2nd consecutive offseason. You get suspended for 4 games due to embarrassing the Steelers’ organization and the league, as it was revealed the girls that Roethlisberger was “frolicking” with in that bar in Milledgeville, Georgia were of college-age.

Of course, the coverage of this year’s Super Bowl would lead you to believe that Roethlisberger is a completely changed man who has found an “inner-peace.” What exactly is “inner-peace,” you ask? Don’t bother. You just don’t understand.

Even if “inner-peace” is real, how can one find that within a couple of months, you say? Who knows? Again, you just don’t understand.

In all seriousness though, only time will tell whether Roethlisberger has changed his ways. He has to undergo a lot of changing, too, because the track record off the field is not all that stellar.

Conversely, Roethlisberger’s track record on the field in just 6 full NFL seasons is exceptional. He’s 10-2 in the playoffs with a QB rating of 85. For comparison’s sake, Tom Brady has a playoff QB rating of 85 as well.

Playoff performance is not the “be all end all” when it comes to evaluating NFL quarterbacks. But something has to settle these debates, and it’s difficult to not put a guy who wins like Roethlisberger does in the same conversation with Brady and Peyton Manning.

The main difference between Ben Roethlisberger and other elite quarterbacks is that Roethlisberger’s style is far from pretty. He doesn’t stay in the pocket like Brady, or throw a picturesque deep-ball like Drew Brees.

He rushes out of the pocket, but not with the grace of Mike Vick. It more resembles a high school kid dashing out of a party that the police just broke up. Roethlisberger then proceeds to hurl the ball down the field, and somehow, it usually finds a receiver.

Roethlisberger did play poorly in Pittsburgh’s 2005 Super Bowl victory over Seattle, and some say they won in spite of him. However, he pretty much single-handedly beat Arizona in 2008. If he plays competently this year, one has to insert him into the same category as Brady and Manning (if you take a lot of stock into playoff performance, then maybe you even put Roethlisberger ahead of Manning and his lackluster 9-10 career postseason record).

If the Steelers win on Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger’s on-field performance should be revered. But please, don’t tie it into his off-field situation. The two things are completely different, and reflect Roethlisberger in a completely different light too.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 3-5 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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Conference Championship Thoughts

By: Alex Reimer

It’s going to be the Steelers and Packers in this year’s Super Bowl. It should be a great contest, not only because the two teams are evenly matched, but also because both franchises have the largest followings in the league. Both franchises are synonymous with the history of the NFL.

The Steelers and Packers mean a lot to a lot of people. And frankly, championship games are better when they’re between two stalwarts opposed to two expansion teams that reside in the Sunbelt.

But before we look ahead to the big game (and by look ahead, I mean “beat to death”), we first have to look back. So here we go…it’s another column where I randomly jot down thoughts that may or not be connected. Fun!

*Maybe it isn’t fair to question an athlete’s “toughness.” But it is fair to question his “heart.” By “heart,” I don’t mind competitive spirit. There is no question every professional athlete is competitive, or else they wouldn’t be where they are.

By “heart,” I mean the burning desire to win, not for the sake of oneself, but for the sake of the team. Everybody wants to win, but at what cost? Everybody wants to win when it’s about him or her, but how about when it isn’t?

This is a roundabout way of saying that Jay Cutler acted like a coward on Sunday. Nobody is questioning the validity of his MCL tear. This is an injury that will likely keep him shelved for 3-4 weeks. But because the Bears lost, Cutler will be sidelined for 3-4 months. As a litany of current and former football players criticized Cutler on all media platforms yesterday, one message rang clear: “If I was in a conference championship game, you would have to carry me off the field.”

Maybe the Bears “recommended” that Cutler sit out the 2nd half. But it was Jay Cutler who took himself out after the first drive in the 3rd quarter. The perception is that Jay Cutler quit on his team, and Cutler did nothing to disabuse that perception by simply sitting at the end of the bench with his hands crossed as the 3rd string quarterback attempted to lead the Bears to a comeback victory.

It was reminiscent to a scene in the Red Sox’s dugout on that early July night in 2004. The night where Derek Jeter dove head first into the stands to chase a foul ball as Nomar Garciaparra sat on his hands in the dugout. Here emergency quarterback Caleb Hanie was, attempting to drive the Bears down the field, and Cutler couldn’t even be bothered to say two words to him.

To reiterate, it is perfectly within reason to believe that Cutler couldn’t continue with his MCL tear. But apathetically sulking on the bench, never mind not being able to pinpoint when the injury actually occurred, doesn’t do much to help his case.

*The Packers won, but it doesn’t mean they played well. They just made a few less mistakes than the Bears did. Aaron Rodgers led them down the field on their first few possessions, BJ Raji returned an interception for a touchdown late, and that was all she wrote.

The biggest hurdle the Packers may have to overcome appears to be their poor in-game decision making. From Sam Shields not taking a knee after a late interception, to Rodgers throwing an interception to Brian Urlacher in the middle of the 3rd quarter, to numerous other miscues, the Packers don’t always play like a smart team. They’re a talented group however, a really talented group.

*Both the Jets and Steelers played imperfectly yesterday. The Jets played a horrendous 1st half, but yet still had an opportunity to win the game. If it wasn’t for an eight minute drive in the 2nd half that amounted to 0 points (much like the Patriots’ “drive to nowhere” last week), they would have won.

The play calling on the goal line of that drive was awful. Why run pass plays, and then hand it off to LaDainian Tomlinson, and not Shonn Greene on 4th and inches?

But Mark Sanchez is a legitimate quarterback who will only get better. This time of year is where you make your mark, and it’s difficult t argue with a 24 year-old who possesses a career 4-2 record in the postseason, and who had QB ratings of well over 100 against the Patriots and Steelers in January this year.

*Though I just referenced QB rating, it really is an imperfect statistic. Ben Roethlisberger only had a QB rating of 35 of Sunday, and made more than enough plays to win. We’ll talk about the Steelers’ legacy later (3 Super Bowl appearances in 6 years now), but one thing is for certain. With a 10-2 career record in the playoffs, whether he’s “pretty” to watch or not, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to not put Ben Roethlisberger’s name up there with Tom Brad and Peyton Manning.

*What stuck out most on Sunday in regards to the Patriots, though, is that you still need a defense to win in the NFL. The Patriots have been built on offense the past several years, and when the offense has disappointed in the playoffs (it has), they’ve sunk because the defense is incapable of making key stops. The Patriots’ defense this year could play a prevent scheme up by multiple possessions and force turnovers, but playing defense is a whole lot different when you have to make a stand in a tight game.

The Packers won “ugly” and the Steelers won “ugly.” The Patriots, as presently constructed, are incapable of winning “ugly.” It’s becoming more apparent that, and nothing else, is the ultimate reason for the Patriots’ past three playoff games ending with an “ugly” result.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 3-5 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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Patriots Still Have Some Concerns


By: Alex Reimer

The Patriots are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Knowing that, the conversation must advance from wondering whether the Patriots can compete for the Super Bowl to wondering whether they can win it.

Because the conversation has been advanced, new questions have arisen. A game like last night does little to quell fears about a suspect and unproven pass defense.

At 12-2, the Patriots will almost certainly the number 1 seed in the AFC. They’ll have a 1st round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. This defense has a much better chance in the snow, or whipping wind at Gillette Stadium than they do anywhere else. The Patriots should be favored in every home playoff game, no matter whom they play.

But the 31-27 victory over Green Bay last night should prove that nothing is a lay-up. Matt Flynn, a 7th round pick, ran the Packers’ offense up and down the field. Ultimately, his inexperience wound up costing the Packers the game, as he couldn’t call a play with 18 seconds to go. If Aaron Rodgers was under center, the result of that final Green Bay drive may have been different.

The Patriots have to be perfect offensively in order for any game to be in hand. They put up 45 points against the Jets, and got up early on the Bears. It’s a whole lot easier to play defense when you’re up several scores. It’s a whole lot easier to put pressure on the quarterback or intercept a pass when you know the offense is going to pass because they’re down by so much.

But what if the Patriots’ offense isn’t perfect? Last night, for example, they went 3 and out in their last possession. A 1st down would have effectively put the game away, but they just couldn’t muster it. Thus, the defense had to take the field for the closing 3 minutes of the game.

Brendon Meriweather intercepted a pass, but it was negated by a Tully Banta-Cain penalty. It’s fitting, by the way, that the one play Meriweather makes doesn’t count. He was horrible yesterday and has been a disaster all season. He’s too concerned with getting the “big hit” instead of actually making a play on the ball. Meriweather collided with Devin McCourty in the 1st half, allowing James Jones to catch the easy touchdown pass, because he was playing the receiver, and not the ball.

After the Banta-Cain penalty, the Patriots were only saved by Flynn’s poor clock management.

If Peyton Manning is in that situation, or Phillip Rivers is in that situation, things may turn out differently.

How about if Drew Brees or Matt Ryan is in that situation in a dome in Dallas in the Super Bowl? Or what if Mike Vick is in that situation? He torched the Giants’ defense yesterday in the 4th quarter, which is superior to the Patriots’ defense.

Do you have confidence in this Patriots’ defense against a high-powered NFC offense in the Super Bowl? Can you have confidence in this Patriots’ defense against even a competent quarterback in the playoffs?

If we are to talk Super Bowl, which we should, there are questions that have to be asked. Last night’s game brought up some of those concerns.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 1-3 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net (“The Alex Reimer Show” will return on Saturday, January 8th). Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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Massachusetts football super bowl results

Here’s a look at the results from Saturday’s Super Bowls played across Massachusetts.

EASTERN MASS
Div. IIIA
Holliston 21, Cardinal Spellman 7 – Sean Mayo stretched past the pylon from two yards out on fourth and goal for a 7-0 Panthers lead. Spellman came back to tie the game with 23 seconds remaining in the second quarter on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Zac Cooney to Joe Glynn. Mayo added his second touchdown of the game on 1-yard sneak to regain the lead for the Panthers as time expired in the third quarter. Kevin Curry added a fourth-quarter touchdown from 10 yards out.

Div. III
Beverly 28, Somerset 20 – Jaron Spear got things started in a hurry for Somerset, breaking off a 59-yard touchdown run 3:54 into the first quarter. Seth DeMello then rumbled in from 1 yard out for a 14-0 Somerset lead. Beverly drew back at 14-7 on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Joe Wioncek to Brendan Flaherty in the second quarter. Spear added his second touchdown of the game from 1 yard out for a 20-7 Blue Raider lead. Flaherty then hauled in his second touchdown reception while falling backward for a circus catch on a 15-yard pass from Wioncek. Nick Theriault put the Panthers on top, 21-20 with a 74-yard touchdown run. Wioncek added an insurance marker with a 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Div. IIA
Duxbury 35, Concord-Carlisle 13 – Reilly Naton falls on a blocked punt in the end zone for a 7-0 Duxbury lead. George Craan countered with a 14-yard scoring run. Duxbury reclaimed the lead on a 9-yard touchdown pass from Matt O’Keefe to Andrew Buron in the second quarter. Max Barrett pulled C-C tighter with a 6-yard touchdown. However, the two-point conversion try was no good. Duxbury immediately responded with Matt Hallisey’s touchdown reception from Kane Haffey, for a 21-13 Duxbury lead. Don Webber hauled in a touchdown pass from O’Keefe for a 29-13 Green Dragon lead after a successful two-point fake. And Webber wasn’t done, grabbing a 39-yard score later in the fourth.

Div. II
Mansfield 29, Reading 26 – Nick Scali had Reading off to a 6-0 lead, but Mansfield had some trickery up their sleeve when Jamel Marshall hit Jeff Hill for a touchdown on a halfback option pass. The Rockets quickly reclaimed the lead on Brian Bourque’s 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.Scali struck again, scoring on 32-yard reception for an 20-7 Red Rockets lead. Hill had his second touchdown reception of the game from 68 yards to draw Mansfield within 12 at 26-14 in the third quarter. Marshall broke through on a 1-yard touchdown run to give the Hornets their first lead with 1:07 remaining after Dan Gilmore’s interception set Mansfield up at the 1-yard line. Marshall added the ensuing two-point play.

Div. I
Everett 31, St. John’s Prep 7 – After Tyler Coppola put the Eagles up 7-0, Everett responds with a 29-yard TD pass from Jonathan Dibiaso for Matt Costello. Manny Asprilla pushed the Crimson Tide ahead, 14-7, on a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Dibiaso hooked up with Costello again from 10 yards out for a 21-7 Everett lead. Costello added his third touchdown catch of the game in the fourth quarter.

Div. IA
Gloucester 34, Bridgewater-Raynham 13 – Joe Avila hit Brandon Cusumano for a 30-yard touchdown pass to open up scoring for the Fishermen. B-R responded on Mike Chicoine’s rushing touchdown, but the ensuing 2-point try on the swinging gate failed. Jordan Shairs punched one in during the second quarter to put Gloucester ahead, 21-6.

DIVISION IV
Shawsheen 20, Blue Hills 6 – The Rams struck first in the second quarter on a 30-yard run by quarterback Ryan Woolaver. Steven Reynolds had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

DIVISION IVA
Northeast 38, Brighton 14

CENTRAL MASS
DIVISION I
St. John’s 31, Nashoba 21
Wachusett 35, Holy Name 8

DIVISION II
Northbridge 24, Millbury 7
Auburn 28, David Prouty 8

DIVISION III
Naragansett 36, Oakmont 35
Clinton 22, Hudson 21

WESTERN MASS
DIVISION I
Longmeadow 34, Springfield Central 31

DIVISION II
South Hadley 16, Putnam 14

DIVISION III
Mount Greylock 34, Athol 14

DIVISION IV
Easthampton 26, Pioneer Valley 0

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2010 NFL Season Preview

Unfortuately for Patriot's fans, Peyton Manning may be celebrating another Super Bowl victory at the end of this season.

Unfortuately for Patriot's fans, Peyton Manning may be celebrating another Super Bowl victory at the end of this season.

By: Alex Reimer

The leaves turn to orange, the crisp autumn winds begin to blow…and all of that stuff.

It’s football time! College football has already opened, but that’s not my forte. (Yes, I am the typical elitist northeastern sports viewer who doesn’t watch college football or NASCAR).

With the NFL opening this week, we all love to make season predictions. I am no exception to that, so here we go! (*=wild card).

AFC East:

1. Dolphins 10-6 (Brandon Marshall gives the offense a much needed game-breaker while Karlos Dansby gives the defense an anchor. A young defensive-backfield will get better as will Chad Henne. Bill Parcells builds contenders wherever he goes. Miami is no exception).
2. Jets 9-7 (Darrelle Revis is back, wrapping up a chaotic training camp. The Jets feature the most talented group of players in the league. Whether they can come together as a team is another question entirely though).
3. Patriots 8-8 (This defense is riddled with major question marks and they don’t have a playmaker. The pressure is on the offense, just as it was last year. They have to play much better situational football to reach the playoffs. This could be a retooling year of sorts).
4. Bills 3-13 (This offense is a disaster, with a bad offensive line and an unproven quarterback. With a tough schedule, it’s going to be a long year).

AFC North:

1. Bengals 11-5 (Carson Palmer will once again cement himself as an elite quarterback with a great cast around him. The defense has the potential to be the best it has been in a long time).
2. Ravens 9-7 (With Ed Reed on the PUP list and with some questions on defense, they’ll have to win with a more offensive-minded attack).
3. Steelers 8-8 (Mike Tomlin’s team had a miserable finish last year, losing to Cleveland and Kansas City. With Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension and some key losses, it could be an uncharacteristically hectic year in the steel city).
4. Browns 5-11 (They finished strong and added some good veteran linebackers. Mike Holmgren and Eric Mangini may be beginning to lead this team in the right direction).

AFC South:

1. Colts 13-3 (No Super Bowl hangover here. The Colts have won at least 12 games in 7 consecutive seasons).
2. Texans* 10-6 (This is the year the Texans play to their ability and don’t throw away big games. It better be at least, or Gary Kubiak could be out of a job).
3. Titans* 9-7 (They have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. Jeff Fisher will have his club avoid another slow start this year, and make a push for the playoffs).
4. Jaguars 6-10 (It’s a make or break year for the Jaguars financially. If they’re subject to more regular blackouts, a move to LA could become a serious topic of conversation).

AFC West:

1. Chargers 9-7 (Holdout questions still linger at skill positions, and they’re going through a transition period at many skill spots. But the Chargers remain the best of a weak bunch).
2. Chiefs 7-9 (Todd Haley, Scott Pioli, Romeo Crennel, and Charlie Weis. The Chiefs have the management that will improve players. In a bad division, they could make a semi-run at the Chargers).
3. Raiders 6-10 (The defense is above average. Jason Campbell won’t throw away games like JaMarcus Russell did, but the offense lacks any real threats).
4. Broncos 5-11 (Is Josh McDaniels over his head? The roster is now totally his. We’ll see).

NFC East:

1. Giants 11-5 (If the defense is healthy, it is one of the elite units in the league. Offensively they’ll struggle a bit, but they should be in every game they play).
2. Cowboys* 10-6 (As always, the talent is there. But is Wade Phillips the right guy to lead them to the promise land? You know…because the Super Bowl is in Dallas this year).
3. Eagles 8-8 (Health is key for a defense which struggled to field a consistent starting lineup last season. The jury is still out on Kevin Kolb).
4. Redskins 6-10 (It will take a year for Mike Shanahan to take control of this organization. Look for Donovan McNabb’s return to Philly to be the highlight of this season).

NFC North:

1. Packers 11-5 (Aaron Rodgers and this offense can sling it with the best of them. The defense can blitz with the best of them. That’s a formula that works in today’s NFL).
2. Vikings 9-7 (Brett Favre is back, but he may be down a few weapons, as the receiving core lacks depth. Favre’s hideous postseason track record could be irrelevant, because the Vikings may not have the weapons to reach the playoffs this year).
3. Bears 7-9 (Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher, if healthy, could be a deadly combination for any opposing offense. But can Mike Martz get this Bears’ offense on the scoreboard more often)?
4. Lions 5-11 (With veteran additions and the development of Matthew Stafford, respectability is not far away).

NFC South:

1. Saints 12-4 (The defending Super Bowl champions will continue to put up the points. With the offensive-minded structure of today’s NFL, that will carry them a long way).
2. Falcons* 10-6 (A young defense is ready to mature. Matt Ryan should get better in his 3rd year in the league. The Falcons are on the rise).
3. Panthers 8-8 (They must find a consistent pass-rush without Peppers. Matt Moore will head a low-risk, but likely low-reward offense).
4. Buccaneers 4-12 (This is definitely a full-blown rebuilding year. Look for development from a young defensive line, quarterback Josh Freeman, and the receiving core).

NFC West:

1. 49ers 10-6 (This is Alex Smith’s time. He finished strongly last year, and the 49ers have been improving since Mike Singletary took over. They also have a lot of playmakers all over the field).
2. Cardinals 7-9 (No Kurt Warner…big problem. The Cardinals rely on the passing game. Going off of track record, Derek Anderson is not up to the task).
3. Seahawks 5-11 (Pete Carroll wants to change things up. But does he have the cache in an NFL locker room to do that? It remains to be seen).
4. Rams 3-13 (Poor Steven Jackson. But at least the Rams have a direction now, going in full-board rebuilding mode).

Super Bowl 45: Colts over Packers
The formula to win is to put up a lot of points on offense and have a few playmakers on defense. The Colts and Packers both fit that profile.

Alex Reimer is the host of the Red Sox podcast, “Without a Curse.” “Without a Curse” is available on both www.thesportsstuff.com and in the iTunes store. Alex is also the host of “The Alex Reimer Show,” which airs Saturday’s from 12-1 PM EST on 1120 AM WBNW Boston and www.moneymattersradio.net. Alex can be reached at, [email protected]

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