I love the city of Pittsburgh and generally admire the Steelers. Cower is a great coach; Hines Ward is a fabulous player; they beat the Colts--what's not to like?
But it's not clear that the best team won last night. (Actually, it's not clear that either the Steelers or the Hawks really looked like championship-caliber squads.)
If not for the benefit of some highly questionable calls, Pittsburgh probably loses that game. They trailed the Seahawks in first downs, total yards, and time of possession. They had more turnovers than the Seahawks and their quarterback finished with a passer rating of 22.6.
That's 22.6 for the winning quarterback! Makes you long for the legendary days of Brad Johnson and Trent Dilfer. Does anyone have a link to a page with quarterback ratings for previous Super Bowls? Because I'd be surprised if there was another game in recent years where the rating of the two quarterbacks--combined--barely broke 90. (Hasselbeck and Roethlisberger put together totaled 90.4.)
In any event, maybe this was a fitting finish to one of the more disappointing NFL seasons. Everywhere you looked, the league suffered from disappointments that stemmed from things not on the field. The Eagles had their undefeated season demolished in the first week, when McNabb was speared. Before the season was over, they were playing without their star quarterback, running back, or wide-out. The Colts had their undefeated season wrecked when their coach suffered a debilitating family tragedy. And the Patriots, clearly still the class of the league, were so riddled with injury that they never really had a fair shot.
With the elite teams hobbled, the playoffs stunk with few close games and many, many instances of lousy officiating. So maybe last night shouldn't have been much of a surprise.
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