Monday, February 7, 2011

The End of the Road for 2010 Season

Aaron Rodgers is the new WWE Champion... Err, wait, Super Bowl MVP! I'm sure all of you watched the game so I won't go into too much detail here, but I would like to throw out a few things I noticed from this year's Super Bowl.
-First of all, Aaron Rodgers did not record a single rushing attempt via scrambling for the first time all season. While watching the game I remember pleading "Run Aaron run!" at least a few times, and each time he pulled back from crossing the line of scrimmage. Perhaps Mike McCarthy had instructed Rodgers to stay back and protect himself from taking hits from those Steelers linebackers, or maybe he just didn't see the opening he wanted. Despite not using his mobility as well as he did all season, Rodgers still managed to extend a few plays and make timely throws.
-Where in the world was Polamalu? According to the ESPN game recap, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year was lined up within five yards of the line of scrimmage for only three out of 55 offensive plays for the Packers. It seems that he has been lined up far from the line for most of the postseason, and one has to wonder why. Polamalu's instinctiveness and ability to make a play are at their best when he is near the line, and he was only sparingly used this way. He was also the nearest defender on both of Greg Jennings' touchdown catches. I won't be surprised if a report comes out this offseason stating that Polamalu was far from healthy during this postseason run.
- In a similar vein, where were all of the other defensive playmakers we expected to see? B.J. Raji ended the game with only a single quarterback hit, and no tackles. I also didn't see him on offense, which is disappointing. James Harrison had just a single tackle, which was a sack to go along with three QB hits. LaMarr Woodley had only three tackles, with a single sack. Clay Matthews did not record a sack, but he did force a crucial fumble late in the game. While the Steelers and Packers combined for four sacks, there wasn't a feel of either defense's pass rush taking control of the game. For the most part, the Packers' superior depth in the defensive backfield made the biggest difference in this game, with two interceptions that tilted the odds squarely in the Packers' favor.
After the Super Bowl hangover has worn off, we'll be getting back to more Browns-centric news and analysis, so check back soon and follow me on Twitter @legoman0721 .

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