Ten Things I Find Interesting About Super Bowl XLVII
Michael Crabtree Credit: John Martinez Pavliga
1. Much has been said in recent years about the league turning away from running and towards passing. The 5,000 passing yard mark has been broken only six times in NFL history. Four of those times happened in the past two years. This past year, Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice’s single season receiving yardage record (1,964) and five wide receivers and one tight end had more than 100 receptions. Despite these outlandish passing statistics, only one wide receiver remaining caught for over 1,000 yards this season. Michael Crabtree finished 14th in the league with 1,105 yards. The leading receiver for the Ravens was Anquan Boldin with only 65 receptions and 921 yards.
2. Kicking is a gigantic part of football. The number of games being decided by a touchdown or less these days is continually rising. Once a team gets to the playoffs, games get tighter and field goals often separate those who go home from those who go on. That makes the 49ers all the more frightening because they have made it to the Super Bowl while sporting the 30th best kicker in the league. The only kicker this season who had a worse kicking percentage than David Akers’ 69.0% was Green Bay Packers’ kicker Mason Crosby with 63.6%. *None of the kickers from the Carolina Panthers qualified for the minimum amount of kicks threshold hence only 31 kickers*
3. Time often blends together so if it feels like everyone was just in New Orleans taking part in this big party known as Super Bowl Week, its because we kind of just were. 2002 was the last time New Orleans hosted a Super Bowl. In fact, the Big Easy has hosted 10 of them tying Miami for the all-time record. Los Angeles is third with 7 Super Bowls (when they had a team playing there of course). Those who decide on the location say they lean towards the warmer climates. It seems to me that they lean towards the party climates.
4. A lot of NFL analysts have said that there really aren’t any great teams anymore. There is just a collection of teams that are good to very good. Evidence does exist to support these claims. In the AFC this year, all you needed was a winning record and you made the playoffs. From last season to this season, there was very little turnover as far as playoffs. This year the only differences were the Steelers being replaced by the Colts in the AFC and the Saints, Giants and Lions being replaced by the Vikings, Redskins, and Seahawks in the NFC. Come Championship Weekend, three of the four teams were in the exact same spot as last year with the Falcons as the lone exception.
5. Continuing from my last point, the two new teams in the Super Bowl were arguably the strongest teams this season, but even they were not exempt from ridicule. They were no 16-0 New England Patriots. Back in Week 7, the Ravens were completely blown out by the Houston Texans 43-13. The week before, the New York Giants crushed the 49ers 26-3. One blow out is a mulligan right? In Week 15, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos held serve over the Ravens to the tune of 34-17 and a week later the 49ers got Wilsonized in a 42-13 Seahawks loss. No one can refute their right to be here, but the best teams to ever make it to a Super Bowl they are not.
It always seems to be the same teams making it to the post season, for instance you haven’t seen this… Credit: NFL Memes
6. Super Bowl weekend might as well be a national holiday. In fact, there are government petitions online that people can sign to make it an official holiday and give people the Monday after it off. The arguments for it make sense. It is advertised for like an official holiday, the sales are just as good as on Fourth of July or Memorial Day, the whole nation stops for it, and there are low budget corny television specials on it. (I can go to YouTube for past Super Bowl commercials, I don’t have to watch a show dedicated to it…with commercials of its own…that aren’t funny.)
7. The biggest thing separating Super Bowl weekend from any other American tradition—betting. The bets taken on the Super Bowl are ridiculous and deserve a corny special of their own. Boxes that award money for every score change, 1st quarter score, halftime score, 3rd quarter score, final, and reverse final. Prop bets that include which team will score first, score last, who will be the MVP, which team will have the most penalties, what the coin toss outcome will be. It is feasible for a person’s bank account to fluctuate twenty times between the coin toss and the Lombardi ceremony.
Alex Smith Credit: John Martinez Pavliga
8. At the point in the season that Alex Smith suffered a concussion and lost his starting job, the 49ers had a record of 6-2-1, Smith had just had one of the best games in NFL history going 18 for 19 for 232 yards 3 TDs and 0 INTs, he had the highest completion percentage in the league at 70.2%, he had 13 TDs to only 5 INTs, and a Quarterback Rating of 104.1. When Mark Sanchez lost his starting job, the Jets were 6-8, he was coming off of a 4-interception day against the Tennessee Titans, he had a completion percentage of 55%, had 13 TDs to 17 INTs, and had a Quarterback Rating of 71.0. Just putting things in perspective.
9. Ray Lewis is retiring, in case you didn’t know.
10. The 49ers head coach and the Ravens head coach are brothers, in case you didn’t know.
Enjoy Super Bowl weekend everybody and may the odds be ever in your favor!!!