When I mention the Super Bowl, most people just start raving about Beyonce’s halftime show. As great as I’m sure it was, we’re changing it up a little bit- here are my mostly unbiased observations from the football game on Sunday:
I’m now willing to say that Joe Flacco of the Ravens has been the best quarterback in the league over the last month and a half. He passed for 11 touchdowns and no interceptions during the playoffs, outplaying the likes of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the way to his first Super Bowl, and he has clearly made the leap from adequate quarterback to possible franchise quarterback. Now I expect him to be rewarded with a big free agent contract this offseason.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh outcoached as he was on Sunday by his older brother John. The 49ers started too conservatively and could not unleash their offense in the first half, too often settling for unsuccessful running plays and rarely allowing dynamic quarterback Colin Kaepernick to exploit Baltimore’s defensive front. Despite San Francisco’s big comeback, I think Baltimore’s strategy of attacking the 49ers’ secondary was the deciding factor in the game.
That being said, I think the 49ers will be just as good next year. I expect Kaepernick to improve even more with the resurgence of wide receiver Michael Crabtree, and the 49ers will continue to rely on their trademark combination of defense and the running game. Their only real deficiency was exposed on Sunday- they need to improve their secondary, but if the players and coaches stay in place, I consider them major contenders for the NFC title next year.
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