Thoughts from last night’s amazing game:

OverratedQuarterback play.  Both QBs came up with huge ‘clutch drives’.  Both QBs should thank their receivers.  Warner had a great game, but without Fitzgerald (who did the heavy lifting on both TDs) his numbers were just so-so.  Moreover, his play was erratic and at the end of the night, his pick at the goal line (forget the fluky miracle return) was the one play that changed the game.  Roethlisberger was similarly shaky.  He made some miracle plays in the pocket (which we are all used to), but the Steelers struggled to move the ball for huge stretches of the game.

Underrated: Larry Fitzgerald.  Is it possible to underrate possibly the best player in the NFL today (yes, I’m serious).  For the last 4 games, he performed at Rice-ian levels.  The best defense in football had him completely tamped down, but he broke loose at just the right moment.  Had the Cards won, he had to be the MVP. 

Overrated:  Mike Tomlin.  Not in general but in specific.  I’m a Tomlin fan, but his self-castration at the goal line was inexcusable.  His team won, but he got out coached by Wisenhunt in the fourth quarter.

Underrated: The Rooney rule.  Tomlin didn’t need it to get the job as the third Steelers HC in 40 years.  He only needed it to get the chance.  The Rooney rule has given black coaches the chance to win and lose job opportunities on their own merit.

Overrated: Barack Obama.  Seriously, Rooney’s thanking of the president at the podium was silly (I thought Demond was going to pop a gasket).  The Steelers have the most loyal, dedicated fans in the league, thanking a johnny come lately was unnecessary.

Underrated:  Commercials.  I know they sucked this year, but I was watching promos for rugby all night on ESPN Mundial.  Trust me, take what you can get.

Overrated:  The underdog.  I know the Cards paid off for the gamblers, and I congratulate them for that.  There were a lot of people terrified Warner would throw a pick sick, or the Steelers would scoop and score in the last 30 seconds.  Still, the story didn’t end how Hollywood would have wanted.

: The credibility of the NFL.  The Steelers needed to win this game to restore normality to the league.  They were the best team for most of the year.  The only games they lost were tough, close games to playoff teams (Philly, NYG, Indy, and Tennessee).  For the regular season to mean anything, the best team needed to win the Super Bowl

Overrated: The greatest Super Bowl ever.  It was good, but it takes time to determine these things.

Underrated: XLII.  For my money, in 20 years, that’s the game I’ll remember more.  Not just because I was so invested in the Pats losing, but because of the historical significance.  XLIII might have been a better game internally, but it had a ‘small’ feeling about it.  I think last year’s game will be remembered longer.

Overrated: The officials.  That was the best crew the NFL could put together?  Seriously, they were so bad, I wanted the actor from the half time show to come out and take a shot.

Underrated: How terrible not reviewing that final play was.  The booth can’t decide if the call was right.  They can only decide if the call was close enough to look at.  I can’t see how that fumble doesn’t get reviewed.  The competition committee HAS to change the booth review system. It doesn’t work.  That was an inexcusable breakdown.

Appropriately rated:  James Harrison’s return.  Santonio Holmes.  The Steelers as the best NFL franchise ever.  Bruce Springsteen’s energy level. Roethlisberger as a member of the top tier with Manning and (a healthy) Brady.

Audibles is good today

Indy has an easier schedule next year