Most boring Super Bowl - Super Bowl LIII

Super Bowl LIII: The most boring Super Bowl of all-time

The New England Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, resulting in their sixth Super Bowl championship. While Patriots fans everywhere have to be excited about winning the Super Bowl once again, NFL fans are not impressed with what we all saw last night. For one, we had to suffer through watching the Patriots win another Super Bowl. In addition to that, we suffered through what will go down in history as the most boring Super Bowl of all-time.

Most boring Super Bowl - Super Bowl LIII
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Super Bowl LIII: Most boring Super Bowl of all-time

In the history of the Super Bowl, no game has resulted in a lower point total than Super Bowl LIII. The Patriots and Rams combined for a total of 16 points. The previous low in a Super Bowl game came all the way back in Super Bowl VII between the Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins. The final score of that game was 14-7 in favor of the Dolphins. The two teams combined for a total of 21 points. Not only did the Patriots and Rams set the record for the lowest scoring Super Bowl ever, they beat the previous low by five points! That’s almost a TDs worth of points! Let’s break down how it all happened.

 

First Quarter

The first quarter ended with a score of 0-0. It wasn’t what we were expecting, but it’s likely most us of were thinking the second quarter would be much better. Here’s how the first quarter went for both teams.

Patriots: Interception, missed FG, punt.

Rams: Punt, punt.

One of the exciting moments of the first quarter was when Tom Brady threw an INT on his first pass. This seemed to give the Rams the momentum early, but what did they do with that turnover? Absolutely nothing. Nothing at all. The Rams moved the ball a total of two yards following that interception. Momentum dead.

The other exciting moment was when Patriots K Stephen Gostkowski pushed a 46 yard FG wide left. The Patriots had the chance to put at least some points on the board in the first quarter, but the missed FG helped us witness the 0-0 start to the game. A 3-0 score wouldn’t have been super exciting either, but it would have been better than nothing. Most boring start to the most boring Super Bowl.

 

Second Quarter

The second quarter had a little more excitement, as there was actually a score heading into halftime. However, it wasn’t an ideal situation for what fans were expecting to see in Super Bowl LIII. The halftime score was just 3-0 in favor of the Patriots. Let’s recap how the second quarter went for both teams.

Patriots: FG, punt, loss of downs, end of half.

Rams: Punt, Punt, punt, punt.

The Rams had done pretty much nothing at all heading into halftime, as evidenced by their zero points. The sad part is, they hadn’t even done well enough to get themselves into FG range. For the Patriots, their FG came on their first possession of the second quarter. After taking that 3-0 lead, they got nothing the rest of the way. They had an opportunity to get some more points, but they failed to convert on a 4th-and-1. Had they converted, they would have at least made the score 6-0. They were on the Rams’ 32 yard line at the time of their failed fourth down attempt. The most boring half of a Super Bowl helped create the most boring Super Bowl ever.

 

Third Quarter

After a snoozer of a first half, many expected these teams to bring a show in the second half. Surely at least one team would get something going. Well, that didn’t happen. The third quarter ended with a score of 3-3 after the Rams were able to tie it up. The most boring Super Bowl of all-time continued on.

Patriots: Punt, punt.

Rams: Punt, punt, FG.

The Rams came out of halftime with the ball. This is when we expected the second highest scoring offense in the NFL during the regular season to strike. Nope! The Rams and Patriots then took turns punting until the Rams’ third possession of the quarter. This drive ended with a 53 yard FG by K Greg Zuerlein. The game was tied 3-3 with 2:11 left in the third quarter. The Patriots then had one more drive before the quarter ended. That drive would go into the fourth quarter. We entered the fourth quarter of Super Bowl LIII with a score of 3-3. Most boring Super Bowl through three quarters ever! On the bright side, at least both teams were on the board and it was still anyone’s game.

 

Fourth Quarter

That drive the Patriots had going into the fourth quarter resulted in just another punt. It was an exiting way to start the final quarter of the Super Bowl. Not. Here’s how the rest of the game went for both teams.

Patriots: TD, FG, end of game.

Rams: Punt, interception, missed FG.

After both teams started off the final quarter with punts, the Patriots were finally able to find the end zone. With 7:00 left in the game, RB Sony Michel ran in for a two yard TD to give the Patriots a 10-3 lead That came after an exciting catch by TE Rob Gronkowski to get them down there. I think it’s safe to say this was the time when everyone thought the Rams would step it up offensively. Most of us were expecting them to drive down the field to tie the game 10-10.

Well, that went terribly wrong, as Jared Goff threw an INT with 4:17 left. CB Stephon Gilmore picked off Goff, which then led to the Patriots moving down into FG range to make the score 13-3 with 1:12 remaining. The game was already over by this time, but the Rams got into FG range with eight seconds left to try and make the score 13-6. K Greg Zuerlein missed the 48 yard FG to keep the score 13-3. Patriots win the most boring Super Bowl ever.

 

Most boring Super Bowl ever

Some may look at the score and think this was a defensive game. While that is true, it wasn’t one of those exciting defensive games we saw during the season. For example, when the Chicago Bears beat the Los Angeles Rams in a 15-6 defensive game, that was exciting! We watched the Bears’ defense absolutely dominate the Rams. It was just fun to watch!

While Super Bowl LIII did feature two INTs and five total sacks, this wasn’t exciting defense to watch. It was just plain boring. Instead of calling it a defensive game, maybe we should be calling it a terrible offensive game. Regardless of what you call it, Super Bowl LIII has already gone down in history as the most boring Super Bowl of all-time. To top off just how boring it was, the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl….. again…

Top five Super Bowl mistakes

Top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time

As we approach Super Bowl LIII, our team has been sharing some of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all-time. Well, instead of looking at some more great moments in Super Bowl history, today we’re going to look at the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time. These are plays, or sequence of plays, are some of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history, but for all the wrong reasons.

Top five Super Bowl mistakes
0 Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed under Public Domain

Top five Super Bowl mistakes

5. Leon Lett celebrates too early

Despite playing in a game with a score of 52-17 in favor of his team at the time of this mistake, Leon Lett’s mistake in Super Bowl XXVII will always be remembered. Bills QB Frank Reich drops back to pass, but is then nailed by a Cowboys defender and fumbles the ball. Leon Lett picks up the ball and starts running toward the end zone. It appears Lett is going to make an easy score. At least that’s what he thought….

Leon Lett is almost to the end zone when he starts celebrating by sticking the ball out. Don Beebe, who doesn’t give up on the play, comes up behind Lett after chasing him down and knocks the ball out of Lett’s hand. Instead of being a TD for the Cowboys, it was a ruled a touchback. Lett is lucky this play didn’t have any impact on the outcome of Super Bowl XXVII. If it had, this mistake would definitely rank higher on the list of top five Super Bowl mistakes.

 

4. Jackie Smith drops easy TD

In the third quarter of Super Bowl XIII, the Dallas Cowboys trailed the Pittsburgh Steelers 21-14. The Cowboys then drove down the field into scoring position. QB Roger Staubach found his TE Jackie Smith wide open in the end zone. The score was about to be all tied up. As the ball is about to land in Smith’s hands, he starts to slide. The ball bounced off his chest and was incomplete. Instead of scoring a game tying TD on what should have been the easiest catch ever, the Cowboys had to settle for a field goal to make the score 21-17. They went on to lose 35-31, by the amount of points they lost due to Jackie Smith’s famous drop. Jackie Smith is a Hall of Famer, but he also holds one of the top five Super Bowl mistakes in history.

 

3. Scott Norwood kicks it wide right

With 2:10 left in Super Bowl XXV, the Buffalo Bills were down 20-19 with the ball at their own 10. They were able to drive all the way down to the Giants’ 30 with eight seconds left on the clock. What happened next has to be the most disappointing moment in Bills history. K Scott Norwood came out to kick the game winning FG. The ball was snapped and Norwood kicks the ball. He pushed it wide right, giving the Giants the Super Bowl win.

We’ve seen a lot of missed kicks over the years, but none of them as bad as this one. To make the missed kick even worse, the Bills could have opted for a short play to get the ball out of bounds to move the kick a little closer. Instead of doing so, the Bills handed Norwood a 47-yard kick that obviously didn’t go too well. This missed kick started the Bills’ streak of losing four straight Super Bowls.

 

2. Falcons allow huge comeback

This top five Super Bowl mistake isn’t just a play. Rather, it took place over the sequence of two quarters. Going into halftime of Super Bowl LI, the Atlanta Falcons had built a 21-3 lead on the New England Patriots. Falcons fans had to be feeling pretty good about things. To make things even better, the Falcons went up 28-3 with about 8:31 left in the third quarter. At this point, Falcons fans had to be sitting back, relaxing and thinking, “We’ve got this in the bag.” Not so fast.

With 2:06 left in the third quarter, the Patriots made the score 28-9. The Falcons were still up three TDs heading into the fourth quarter, which you would think is a sure fire victory. Well, the Patriots made the score 28-12 with 9:44 left, 28-20 with 5:56 left and 28-28 with 0:57 left. How were they able to do this? The Atlanta Falcons got nothing going on offense after their third quarter TD.

All the Falcons had to do was keep the clock moving by running the ball. Run the ball, move the chains and keep the clock ticking. They failed to do that, allowing the Patriots to come back and send the game to OT. We all know what happened next. The Falcons’ offense didn’t the see the ball in OT because the Patriots drove all the way down the field. That’s when RB James White ran the ball in from two yards out for the game winning TD.

 

1. Seattle’s INT at the 1-yard line

With 26 seconds left in Super Bowl XLIX, everything looked perfect for the Seattle Seahawks to beat the New England Patriots. Just a couple plays before this iconic mistake, QB Russell Wilson had completed a pass to WR Jermaine Kearse, who made arguably one of the greatest catches of all-time. Everything looked perfect for the Seahawks to win their second Super Bowl in two years. Then the worst play call ever happened.

It was 2nd and goal with 26 seconds left. Russell Wilson makes a quick pass to Kearse on a slant, but Patriots CB Malcolm Butler intercepted the pass just outside of the end zone. Why on earth would the Seahawks pass the ball at the 1-yard line with RB Marshawn Lynch in the backfield? To make this even worse, it’s not like it was 4th down. It was 2nd and goal! The Seahawks had 26 seconds and one time out left at the 1-yard line with three downs to get in the end zone.

Instead of a pass, the Seahawks should have given the ball to Marshawn Lynch three straight times if that’s what it took. If he didn’t get in on 2nd down, they could have either stopped the clock or got back to the line for a quick snap. If he didn’t get in on 3rd down, they could have done the same thing. Had it been 4th and goal and they had tried to run it in on the previous two plays, a pass play wouldn’t have been as bad. That’s the thing though, they had three chances to run it in with one of the most powerful RBs in the NFL. Big mistake by Seattle in their Super Bowl XLIX loss.

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For the sake of the Patriots and Rams, hopefully we don’t see any major mistakes that will go down in history as one of the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time.

Didn’t see your favorite mistake on our list of the top five Super Bowl mistakes of all-time? Comment below and let us know which great Super Bowl mistake we missed!

 

Top 15 Super Bowl moments of all-time

After taking the time to look back at some of the best Super Bowl moments for both the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, we turned our attention to the best moments of their first Super Bowl match. As we prepare ourselves for another encounter between the two teams, we will look back at some of the greatest Super Bowl moments of all-time.

Source: https://www.publicdomainpictures.net/en/view-image.php?image=230127&picture=posterization-of-joe-namath

There are several different moments in the 53 year history we could call great. Narrowing it down to just 15 makes it even harder, but we at Fourth Quarter Sports have come together to make it the best we can. So let’s take a look at the top 15 Super Bowl moments of all-time.

 

15. Max McGee’s Touchdown, Super Bowl I

Many people may not think of this as one of the best moments in Super Bowl history, but most of us probably don’t even know who Max McGee is or what team he payed for. He played for the Green Bay Packers in the first ever Super Bowl. His touchdown was the first ever touchdown scored in a Super Bowl. It was a 37-yard pass from QB Bart Starr to open the game. The Packers never looked back.

What makes this moment more special, is that McGee wasn’t even suppose to play after he missed curfew. It’s not like he was the superstar WR on that team. He only caught four passes in the 1966 season. But on that day of Super Bowl I, he was the hero with seven receptions for 138 yards and two touchdowns, as the Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

 

14. Joe Namath’s Guarantee, Super Bowl III

How could you not put a moment like this on the list? This is known to be one of the greatest upsets in sports history. The best part about it was when quarterback Joe Namath publicly guaranteed a Jets victory. He walked off the field with one finger pointing to the sky as he did what he said he would do. Namath made the guarantee three days prior that the Jets would beat the Baltimore Colts. He did it with a balance of passing and running plays, as running back Matt Snell totaled 121 yards and a touchdown.

Namath and Jets had a 16-0 lead heading into the second half, where the Colts made the decision to change quarterbacks and go back to Johnny Unitas. He led them to a scoring drive. However, it was too late for Unitas and the Colts, as Namath and Jets won the game for the first time in the AFL after the Green Bay Packers won it the past two years in the NFL.

Hear more about how Namath felt after they won here.

 

13. Devin Hester returns opening kickoff against Colts, Super Bowl XLI

It was Super Bowl XLI when we saw the Chicago Bears against the Indianapolis Colts. It was also the first Super Bowl game that featured two African American head coaches (Bears’ Lovie Smith and Colts’ Tony Dungy), which means there is a historical fact to this moment as well. But this was likely the worst moment of the game for the Bears, as they lost to the Colts 29-17 after leading 17-3 at halftime. So why is Devin Hester on the list? Well, he did something that has never been done. That was taking the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. It went down in history as the fastest TD in the Super Bowl, scored in just 14 seconds.

Let’s keep in mind that Hester was just a rookie returner who led the league in both kickoff and punt returns with six total. This kick return was the first ever opening kickoff return for a TD in a Super Bowl. There were eight other guys who were able to return a kickoff for a TD in a Super Bowl, but none were as special as this one.

Check out the return here.

 

12. John Riggins’ big score, Super Bowl XVII

Riggins was known as “The Diesel” during his time in the NFL. It was moments like this that gave him the name. In the Redskins’ first ever Super Bowl, they were down to the Miami Dolphins 17-13 with 10 minutes left to play. They faced a 4th-and-1 situation on the Dolphins’ 43-yard line. Riggins ran over Dolphins DB Don McNeal for the decisive score that put the Redskins ahead for good. He was the workhorse for the Redskins’ first Super Bowl win, carrying the ball a record 38 times for 166 yards in a Super Bowl. The touchdown run at the moment was the longest run from scrimmage in the history of the Super Bowl.

Check it out here.

 

11. Montana, 49ers win in Bill Walsh’s final NFL game, Super Bowl XXIII

If you thought the Niners were the team in the 80’s, you thought right. That was mostly because of the coach-QB duo of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana, who had a lot of success together, including three Super Bowl titles. This is the most memorable Super Bowl moment, because this was the last game Bill Walsh coached in the NFL.

This Super Bowl was the closest of the three they won together, and the second against the Cincinnati Bengals. This was a Niners team that was down 16-13 with three minutes remaining in the game. The ball was at their own 8-yard line. The Niners were not worried, as they had “Joe Cool” ready to lead the drive, which he did as they capped off a 92-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to WR John Taylor with 34 seconds remaining. That’s the way to end a coaching career. Let’s not forget that Montana and the Niners made it back to the Super Bowl without Walsh and crushed the Denver Broncos 55-10.

Take a look at the game-winning drive of Super XXIII.

 

10. John Elway “Helicopter” Spin, Super Bowl XXXII

Elway and the Broncos struggled to win Super Bowls. In fact, Elway had lost his first three Super Bowl appearances until this Super Bowl, where he pulled out all the stops to get his first Lombardi Trophy. It was Elway’s determination that helped the Broncos pull off this win against the defending Super Bowl champion Packers. Elway took us all on a thrill ride, as he gave us one of the most iconic moments in Super Bowl history.

The Broncos and Packers went back and forth all game, as the Broncos ultimately came out on top 31-24. It was the third quarter drive that was 13 plays and 92-yards that gave the Broncos the lead back in a tied game. One of those plays was an 8-yard scramble for a first down by Elway, in which he dove and got hit by multiple Packers defenders while spinning through the air like a Helicopter. The Broncos followed that up by getting a 1-yard touchdown run by running back Terrell Davis.

Want to watch Elway fly like a Helicopter? Look here!

 

9. Redskins’ Williams becomes first African American QB to win a Super Bowl, Super Bowl XXII

From one successful Broncos Super Bowl to one of the Elway losses. It was Super Bowl XXII when Elway and the Broncos built a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter. But what would happen next is something that none of us would’ve predicted.

It was a second quarter full of touchdowns, five to be exact. All five were scored by the Washington Redskins and their QB Doug Williams. Williams and the Redskins scored 35 points in a quarter which was the most points ever in a single postseason quarter in NFL history at the time. The first touchdown was an 8-yard touchdown pass from Williams to Ricky Sanders, which tied a record for the longest pass in a Super Bowl game. Sanders and rookie running back Timmy Smith both set Super Bowl records: Sanders for receiving (193) and Smith for rushing (204).

Williams also made history, as he was the first African American QB to win the Super Bowl. He also put himself in the record books with all his success in that one game alone.

Watch this great performance by the Washington Redskins and Doug Williams here.

 

8. The Fridge’s TD, Super Bowl XX

Is your refrigerator running? Maybe you should want it too? That’s what the Chicago Bears did in Super Bowl XX against the New England Patriots. It was already a 34-3 lead with three minutes left in the third quarter, so why not have some fun? Bears coach Mike Dikta made the decision to go with his 300+ pound defensive linemen to run the ball for a 1-yard touchdown. That linemen was rookie William “The Refrigerator” Perry, who lived up to his first-round draft status. Perry became the first 300 pound guy to score a touchdown, and Bears Hall of Fame RB Walter Payton loved it.

Check out the run here.

 

7. Swann is sensational, Super Bowl X

It’s not everyday you can be sensational, unless your name is Lynn Swann and you played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in ’70s. In this Super Bowl, Swann earned MVP honors, as he played the best game of his career. In this game, he made two sensational catches. The first was a juggling catch while falling to the turf for a 53-yard gain, and the other catch was a score on a 64-yard touchdown. It would help the Steelers win their second consecutive Super Bowl, and first of two against the Cowboys.

Check out the catches here.

 

6. Bills’ Norwood missed FG, Super Bowl XXV

When you’re down one point with 2:16 remaining, you have no real pressure on you besides getting into field goal range. That is actually what the Buffalo Bills QB did against the New York Giants, as they were down 20-19. Bills’ QB Jim Kelly marches the team down the field and gets to the Giants’ 29 with eight seconds left. What happened next was part of a long losing streak in the Super Bowl. The Bills had a losing streak in the Super Bowl that will always be remembered. This play is the worst of them all. Bills’ kicker Scott Norwood set up for a game-winning 47-yard field goal, but he misses wide right and their streak continued.

Watch the missed kick by Norwood here.

 

5. Desmond Howard’s 99-yard return, Super Bowl XXVII

In another Super Bowl the Patriots lost, it came down to the speed of one man. That man was Desmond Howard, as he stopped the Patriots momentum from completing a comeback. It was a late score by New England in the third quarter to close within 27-21. That was until Green Bay’s Desmond Howard returns the ensuing kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the Packers’ 35-21 win.

Howard was a nearly unstoppable force as a return specialist, like we saw from his college days. He led the NFL in punt return yardage and touchdowns in 1996, along with the Super Bowl MVP award when he finished with 244 total return yards.

See Howard’s phenomenal run here.

 

4. James Harrison’s 100-yard pick six, Super Bowl XLIII

From a great kickoff return touchdown to an even greater interception returned for touchdown. It was a memorable Super Bowl for the Steelers, as they had two unforgettable plays to help them clinch their 6th Super Bowl (tied most in history). This play was the first one, where James Harrison grabbed an interception off of Arizona Cardinals QB Kurt Warner late in the first half to give them a 17-7 lead. He took the interception 100 yards for a touchdown with seconds remaining in the half. It was the longest play in Super Bowl before it was broken by Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown in Super Bowl XLVII.

Watch the big boy run down the sideline for a score here.

 

3. Dolphins complete perfect season, Super Bowl VII

There is nothing like having a perfect season. There is only one team ever in the NFL who has won all their games. That team was the 1972 Miami Dolphins. The closest team to come to that was the 2010 New England Patriots with their 18-1 record. But the Dolphins were too good and had no worries about their record, besides ruining the chance to shut out the Washington Redskins in the Super Bowl. The only real mistake they made in the game was trying to make something out of an already broken play, when kicker Garo Yepremian attempted to throw a forward pass after a blocked kick and Redskins cornerback Mike Bass would get the team’s only touchdown of the game.

What the Dolphins complete their perfect season here.

 

2. Santonio Holmes goes toes in for the victory, Super Bowl XLIII

This is the second part of an amazing Super Bowl by the Steelers. As you previously read, Harrison made a clutch interception at the end of the first half to put the team ahead by 10 points. But after watching Kurt Warner ledd his team back, the Steelers found themselves down by three with little time left. That was just enough time for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger to find WR Santonio Holmes in the end zone.

This final drive was all Holmes, as he had four catches for 73 yards. Despite being in tight coverage, Holmes catches the ball and somehow nabbed a game-winning touchdown pass on the tips of his toes, just barely staying in bounds with less than a minute left on the clock.

Don’t miss that great catch here.

 

1. David Tyree helmet catch, Super Bowl XLII

This was the Super Bowl the New England Patriots were supposed to be undefeated in, as they were up 14-10 late in the fourth quarter. It looked like things were going in that direction for the Patriots, until this happened…

New York Giants QB Eli Manning escapes two tackles and launches a pass down field on 3rd-and-five. Giants WR David Tyree jumped and pinned the ball against his helmet for a 32-yard catch that will go done in history as one of the greatest catches of all-time. But that wasn’t game-winner. The Patriots had one more chance to stop the Giants march, until four plays later when Manning connects with Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown, as the Giants shock the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

 

Honorable Mention

As amazing as all these plays have been, there will certainly be many more plays left off. Some of which are in the honorable mentions find below.

Honorable mentions:

  • Jacoby Jones’ 109-yard kickoff return touchdown – Super Bowl XLVII
  • Dyson 1-yard short against Rams – Super Bowl XXXIV
  • Malcom Butler’s goal line Interception- Super Bowl XLIX
  • Adam Vinatieri’s FG for Patriots first Super Bowl win – Super Bowl XXXVI

Others have yet to be determined. Going into this, I wanted to focus on some of the records and first ever moments that led to some plays making it in over others. I couldn’t ignore the first ever Super Bowl with Vince Lombardi as the coach. I mean, the title is named after him. What memorable moments will this year’s Super Bowl bring?

And also don’t forget to return this weekend for some more Super Bowl talk. Please share your thoughts about the top moments in Super Bowl history!

Super Bowl picks: Los Angeles Rams or New England Patriots?

Super Bowl LIII between the Patriots and Rams is this Sunday! This should be one of the best Super Bowl matchups we’ve seen in recent years. We’ve got the old QB in Tom Brady against the youngster Jared Goff. We’ve got the old Bill Belichick against the youngster coach Sean McVay, two of the greatest minds in football. The Los Angeles Rams are looking to bring their first Super Bowl title to the city of Los Angeles, while the New England Patriots are looking to win their sixth Super Bowl title in the Brady-Belichick era. Who comes out on top? Let’s get into our breakdown and Super Bowl picks.

Super Bowl picks
New England Patriots grand entrance” by SAB0TEUR is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Super Bowl picks: New England Patriots vs Los Angeles Rams

Aman: Rams, 39-36

Cullen: Patriots, 34-30

Mickayeen: Rams, 42-28

Rahim: Rams, 43-42

Joel: Patriots, 31-28

Adam: Patriots, 38-35

Dan: Patriots, 28-21

Dennis: Patriots, 30-24

Jon: Patriots, 31-14

Jeevan: Patriots 34-31

 

The Coaches

As mentioned above, Bill Belichick and Sean McVay are two of the greatest minds in football right now. However, the way their minds work are very different. That means we’ll probably get two very different game plans or styles. Bill Belichick has always been one of the best at planning for a specific team. He does a good job of getting his team to take away what their opponents do well. He also does a good job of getting his team to attack their opponents areas of weakness. 

Sean McVay on the other hand, does his best work with the offensive play-calling. As I’ve explained in previous articles, McVay does a great job of confusing defense’s by running multiple plays off the same formation. One play could be a run from a specific formation. If the defense sees that formation again, more often than not, they’re going to think it’s the same run play. That’s when McVay and the Rams get em. It’s actually a pass play. Or maybe it’s a run, but it’s a run to the other side. McVay’s style of play-calling is what makes the Rams’ offense incredibly hard to defend.

If both coaches have one of the best minds in football, which mind will work the best in Super Bowl LIII? As you can see from our Super Bowl picks, seven out of 10 of us are picking the Patriots to win this game. Most of us are going with Belichick. I won’t blame you if you pick McVay. 

 

The QBs

Obviously one of the key factors in this game will be how the QBs play. We know Tom Brady is one of the greatest QBs of all-time, if not the G.O.A.T. This will be the ninth time he’s played in a Super Bowl. He’s won five, and will be looking for that sixth victory. Tom Brady is a proven performer in the Super Bowl. In his eight Super Bowl appearances, Brady has completed 65.8% of his passes for 2,576 yards. That comes out to about an average of 322 yards per game. He’s thrown 18 TDs to just five INTs, and his average passer rating is 98.0.

Then there’s the young QB Jared Goff, who despite winning two playoff games and helping his team get to the Super Bowl, still has to prove he can be a consistent performer in the biggest games. In the Rams’ two playoff games this postseason, Goff has completed 58.8% of his passes for 483 yards, one TD, one INT and a passer rating of 79.5. Goff’s postseason numbers are even worse if you factor in what he did against the Falcons last postseason. Goff did get better from game one to game two of this postseason. Will he get better on the NFL’s biggest stage?

The pressure here will be on Goff. He’s the young, third year QB who hasn’t won a Super Bowl. Brady is the old, experienced QB who has won five. There’s no pressure on Brady to win this game. Even if there was, he thrives under the pressure. If Goff has another mediocre performance in the Super Bowl, the Patriots are taking this one. Our Super Bowl picks reflect our confidence in Brady over Goff.

 

The RBs

A big factor in how well these QBs play will be how well their RBs play. Both teams have multiple RBs who can hurt a defense in many ways. The Patriots have Sony Michel, who is the primary RB. Michel can add something in the receiving game occasionally, but he’s mostly the workhorse RB who keeps the chains moving on the ground. Then there’s Rex Burkhead, who can do a little bit of both rushing and receiving. Finally, the Patriots have James White, who can kill a defense as a receiver out of the backfield. The Patriots use these three RBs very well. They get them to play to their strengths and force a defense to have to worry about each of them.

On the other side, the Rams have Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson. Todd Gurley is one of the best RBs in the league. However, he’s been banged up this postseason. With a little time off, Gurley should be back to full strength. The Rams will need Gurley’s best performance in Super Bowl LIII. Or will they? C.J. Anderson has done a fantastic job of complementing Gurley or filling in for him when he’s been hurt. Because Anderson has played so well, it allows the Rams to keep their RBs fresh. With two RBs who are kept fresh throughout the game, it makes it tough on the defense.

Which defense will do a better job of stopping these RBs? For those who picked the Rams in our Super Bowl picks, I will assume the RBs for the Rams were a big reason why. 

 

Defense?

I’m not going to cover the defense here. Why? I personally feel like this will be an offensive game. I’m hoping it’s a shootout. As much as I’ve enjoyed watching some defensive games this season, I don’t really want to see that in this Super Bowl. I don’t expect it to be like that anyway. As you can tell from our Super Bowl picks, most of us are thinking this will be an offensive game. The majority of our score projections were in the high 20 to 30 range. Some of our scores go into the 40+ range. 

 

Fun Fact

Of Tom Brady’s previous eight Super Bowl appearances, he’s won five and lost three. All three of his Super Bowl losses have come against teams from the NFC East. He lost twice to the New York Giants, and once last season to the Philadelphia Eagles. 

 

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New England Patriots or Los Angeles Rams? Who are you picking to win Super Bowl LIII? Let us know your Super Bowl picks in the comments below! 

Super Bowl XXXVI

Top five moments from Super Bowl XXXVI (Rams versus Patriots)

This week 17 years ago we first saw a Super Bowl game for the ages. It was the “Greatest show on turf” against a sixth-round QB in Super Bowl XXXVI. It was also a very similar situation to what we will see this Sunday, but a bit of role reversal.

What you saw 17 years ago was a New England Patriots head coach and quarterback that were in their second season together. It was Brady’s first season in which he was the starter after a season-ending injury to QB Drew Bledsoe. It was also the start of a dynasty we will forever be talking about as one of the greatest dynasties in sports.

As we come back to the present, we look at what the Rams have in comparison. That is the same amount of years their head coach and quarterback have been together. Sean McVay is in his second year as the head coach of the Los Angeles Rams. His QB Jared Goff is in his third. The Rams also have a tough, hard-hitting defense, which we saw from the Patriots during the earlier stages of success. Can they get revenge for their loss 17 years ago? Let’s take a look the top five moments from Super Bowl XXXVI between the Patriots and Rams.

Super Bowl XXXVI
Tom Brady with Vince Lombardi trophy” by Brian Allen/Voice of America is licensed under Public Domain

Top five moments from Super Bowl XXXVI

 

5. Terrell Buckley recovers Ricky Proehl’s fumble

It was hard for the Rams to get much going in the first half of this game. Their opening drive ended with a field goal. Then the Ty Law interception happened, which we’ll talk about shortly. On a drive that looked like the Rams were finally getting momentum, WR Ricky Proehl fumbles the ball over to Patriots. It would’ve been a first down catch on the other side of the 50, could’ve continued into a scoring drive. Instead, Terrell Buckley recovers the fumble and gave the Patriots a short field that would help set up the first of many Tom Brady Super Bowl touchdowns. Rickey Proehl is remembered mostly for his game-tying TD in this game, but this fumble by him was a huge game changer. This fumble isn’t something greatly remembered, but it sure did have an impact on the outcome.

 

4. David Patten’s 8-Yard TD

After Terrell Buckley returned that fumble by Ricky Proehl, the Patriots drove down the field right before halftime to give themselves a 14-3 lead. Tom Brady led the Patriots down to the eight yard line, where he then threw a TD strike to WR David Patten. The fifth greatest moment in this game led right into the fourth. The Patriots would carry the momentum from that TD to add more points in the third quarter and go up 17-3 on the Rams.

 

3. Ricky Proehl’s game-tying TD

Being down 17-3 at one point, the Rams were down, but they weren’t out. There was still plenty of time left to get back in this game. It wasn’t until the fourth quarter when they did so. Rams QB Kurt Warner was known for his success in fourth quarters. With the team down by two touchdowns, Warner did everything he could to bring his team back. First it was Kurt Warner getting in for a TD to put the score at 17-10. Next it was the TD pass to Proehl. This was the one that brought the Rams all the way back, where Proehl made up for his lost fumble earlier in game. Proehl caught the ball at about the 15 yard line, where he then weaved his way around two Patriots defenders and into the end zone for the tying score.

 

2. Ty Law’s pick six starts the scoring are Patriots

This was the first of two interceptions thrown by Kurt Warner, but this one really set the tone for how the game was going to go. It was a 3-0 score in the favor of the Rams. They were looking for the opportunity to add on more points. That was until Patriots DB Ty Law took matters into his own hands with the interception returned for a touchdown. That pick six put the Patriots up 7-3, which helped the Patriots gain their eventual 17-3 lead in third quarter.

 

1. Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning FG

This kick by Adam Vinatieri will go down as one of the best Super Bowl moments in history, especially as a part of Tom Brady’s legacy. When Warner found Proehl for the game-tying TD, he left too much time on the clock for Tom Brady and the Patriots. There was about a 1:30 left in the game. For Tom Brady, that’s about equivalent to all day. The Patriots’ offense drove down into field goal range with seven seconds left. Then it was time for the kick that started the Patriots dynasty. Adam Vinatieri kicked the ball throw the uprights, giving the Patriots a 20-17 Super Bowl XXXVI win.

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Take a look back at these Super Bowl XXXVI moments in this short recap video.

As you can see from the short list, there are several moments from Super Bowl XXXVI we can all talk about, as this was the first of five Super Bowls Brady and Belichick have won together. Could this Sunday be the start of a new dynasty with McVay and Goff? Or will we see the Patriots add their sixth Super Bowl title with Brady and Belichick?

In case you missed the top five Super Bowl moments in Rams and Patriots history, take a look back at those before the big game this Sunday!

Top five Super Bowl moments in Rams history

It’s Super Bowl week in Atlanta, Georgia as we all await the big game this Sunday. This will be the first time in 17 years the Rams have made the Super Bowl. It will be their third Super Bowl in 19 years. They are looking to give use some great Super Bowl moments, as they plan to add their second Super Bowl title in franchise history. Before we get to the big game, let’s take a look at the Rams’ top five Super Bowl moments. 

Top five Super Bowl moments - Rams

Source: http://bit.ly/2yHgl3H

5. Kurt Warner leads comeback against Patriots, but Rams fall short in Super Bowl XXXVI

Super Bowl XXXVI marked the second Super Bowl appearance for the Kurt Warner led Rams. The Rams entered the game as favorites over the New England Patriots. Unfortunately for the Rams, they fell into 17-3 hole, but it wasn’t over yet. Kurt Warner led the Rams back, tying the game 17-17 with about 1:30 left. The reason this moment ranks number five, is because the Patriots ended up winning this game 20-17.

It kind of puts a spoiler on one of the Rams’ top five Super Bowl moments, but it still makes the list because the Rams were able to come back and tie the game. By tying the game 17-17, Kurt Warner became the first QB to throw game leading/tying touchdown passes in the last two minutes of two Super Bowls. It was a losing effort by Warner and the Rams. Despite that, the ability to even comeback makes this a top moment in their history.

 

4. Jack Youngblood plays Super Bowl XIV with broken leg

Unfortunately this Super Bowl moment for the Rams was also a loss. Despite the loss, this moment headlined by Jack Youngblood remains one of the best moments in their history. In 1979, the Los Angeles Rams lost Super Bowl XIV to the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19. Even though they lost, the guts of DE Jack Youngblood stand out for the Rams. In a playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys, Youngblood suffered a break in his leg. Despite being injured in that game, he finished that game, the NFC Championship game, the Super Bowl and the Pro Bowl with that broken leg. You can say an injured player might be a detriment to their team, but Jack Youngblood displayed some of the gutsiest performances the football world has ever seen. The Rams won’t be remembered for winning Super Bowl XIV, but Jack Youngblood will be remembered for his gutsy performance in that very Super Bowl.

 

3. Los Angeles Rams win 1951 NFL Championship

In 1951, the Super Bowl wasn’t around, so technically this isn’t a top a five Super Bowl moment. However, I chose to include this moment in Rams history because it was the first time the Rams could bring a championship to Los Angeles. The Rams had won the NFL Championship in 1945, but they were the Cleveland Rams at the time. The next season they became the Los Angeles Rams. In 1949, the Los Angeles Rams made it to the NFL Championship game. They would lose that game to the Eagles. Then they made it to the NFL Championship game again the next year in 1950. They lost that game to the Cleveland Browns.

1951 marked the third straight year the Los Angeles Rams made it to the NFL Championship, only this was the year they finally brought their first championship to Los Angeles, beating the Cleveland Browns, who had beaten them the year before. Again, this isn’t technically a Super Bowl moment. However, I think it deserves to be on this list because the Los Angeles Rams have never won a Super Bowl. Their 1951 championship is the only title the Los Angeles Rams have ever won. Only the St. Louis Rams have won a Super Bowl. Maybe that will change on Super Bowl Sunday.

 

2. Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce gives Rams the lead in Super Bowl XXXIV

This touchdown pass from Kurt Warner to Isaac Bruce marked the first time Warner threw a game leading touchdown pass in the last two minutes of a Super Bowl. After leading 16-0 against the Titans, the Rams allowed the Titans to come back and tie the game 16-16 with just over two minutes left. However, on the first play of the Rams’ next drive, Warner found WR Isaac Bruce for a 73-yard touchdown pass to give the Rams a 23-16 lead and victory. This touchdown pass helped the Rams secure their first ever Super Bowl win. However, the reason why this moment ranks number two on the list is because it’s overshadowed by another iconic play made by the Rams in this same game.

 

1. Rams stop Titans one yard short in Super Bowl XXXIV

After the Rams took the 23-16 lead over the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV, it was Steve McNair’s turn to lead the Titans on a game tying drive. The Titans got themselves into scoring position, but had just six seconds left on the final play. McNair found Kevin Dyson, who almost got in for a touchdown. Almost. Rams LB Mike Jones made a tackle on Dyson at the three yard line. That tackle forced Dyson to stretch the ball as far as possible. On what was a good effort to get in for the touchdown, Mike Jones’ effort was better. He forced Dyson to come up less than a yard short of the goal line as time expired. That tackle by Mike Jones sealed the Super Bowl win for the Rams. This moment is the greatest Super Bowl moment in Rams history. It could also be the greatest moment in Super Bowl history.

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We hope you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with us as we saw the top five Super Bowl moments in Rams history. Come back throughout the week to read more about the greatest Super Bowl moments as we lead up to Super Bowl LIII.

Julian Edelman

Is Julian Edelman Hall of Fame worthy?

The list of receivers that are enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is impressive.

Jerry Rice, Michael Irvin, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens are some recent ones.

Go back in time and names like Art Monk, John Stallworth, Lynn Swann, Fred Bilitnekoff and James Lofton come to mind.

Go back even further and you’ve got Don Hutson – well, you get the point: the list of names is iconic. Current receivers like Larry Fitzgerald with the Cardinals and tight end Antonio Gates with the Chargers are having Hall of Fame careers before our very eyes. These are the receivers that changed the game, have multiple Super Bowl rings, and dominated during their time in the NFL. Definite stat stuffers.

Julian Edelman
0 New England Patriots Julian Edelman” by Jack Kurzenknabe is licensed under Public Domain

Which leads me to my next point, and a legitimate question worth asking: Is current New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman worthy of selection into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame after he calls it a career?

 

Julian Edelman Bio

A quick bio about Julian Edelman: lightly recruited as a two-star player out of high school, he became a seventh-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2009. Julian Edelman went to Kent State where he was a dual-threat quarterback, still holding the record for total offensive yards in a single season (3,190). The Patriots turned him into a return specialist while also turning him into a receiver. He’s had to put in the work to get where he is.

Julian Edelman had a bit of a blip on his resume to start the 2018 season after he was suspended four games to begin the year for using performance enhancing drugs, but was able to step right in and have a productive 74-850-6 stat line to finish the regular season. Julian Edelman remains one of Tom Brady’s most reliable targets and helped lead the Patriots to a third consecutive Super Bowl.

 

CASE AGAINST ENSHRINEMENT

Stacking up against the receivers mentioned earlier, Edelman seems light years away in terms of production.

  • 499 career receptions

Those receptions are a whopping 1,050 behind career leader Jerry Rice, and a mere 804 behind active leader Larry Fitzgerald. That number has him tied for 148th all-time with the likes of former Patriots tight end Ben Coates, longtime Ravens tight end Todd Heap, and early 2000’s wideout Darrell Jackson – not necessarily the kind of company that is screaming Hall of Fame. Another thing to consider: five of the top ten leaders in career receptions are currently in the Hall, with the other five likely to be enshrined when they become eligible. Julian Edelman does rank a few spots ahead of Hall of Famer Don Hutson in career receiving yards, but I’ll touch on Hutson later.

  • 5,390 career receiving yards

Edelman’s career receiving yards ranks 248th all-time, just 17,505 yards short of Rice’s career totals. It’s safe to say Edelman won’t be getting close to that total. Heck, Edelman isn’t even going to get close to active leader Larry Fitzgerald’s 16,279. Just like the career reception leaders, the Hall features five of the top ten career receiving yardage leaders, so it’s safe to say yardage totals factor in the decision of who is entering the Hall.

  • 30 career receiving TD’s

Remember when I mentioned Edelman was ahead of Hutson in career receiving yards? Well, this is where Hutson ranks WAY ahead of Edelman. Hutson had 99 career TD, good for 11th all-time. In fact, eight of the top eleven career TD leaders are in the Hall. The only three that aren’t in the Hall that are currently in the top ten in career TD? Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez. Gates and Fitzgerald are still active and should get the call, and Gonzalez is likely to get the call to the Hall in 2019. The Hall recognizes TDs big time. 

  • Zero Pro Bowls or All-Pro Teams

Pro Bowls are more of an informal recognition, but it’s still very telling that Edelman has not been selected to one. The zero All-Pro teams is a bit concerning, as the All-Pro teams usually recognize the best-of-the-best of a given year. Not seeing Edelman on one of those lists is a bit concerning. He’s only 32, so he still has a chance to garner an All-Pro or Pro Bowl nod at some point, but usually the Hall of Fame players achieve numerous post-season accolades throughout their careers.

 

CASE FOR ENSHRINEMENT

  • 105 career postseason receptions

Edelman’s receptions rank second all-time, only behind Rice and his 151. Granted, Edelman has had the luxury of playing for the Patriots and Tom Brady, who basically make the playoffs every year. In his defense, though, Edelman has been counted on to make big time receptions for the Patriots and has been instrumental in helping them to three of the last five Super Bowls (The Pats have made the Super Bowl four of the last five years, but Edelman was injured during 2017 season in which Pats lost the Super Bowl to the Eagles).

  • 1.271 career postseason receiving yards

Edelman currently ranks fourth all-time, but needs only 44 yards in Super Bowl 53 to move into second all-time, behind (surprise, surprise) Rice. It’s very likely Edelman will reach that second-place total, as Edelman had a career high 151 yards against the Chargers in this year’s divisional round and then went for 96 yards against the Chiefs in the AFC Championship game. He’s been heavily involved in the Pats’ game plans yet again this postseason.

  • Overall postseason numbers

Let’s remember, Edelman has only started 13 career postseason games at receiver out of 17 appearances. Take away his first three postseason appearances in which he was primarily a returner, and Edelman has 96 catches for 1,196 yards. Equate that to a full 16-game slate? Edelman is on pace for 128 catches for 1,596 yards. Only four receivers ever have had more than 128 catches in a single season. Only 23 receivers ever have had more than 1,596 yards in a single season. And Edelman is putting up these kind of numbers on the biggest of stages: the postseason.

  • Two Super Bowl rings

Edelman has started in three Super Bowls: two at receiver, one at returner. The Patriots are 2-1 in those games, 2-0 in which Edelman starts at receiver. Edelman’s career Super Bowl receiving stat line of 14 catches, 196 yards and one touchdown is impressive. Remember, Edelman did not play in last year’s Super Bowl loss to the Eagles due to injury. His numbers could be even greater and it’s possible the Patriots could have won with Edelman on the field.

It’s worth noting two monstrous plays Edelman had in the two Super Bowl wins he’s been a part of. First, his fourth quarter catch from Super Bowl 51 against the Falcons with the Patriots down eight with under three minutes left in the game. It was arguably the greatest Super Bowl catch of all-time. (Sorry David Tyree). Second, his go-ahead touchdown in Super Bowl 49 against the Seahawks, scoring on a pass from Brady with just over two minutes to go. Edelman defines the word clutch when it come to big moments in the Super Bowl. The Patriots continue to call his number when looking for a big play.

 

Hall of Fame worthy?

The debate for Julian Edelman entering the Hall of Fame has some time to stew, as Edelman has a handful of seasons remaining in his career. Tom Brady will likely (HA!) retire before Edelman call it quits, and as long as Brady is quarterback in New England, Edelman will benefit.

Chances are Edelman’s regular season stats will never live up to the iconic receivers in the Hall of Fame. However, his postseason stats rival nearly every player in Canton. One player I think of when trying to argue for Edelman in the Hall of Fame is Kurt Warner.

Warner had good career stats over 12 seasons. However, his career passing yards and touchdowns aren’t even close to the career leaders in the top-ten. His 67 career regular season wins at QB is currently tied with Russell Wilson. Warner did win MVP twice, was named All-Pro twice and made four Pro Bowls, so there’s that. Where Warner really excelled, though, was on the biggest stage: the postseason.

Warner went 9-4 in the postseason. He had a 66.5% completion percentage (5th all-time), a 102.8 passer rating (10th all-time), threw for 3952 yards and tossed 31 TDs. He played in three Super Bowls and won one, being named MVP in the lone win. Edelman has two Super Bowl rings. Just sayin’.

Let’s refresh: Edelman is a postseason monster. Brady trusts him. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick trusts him. Edelman is one of the greatest receivers in postseason history. We always remember the players who step up in the biggest moments and on the biggest stages. And I think Edelman definitely fits that bill.

*Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

 

 

 

NFL Overtime

NFL Overtime leaving many wanting more

NFL Overtime
Tom Brady” by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

 

Most of the concerns have focused on the fact that the archaic officiating standards the NFL goes by are in need of a change. I think this argument is clear and valid when you watched blown calls all Sunday long.

Some are calling for a change in officiating. Others are yelling from the rooftops for the NFL competition committee to take a look at the league’s regulations regarding NFL overtime.

For the first time in NFL history, we saw both Conference Championship games need extra time to decide the winner. Looking back at both games, specifically both overtimes, the tale of the tape is much different. One showed the ugliness of the regulations, where one in my opinion showed just how easy it can be to fix.

 

AFC Championship game

The AFC Championship game between the Patriots and Chiefs looked like another classic Patriots performance. A dominating defensive showing by New England and a genius game plan that was executed to perfection. In the second half though, that game plan fell apart and Pat Mahomes woke up. His performance in the second half solidified to everyone why he is ultimately the MVP this year.

The Chiefs crawled back into the game. They took the ball down the field with only 39 seconds left to tie it up and bring it into overtime. The Chiefs didn’t realize that this was the beginning of the end. Things look bright when Patriots captain Matthew Slater picked heads at the coin toss to begin the NFL overtime. We all know tails never fails. But Patriot magic reared its ugly head again and it landed heads. That is all the Patriots needed. The slow and methodically drive down the field for the game-winning touchdown was hard to watch, but expected. When it was all said and done, we did not get the chance to see the Chiefs be able to rebuttal this drive. A little unfair if you ask me.

 

NFC Championship game

The other Championship game saw the Rams drive into field goal range at the end of regulation to tie the game up. This NFL overtime was totally different in comparison to the above-mentioned one. Just like the Patriots, the Saints won the coin toss and received the ball first. I think it’s safe to assume once we saw the Saints win toss, we thought the game was over. The plot took a quick turn once the Rams managed to create a turnover and turn it the game-winning field goal.

Both games went into overtime, but only one of them is being heavily scrutinized. Many see that the fact the Chiefs did not have a chance to answer back and force the Patriots to stop them to secure the win is not right for the league and its fans. With that, I have heard a plethora of ideas and concepts to change NFL overtime. What these people are blind to see is that how the NFC Championship game played out is the perfect beginning to how it could change.

 

NFL Overtime changes

In this current climate in the NFL, defensive stops are at an all-time premium. I have no issue with how the Rams won because they made the stop and scored the points. That to me showed that the Rams were the better team in that NFL overtime. The defensive stop needs to be valued more than the touchdown right now. I think it deserves the ability to win the game in overtime. Imagine just how exciting that AFC Championship game would have been if we had the opportunity to see the Chiefs drive down the field to score to keep their hopes alive.

If the Patriots stop them, game over. If the Chiefs score, it goes on till one team can make a stop and score points in consecutive sequences. When time runs out, well then it ends with the team in the lead.

Fair and simple. The concept of change for NFL overtime does not need to be elaborate or outside of the box. It just needs to be reworked to make it a fair competition. It needs to be in the best interest of the entire league and all of its fans.