By: Matt Bove
I had the luxury of being in New Orleans from Thursday through Monday and of course I was at the Mercedez Benz Superdome for the game on Sunday.
I won tickets to the game and an all expenses paid trip by winning the NFL.com Predict the Pick contest, which was a contest to see who had the most accurate mock draft. You might want to keep that in mind when we do our draft coverage this year :).
If the NFL wanted to put the Super Bowl in New Orleans every year I would have no objections. It really is the perfect host city. The only real issue is the stadium and not because the lights went out. It only has two small video boards and the sound system is terrible.
However, the fact that the city is amazing more than makes up for those small issues. Everything is in walking distance, which is really nice. The city just has so many cool places like the River Walk, Bourbon Street, Canal Street and The Convention Center. The restaurants, people, music, weather and atmosphere are second to none.
I spent all day Friday at the NFL Experience and the NFL really does an outstanding job with that. They have games, a Memorabilia shops, the NFL Shop, clinics for kids, the Lombardi Trophy on display, rings from every Super Bowl Champion on display, replica lockers for every team, and some things from the HOF . Best of all they had free autograph sessions all day. I got autographs from great players like Von Miller, Demarcus Ware, Reggie Wayne, and Joe Montana.
In addition to those players I got to meet and get an autograph from our own Randall Cobb. Cobb was everything I expected him to be. He was on the podium for two hours when the majority of the players were only there for one. Cobb is just as good a person as he is a player, and he will be a great Packer for years to come.
Luckily, I got to experience a great game as well. I was happy to see Joe Flacco play as well as he did because I have always been a supporter of his. He has always gotten too much heat and after last year's playoff run I felt that the Ravens could win a championship with him.
Flacco played outstanding, but he also got help from Anquan Boldin and a porous San Francisco secondary. When the Ravens didn't have a receiver running free Flacco would throw it up to Boldin for him to make an outstanding play on it. San Francisco had little pass rush and when they did Flacco made some great escapes.
On the other end, Collin Kaepernick had a good game overall, but his terrible second quarter put his team in a hole that they could not recover from. Kaeprnick threw a bad interception and looked unusually tentative in his decision making. The Ravens could have been up by more than they were but fake field goal attempt failed and they had to settle for a field goal after Ed Reed's interception.
The Ravens did a great job against the read option, as most of Kaepernick's rushing yards came off scrambles. They were the first team I have seen to really knock Kaepernick around on every option play. Despite all of this,the 49ers had a good chance to take the lead late in the 4th but blew it on their final possession at the goal line.
First, Jim Harbaugh messed up by calling a time out instead of taking the five yard delay of game penalty on second down. Backing five yards at the goal line actually gives you more room to pass. If he had had that second time out, the 49ers could have gotten the ball back with around a minute left after they didn't score.
Also, Harbaugh's play calling was highly suspect. Harbaugh not giving Vernon Davis or Frank Gore a chance was baffling. Throwing two out passes and a fade all to Michael Crabtree made no sense. I absolutely agree with the no call on the 4th down fade to Crabtree. Sure, there was a little holding,but Crabtree ran a terrible route and Kaepernick threw a terrible ball that probably was not catchable. You do not reward a team the Super Bowl with a bad play like that.
It was a great Super Bowl and I had a fantastic time in New Orleans. Now it is time for the offseason and I cannot wait to see what the Packers will do. We will have it all covered here on the Packers Addicts Blog so stay tuned!