Deflategate: Super Bowl XLIX has some controversy

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Don’t be upset Cowboy fans. Even if they got that call right and Dallas moved to the next round, there was no way they could have beat Seattle. The Seahawks are the biggest challenge in the NFL league during the playoffs.

Richard Sherman
Richard Sherman

We know how Seattle won that game against the Green Bay Packers, when they were down by 12 points in the final five minutes of the game: they didn’t give up.

The question is: how did the Packers let a sure thing win get away from them?

They weren’t scoring very well at all; in the first quarter the Packers were inside the five-yard line twice, but could only come away with field goals. Green Bay had only one touchdown all day.

Seattle has the best defense and they showed it last Sunday in that stunning win. The held the Packers to just five field goals and one touchdown — an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. That’s a really good day for any defense. The biggest reason the Seattle Seahawks are going to Super Bowl XLIX is the great play from their defense. The final minutes of the game, when the Seattle offense finally got into gear was great and gave the Seahawks enough points to win the game, but it was the defense that kept them close enough to win it. Any other defense and the Packers would have had at least another 12 points on the board.

Russell wilson
Russell wilson

It looked like the Packers assumed they were going to win and started coasting late in the game. Which is the wrong thing to do against a team like the Seahawks. The Seattle offense was ineffective most of the game, but in the fourth quarter they began to show some of their championship form.

Seattle was behind, 19-0 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter. It was fourth and long so the Seahawks were setting up to try a field goal, even after their kicker, Steve Hauschka, missed one earlier in the game. But, instead of a three-point play, the Seahawks tried something different. On the snap Seahawks punter Jon Ryan, who was holding the ball for the kicker, stood up and threw a touchdown pass — to an eligible rookie lineman, tackle Gary Gilliam. It put Seattle on the scoreboard and brought them within 12 points of Green Bay.

The Packers were denied two touchdowns when they were less than a yard from the goal line. Seattle defense was the winning part of Seattle’s game plan.
The Packers were denied two touchdowns when they were less than a yard from the goal line. Seattle defense was the winning part of Seattle’s game plan.

Then, from the shotgun on the one-yard line, Russell Wilson runs the ball into the end zone for the TD to bring the Seahawks within five points, 19-14. That’s when Packers tight end Brandon Bostick muffed an onside kick and the Seahawks’ recovered the ball at the 50-yard line.

Seattle moved the ball up the field and at the Green Bay 24-yard line Running back Marshawn Lynch ran it in for a touchdown. And then the Seahawks tried that two-point conversion, a Russell Wilson pass to Luke Wilson, and made it. That put Seattle ahead, 22-19.

Mason Crosby was able to kick a field goal to tie the game, which sent it into overtime. Jermaine Kearse scored on a 35-yard pass and that was the end of the game.

Andrew Luck
Andrew Luck

The Seahawks never gave up and the Packers let their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter. After the game Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers said he was not happy with the plays called in the final quarter, but as they say: hindsight is 20-20.

It is considered one of the most thrilling post-season games in recent years and is possibly the biggest comeback win in post-season history. The Seahawks put 22 points on the board with less than 25 minutes left in regulation. The Packers were only able to score six points in those 25 minutes.

The final score in the National Football Conference championship game was 26-22.

Tom Brady
Tom Brady

In the AFC championship game between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, the score was a little lop-sided: 45-7, in favor of New England. Andrew Luck ran out of Luck.

And according to reports the New England Patriots were running out of air in their footballs. Apparently, of 12 footballs checked after the game, 11 were under-inflated. That’s the big controversy now: “DEFLATEGATE” is the new scandal. Will the team be fined and penalized? We can’t play a do-over and no one really thinks that was the reason the Colts lost so badly. Plus, if they granted the Colts a do-over they might be obligated to give the Packers a do-over. There are no do-overs in professional sports. If someone cheats then it is dealt with in the context of future games and seasons.

Facebook meme
Facebook meme

But did the Patriots cheat? Everyone seems to think so. New England QB Tom Brady laughed at the suggestion, but now we’ve learned this isn’t the first time the Patriots have been suspected of deflating balls. On November 16, 2014, the Patriots beat the Colts 42-20. Indy safety Mike Adams intercepted Tom Brady twice and gave the balls to the equipment manager to hold as souvenirs. That’s when they first noticed the balls were under-inflated.

Some people think this is insignificant. Aaron Rodgers said he’s played with balls that were over-inflated.

This much is true: no matter what the NFL decides to do, which could be nothing, the Seattle Seahawks will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. As of now there is no clear favorite to win the game — not even Las Vegas odds makers can choose a favorite. There’s never been a Super Bowl that didn’t have a favored team. There’s always been a favorite, even if only by a few points — until this year.

We have 10 days to figure it out. Super Bowl Sunday is February 1. I will have some reports from Phoenix during Super Bowl Week so stay tuned to the Baltimore Post-Examiner for more football news.

(All photos from YouTube)

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