Discover more from Pointless Exercise
Super Bowl running diary part two
They started playing again after the halftime show!
Here’s part two of the Super Bowl running diary.
Kathryn Tappen says Zac Taylor told his team at halftime, “Let’s go win the Super Bowl.” Did he not tell them that before the game? And, since MacPherson wasn’t there, does he know the new plan?
On the first play of the half, the Bengals’ other Joe, throws a 75 yard TD pass to Tee Higgins as Jalen Ramsey was laying on his face trying to figure out if there’s real grass in SoFi.
And on the replay we see that Tee grabbed Jalen by the facemask and threw Ramsey to the ground. That’s some pretty crap officiating. Even for the NFL.
Then again, I told you guys that a bet on either Burrow or Stafford to throw a 50+ touchdown pass was a good buy. So I’m fine with it.
Bengals 17, Rams 13
And then, on the next play from scrimmage former mediocre backup Notre Dame tight end Ben Skowronek (who dropped a TD pass in the NFC Title Game) drops a pass right into the arms of Bengals defensive back Chudobie Awozie (his last name is pronounced A-woozy-ay) and I’ll bet Sean McVay is feeling a little a-woozy-ay right now. Rams need to hold the Bengals to a field goal here.
The second half could hardly have started worse for the Rams if they’d been told that Dieter Brock was going to play QB the rest of the way.
On fourth and one, Riverboat Zac says go for it and they run a QB draw with Burrow for a first down. But the drive stalls and the Rams keep it a one score game by forcing MacPherson’s 14th field goal of the playoffs.
Bengals 20, Rams 13
The good thing about the Rams trading for Matthew Stafford is that he has no history of a few bad plays causing him to spiral and turn close games into blowout losses, or anything.
So far, Cam Akers has run eight times for 12 yards. He made a miraculous recovery to get back this soon from a torn Achilles, but he’s also been pretty bad. They really need to stop trying to run with just him.
We found out what Cooper Kupp can’t do. On third and five the Rams run a trick play where Kupp takes a pitch and he misses a wide open Stafford on what would have been an easy first down.
Mitch? Is that you?
Matt Gay kicks a 41-yard field goal.
Bengals 20, Rams 16
After Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have a tortured conversation about whether Burrow is the new “Joe Cool” (ugh), he misses an open Ja’Marr on third down.
The Rams field the punt but go nowhere, and Stafford is sacked on third down and twists his ankle. Not great for them.
The Bengals drive starts with the fourth Rams sack of Burrow in the quarter.
And the next snap is the Rams fifth sack of Burrow in the quarter.
The Bengals brought the Bears 2010 line to a Super Bowl.
And fittingly, the third and infinity play for the Bengals is a check down to give the punter more room.
The Rams version of Jakeem Grant makes a diving catch of the punt at the Rams 48.
Collinsworth says that McVay is “running out of weapons” and “if he makes the adjustments to win the Super Bowl he’ll have really done something.” Well, sure. I guess Cooper Kupp and the quarterback they traded every draft pick for the next decade for have gone home.
End of 3rd Quarter: Bengals 20, Rams 16
By the way, 20-16 was the final score of Super Bowl 16 when the Bengals lost to the 49ers.
On second and five to start the final quarter the Rams run Cam Akers for nothing, again. Hey, maybe a play action pass. Or are you too much of a genius for that?
Rams do nothing with that choice field position and punt again. Look, I know Odell has been good for them, but if his loss totally paralyzes your offense you’re doing it wrong.
Third and nine and the Bengals are going to pass which means Burrow is going to get sacked again, and he is. And he’s hurt and limps off. And there’s a personal foul on Bengals tackle Isaiah Prince. Probably the first time he’s hit anybody all night. (Guffaw.)
Both Bengals penalties so far are personal fouls. You can take Vontaze Burfict out of the team but you can’t take the Vontaze Burfict out of the team.
Kathryn says Burrow waved off the trainers and that “it’s the right knee, that’s not the left knee that he injured last season.” Good to know the right knee is not the left knee. Thanks, Dee.
The Rams get good field position again, and do nothing with it again. At least this time Stafford overthrew Skowronek on third down so Skowronek didn’t have to just drop it.
Show this to the next Bears fan who complains that they didn’t hire an offensive whiz to coach their team.
The Bengals move the ball and look like they have another first down when Tyler Boyd drops a pass. It’s the first pass he’s dropped all season. Of course it is.
Rams have a third and one at their own 29 and they hand off to Akers who, of course, gains nothing. So now it’s fourth and one and they’re going for it. And they run the ball, but to Kupp on an end around and get gets eight.
Hey. This Cooper Krupp is kinda good.
Suddenly Brycen Hopkins is the second most important receiver on the Rams.
What’s a Brycen, anyway?
Kupp makes a great catch in traffic for 22 yards and suddenly the Rams have first and ten at the Bengals 24.
I mean look at this shit. It’s amazing. Stafford makes an incredible throw on this.
Maybe it really was that he was trapped on a terrible team once Megatrin said, “fuck this” and retired. Maybe Stafford deserves better than the crap we all give him. Maybe he also deserves for his wife to get a haircut sometime this decade.
She looks like she’s going full Rapunzel, if Rapunzel wore rubber pants for no apparent reason.
Nah. But that’s a great throw.
Kupp catches another at the 18.
Akers is hit behind the line, breaks a tackle and somehow gains nine yards to the nine. Blind squirrel finds a hole, I guess.
Jefferson is wide open in the back of the end zone and Stafford throw it into the stands, right after they show his childhood friend and fellow big game choke artist Clayton Kershaw on the telecast. Coincidence?
Kupp is late getting off the line on third and goal and then the pass to him is late over the middle, and the late throw draws a defensive holding call?
Oh boy. And to make it worse, the center snapped the ball late and it should have been a false start on everybody but him.
On the next play, Kupp makes an incredible catch in the end zone and is lit up and hangs on, but there’s a holding call on Russ Havenstein and then a personal foul on the Bengals (of course). It’s on Vonn Bell. So now it’s first and goal, again.
Stafford is forcing the ball to Kupp now on every play (wouldn’t you?) and he draws a pass interference that puts the ball at the one. Hey, all Cam Akers will need is like six attempts to get a yard.
They try a QB sneak from the one and it’s just kind of sad. Stafford gets nothing. The pile didn’t move, at all. If they weren’t so poor at running the ball you’d almost think they were trying to not score quickly to burn time to limit how much Burrow gets for his final drive. But that’s not what they’re doing.
Stafford goes back shoulder to Kupp for the go ahead touchdown.
The missed extra point early in the game means they’ll kick here since they’re only up two. So that cost us a shot at our beloved octopus.
Gay’s extra point is good.
Rams 23, Bengals 20
Joe Burrow’s gonna have just less than a minute and a half and two timeouts to get in field goal range…or just score a TD and win the thing.
Obvious pass downs and a line that’s already given up seven sacks. What could go wrong?
But the first play is a first down to Ja’Marr for 17 yards.
Then a slant to Boyd at the Bengals 49. Plenty of time.
Burrow drops back looks long and throws it into the 18th row. A QB draw for like nine yards would be a good play here. Since it would help me win a parlay. No pressure, Joe.
Third and one they go to Samadje Perine on a handoff and he’s stuffed. And suddenly it’s fourth and one and if the Bengals don’t get it, they lose.
Donald busts through, grabs Burrow and spins him and Joe somehow gets a pass off towards Perine, but in reality, it’s not close.
Two QB knees and it’s over.
Actually, just one. Taylor doesn’t even call his final timeout. Which is, interesting.
Collinsworth says he’ll “never forget the Rams last drive.” Neither will I. Great catches by Kupp, a couple of terrible calls by the refs and a trademark game turning personal foul by the Bengals.
Al thanks Michelle Tafoya and congratulates her on a great career. Then he says, “Who knows what the future holds for us” and daps (really) Collinsworth for “13 great years.” We know what waits for Al. An obscenely large truck full of cash from Amazon to do Thursday Night Football with Troy Aikman.
To announce it, Amazon should have paid NBC for the rights to have Aikman slide into the shot in front of Collinsworth.
Cooper Kupp should easily win the MVP for this game, and the trophy will come in handy to remind him that he won a Super Bowl since he got hit in the head so hard on the pass he caught in the end zone (that was nullified by offsetting penalties), that he won’t remember anything that happened today.
It was nice to see the game live up to the halftime show. There were a couple of pretty awful calls. The no call on the offensive PI/facemask that Higgins got away with on the 75 yard TD pass to open the second half, and the defensive holding they called on Logan Wilson that set up the first and goal on the Rams’ final drive. Wilson only hit Kupp because Kupp slowed down to try to catch the pass that Stafford threw behind him.
But it’s the Bengals’ fan’s lot in life to see their team barely lose a Super Bowl and then not win another playoff game for a decade or so.
The big winner in all of this are us, Bears fans.
How so? Well, the season’s over, which means the next time the NFL tees it up for real it’ll be the start of the Matt Eberflus Era, one that I’m sure will be of dynastic proportions.
I’m not sure if you’ve heard of his H-I-T-S theory…