Vince Lombardi

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Super Bowl 50: The Case For Scavengers

Hunters may be sexy but scavengers eat just as well and incur much less risk.

It took Denver QB Peyton (P-rex) Manning 200 wins--the most any NFL QB has ever achieved--to learn this lesson. In the Broncos 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50, P-rex showed that he could win as a scavenger.

For the first time in Super Bowl history, both QBs, P-rex and Carolina's Cam Newton failed to generate more than 2.00 player productivity, the "Mendoza Line" of NFL football labeled by QC as the JaMarcus Cable. But P-rex took better care of the football, subsidizing the Panthers with just 2 turnovers while Newton subsidized Denver with 4 turnovers.

Two of Newton's turnovers, fumbles while being sacked by Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, enabled the Broncos to scavenge 14 points. Denver DT Malik Jackson recovered the first fumble for a TD, which gave the Broncos control of the game. The Broncos recoverd the second fumble at the Carolina 5-yard line and RB C.J. Anderson's short TD run capped the scoring and iced the game.

Take away Denver's 14 scavenged points and the Panthers probably still win 10-9 despite a multitude of penalties and breakdowns on special teams. Unfortunately for Ron Rivera's team, scavenged points count every bit as much as points that are hunted down and posted.

For most of his career, P-rex was a predatory hunter who rarely was patient enough to wait for a kill to be presented for consumption. Newton currently is the NFL's most predatory force of nature. However, when Denver took away RB Jonathan Stewart (in hindsight, it is pretty clear that Carolina's offense ran through Stewart nearly as much as it did through Newton), Super Bowl 50 became a lesson for Newton that sometimes even the most dangerous predator needs to hunker down and patiently wait for a safe meal to come his way.

And neither Newton nor any other QB is the same species as P-rex. He is the last of the breed, the last Type "A" QB who gives directions more than he takes directions.

P-rex has more in common with the dinosaurs of long ago--Johnny Unitas, George Blanda and the most fearsome Type "A" QB of all-time, Norm Van Brocklin--than he does with his contemporary peers.

It was Van Brocklin who dealt Vince Lombardi his only meaningful playoff defeat when Philadelphia held off Green Bay in the 1960 NFL Championship Game.

The Type "B" QBs--Bart Starr, Joe Montana and Tom Brady--work well with the dominating head coaches--Lombardi, Bill Walsh and Bill Belichick. And history indisputably has proven that a dynasty is far more likely to be built on a dominating head coach and a compliant Type "B" QB than it is on a Type "A" QB. Only Pittsburgh's Terry Bradshaw is a candidate for the Type "A" category and, arguably, he met Steelers head coach Chuck Noll more than halfway on the issue of who would direct the play design of the team.

Only P-rex has taken four--four!-- different head coaches to the Super Bowl (Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell, John Fox and Gary Kubiak).

In addition, by beating Carolina, P-rex joined Van Brocklin (Eagles and Los Angeles Rams) as the only QBs who have won the NFL's championship with two different teams.

That is a tasty achievement no matter how it is served.


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