A Wet and Wild Super Bowl
The Virtue of Patience
Peyton Manning had to wait until his ninth season to win his first Super Bowl. He's in good company with some notable quarterbacks who had a long wait before winning their first Vince Lombardi Trophy as a starter:
|John Elway, Den.||15||XXXII||31-24|
|Steve Young, S.F.||10||XXIX||49-26|
|Peyton Manning, Ind.||9||XLI||29-17|
|Jim Plunkett, Oak.||9||XV||27-10|
|Phil Simms, N.Y.G.||7||XXI||39-20|
|Ken Stabler, Oak.||7||XI||32-14|
Lost Ball, Then Lost
The first quarter featured four turnovers, the most in an opening quarter in Super Bowl history. With a steady rain pelting the field and players for most of the first half, ball control was never a given. Peyton Manning threw an interception on the Colts' first possession, and running back Joseph Addai fumbled. For the Bears, Cedric Benson also fumbled, and Chicago lost another when Gabe Reid muffed a kickoff.
After Cedric Benson fumbled in the first quarter, things got worse for the Bears running back. With just under three minutes to play before the end of the first quarter, Benson got hit by safety Bob Sanders, and the ball popped out. The Colts recovered at the Chicago 43. Then on his first carry of the next series, Benson injured his left knee and left the game for good.
Singing in the Rain
Football fans have become accustomed to watching Adam Vinatieri converting kicks during the postseason. The best clutch place kicker in league history helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls. Now he's with the Colts and yesterday played in his fourth Super Bowl, but kicks hardly were automatic. Vinatieri missed a field goal just before halftime and earlier didn't get a chance to kick when an extra point attempt was mishandled.
Super Bowl halftime performer Prince, the artist formerly known as an unpronounceable symbol, opened his set with the predictable "Let's Go Crazy." He closed with another standard, "Purple Rain," but considering the strong downpour that soaked the field and patrons, the choice seemed fitting.
Wrong Way Rex
The Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears are not exactly next-door neighbors, but according to the NFL, the franchises are the closest to one another to have played in the Super Bowl. The cities are separated by 188 miles, though it appeared the Colts had more of a following at the stadium, with Indianapolis jerseys and other gear predominant in the stands.
Rex Grossman had a forgettable couple of plays during the Bears' first possession of the second quarter. It started well, with the quarterback completing a 14-yard pass to Thomas Jones and a nine-yarder to Muhsin Muhammad. But then he was sacked for an 11-yard loss on second and one and fumbled on third and 12. He fell on the ball, and Chicago punted.
Peyton Manning joined three other quarterbacks who were selected first overall in the draft and won the Super Bowl in their first appearance. The others were the Dallas Cowboys' Troy Aikman, the Oakland Raiders' Jim Plunkett (selected first by the New England Patriots) and the Pittsburgh Steelers' Terry Bradshaw. Those quarterbacks combined for nine Super Bowl wins.
The Colts' Dominic Rhodes rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown, and the Bears' Thomas Jones gained 112 yards, marking the first time since Super Bowl XXV each team had a running back eclipse 100 yards. In that Super Bowl, Ottis Anderson ran for 102 yards for the Giants in a 20-19 win over the Bills, who had Hall of Famer Thurman Thomas gain 135 yards.