Some reflections after the Super Bowl
We have the common cliché that defense win championships. This is partially true. I will say that an exceptional unit (offense or defense) paired with a capable opposite unit, will win you a championship.
Running the game is the key when you are playing with a lead, but when you have a sub-par pass game, you are in trouble in close games and when losing. I still can' t believe Shanahan didn't use Samuel and Sanders more. Samuel was the best player of the niners offense, by far.
We tend to get frustrated by the gambles Sean Payton will make during the games. Yes, I hate them at the time, but I welcome and understand them. Just look at the game yesterday, Andy Reid played to win the game. He gambled twice on fourth down during the first half. In both occasions, he would certainly get 3 points, but he still gambled. He got 7 points on one of those gambles, and only 3 in the second one. Shanahan, on the other side, kept a conservative clock management at the end of the first half. His main goal at that point was to have the last drive of the first half. It almost worked, with the infamous Kittle pass interference he would have gotten points. But being more aggressive, he could have at least a couple more chances to go there.
Regarding the saints, and for the many people complaining about our offense, we should not forget we scored 46 points on that San Francisco defense. That game was lost on a bunch of trick plays that frankly, we were not prepared for. That won't happen again.
We are not that far, we have the team to go far once again, with or without Drew. The key is to keep as many pieces as possible, and to find the way to replace the ones that will go other places on higher salaries.
I am very optimistic, regardless of what happens this off-season.