Posts Tagged ‘Kurt Warner’

Super Sunday Recap

February 2nd, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on Super Sunday Recap

Last night’s Super Bowl lived up to the hype and expectations that it received while providing for the second year in a row on of the best games of the year in the NFL’s biggest game. Everyone remembers Eli Manning and the Giants upsetting the undefeated New England Patriots last year in a close grudge match. However, this year epic battle was also among the ranks of one of the best Super Bowl’s in recent history. The NFL could not be happier with how their Championship game has been played over the last two seasons. Perhaps the NCAA would get these types of caliber championship games if they would ever finally go to a playoff system, but that is another subject for another time. Last night Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald played the underdog role that made a valiant effort at a 13 point comeback only to see Pittsburgh make another game winning drive in the final seconds of the game something they did quite a bit this season. Santonio Holmes may have got the MVP Award last night, but big Ben Roethlisberger had one of the best nights he has had all season and the Steelers offense was the group to breakthrough and get the job done rather than the defense. There was a lot we learned last night as we take a look back on the NFL’s biggest night.

The first thing we learned is that the Pittsburgh offense is not too shabby. The Steelers had some bright moments on the ground and even more success through the air. Santonio Holmes come up with two big grabs late in the game, including the game winning touchdown with less than a minute to go in the game pulled down in the back of the end zone while somehow keeping two feet inbounds. The touchdown reception was definitely the biggest play of the game and a true testimony of skills. For Roethlisberger, it was just another game winning drive that the Steelers accomplished so often in the latter part of the year against teams like Dallas and Baltimore. However, this game winner will be remembered forever. The Steelers defense got them to the Super Bowl, but it was the offense that really made the difference last night for Pittsburgh.

The Hall of Fame answer may not have been decided last night, but I guarantee you that Kurt Warner lead two Hall of Fame type drives at the end of the game to give Arizona the lead with under 3 minutes to go. Sure Larry Fitzgerald made big plays, but Warner delivered the ball in tight spots time and time again. Some believed that Warner needed to win that game last night to really seal his faith into the Hall. However, the veteran put on another brilliant display in the NFL’s Championship Game. Warner went 31 for 43 (72%), 377 yards, and 3 touchdowns. The 377 yards will rank 2nd all-time behind his 414 yard performance in the 2000 Super Bowl meaning Warner now has the 3 highest passing performances in Super Bowl history in only 3 Super Bowl appearances. That should definitely aid in his cause, yet some will still question his longevity in the league. One thing that people should not forget though is that this guy still is not done. He will be back this year throwing to the same talented group of receivers given they can keep Anquan Boldin in town. Warner best chance at winning a Super Bowl most likely was last night, but as we have learned you can not count him out ever. Arizona will return a strong offense next year, and if their defense can play the way they did throughout the post season this team’s future is bright.

Larry Fitzgerald is amazing if you did not catch on to this fact throughout the playoffs you must not have been watching. Fitzgerald posted yet another 100+ yard performance last night shattering the postseason record while amassing 546 yards in the playoffs with 7 touchdowns. Without Fitzgerald, there is no telling how ineffective the Arizona offense could be. This special wide receiver is a playmaker that can change games in the blink of an eye. Fitzgerald pulled down a beautiful touchdown early in the 4th to close the lead to 6, then caught a pass over the middle and left 3 Steelers like they were standing still for 64 yards to put the Cardinals on top in the closing minutes. If you are new to the name Larry Fitzgerald, he has been making amazing plays since his days at Pittsburgh just go look at some of his youtube highlights. Arizona has a golden treasure in this young talent and it will be very fun to watch him over the next few years especially if Anquan Boldin stays with the team despite some early reports saying he will not.

The last thing we did not learn last night may have been the most important. The final play on offense forKurt Warner Arizona concluded with force fumble that ended up in the Steelers hands or at least that is what was called. Looking at the replay it clearly looked like the football was in Warner’s hands as it was going forward. Now he may not have had control of the ball, but the ball was definitely in contact with his hand as his arm motioned forward. However, there was never an official review in the biggest moment of the game. Sure Warner would have had to throw a hail mary on the next play and pray for a miracle, but still the NFL should have never let Pittsburgh kneel on the ball before taking an extra look. Just a bizarre situation considering how well and how often the replays of have been used in the National Football League over the last few seasons. While it most likely would not have changed the outcome on the game, they took all possibility out when they did not review the play. Instead, the Pittsburgh Steelers are now the first team to win 6 Super Bowl’s in NFL history and that will do nothing but add fire to the beloved Steeler nation.

Let me know what you think readers. Should the play have been reviewed? Fumble or incomplete pass?

Hall of Fame Audition

January 30th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NFL Football   2 Comments »

Kurt WarnerThe 2009 Super Bowl is a mere two days away as the world awaits one of the biggest sporting spectacles on the planet. The Super Bowl has always been the most popular and widely watched game in sports. This year’s battle promises to draw some more dramatic excitement as the Arizona Cardinals are in search for their first ever Super Bowl victory while the Pittsburgh Steelers will be trying to break an NFL record with their 6th Super Bowl win. Not only does this game cap off a great season for the winner, but it will also define the eternal career of quarterback Kurt Warner. One of the growing debates leading into this year’s spectacle has been the possibility and chances that veteran QB Kurt Warner will make the Hall of Fame. Warner has definitely received a bigger fan base through his performance during the playoffs this year where he has epitomized what it takes to be a leader of an NFL football team. Clearly this debate does not have an answer with many people believing Warner will make it into the Hall of Fame and many believing he will be left out. One thing that is for sure is this year’s Super Bowl may be the final audition that concretes the Warner legacy forever.

One of the pessimistic clouds that have overshadowed Warner’s career is that many believe he has not been as consistent enough as a top quarterback to receive the ultimate nomination into Canton, Ohio. Warner became an Arena Football League quarterback in 1995 after not being able to get a spot with an NFL team. Warner did not even enter the NFL until 3 years later at the age of 28. However, one year later Kurt Warner would take the role behind center for the St. Louis Rams and complete one of the biggest breakout stories in NFL history. The 1999 season really put the star quarterback on the map as he completed 65% of his passes on the season, for 4,353 yards, and an amazing 41 touchdowns. The 41 touchdowns became a Rams all-time record while placing 5th on the single season all-time list. Warner received his first MVP and led the St. Louis Rams to their first ever Super Bowl victory and also won the Super Bowl MVP becoming the 6th person ever to win both MVP titles in the same year. Over the next two years Warner will still have a good bit of success throwing 57 touchdowns and racking up an outstanding 4,830 yards through the air in 2001. The yardage total of 4,830 ranked 3rd all-time and led to Kurt Warner receiving his 2nd MVP award in 3 years while leading the Rams to another Super Bowl appearance. The Rams lost a close game to the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI, but Warner still amassed over 365 yards the 2nd most in Super Bowl history behind his 414 yard performance in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Warner seemed to be on the fast track as one of the NFL’s all-time greats at the quarterback position despite his late entrance into the NFL. However, the following years were anything but expected. In 2002, Warner broke a finger on his throwing hand after a 0-3 start and despite making a comeback effort only played in two more games the rest of the season. Warner got the starting role back in the 2003 season opener, but after fumbling 6 times in the opener against the New York Giants his season was over before it begun. Marc Bulger took over the QB position for the Rams and Warner was left on the sidelines for the rest of the season and was releases by the Rams at the end of the year in 2004. During the off-season, Warner found a home with the New York Giants. However, this fit could be seen long before it happened that it was not going to work. Warner had become popular behind explosive offensive attacks and the New York Giants offense was more balanced power attack. Not to mention the Giants had already signed their future franchise quarterback in rookie Eli Manning. Warner got the Giants off to a 5-2 start before going through 2 straight poor performances that resulted in losses and Eli Manning would take over behind center. Following the season, Warner signed a one year contract with the Arizona Cardinal in a move similar to the St. Louis situation where a talented receiving core based around a west coast offense was in search of quarterback to give them a spark.

During the beginning of the Arizona campaign in 2005, Warner battled injuries in the midst of mediocre performances and finally partially tore his MCL at the end of the season. The popular belief quickly became that Kurt Warner’s days of a starting quarterback in the NFL were over and that he may even retire. However Warner got off to a fairly good start in 2006, but shared time with Matt Lienart who many thought was the future for the Cardinals. Leinart got the nod going into the 2007 season, but after some poor performances Warner would have to come of the bench and give Arizona a much needed confidence boost. Warner ended the 2007 season with a rather effective impression falling one touchdown short of a franchise record with 27 TDs for the season along with 3,417 yards as well. Warner got the start entering this season and it quickly became apparent that all the pieces of the Arizona offense had finally got glued together. Arizona sported one of the most potent passing attacks in the NFL and Warner led the assault by amassing over 4,583 yards and a franchise record 30 touchdowns. Warner’s ability to direct the talented Arizona offense down the stretch this season has become eerie similar to that of his performance with the St. Louis Rams. Despite the year’s of underachieving, Warner has the opportunity to grab his 2nd Super Bowl ring and become the first ever quarterback to win the first franchise Super Bowl with two different teams. If Warner can lead the Cardinals into another postseason upset, the years from 2002-2006 will likely be forgotten forever.

The debate is so popular because the argument is legitimate from both sides. Many people may argue how can a guy receive the Hall of Fame talk when he spent nearly half his career battling for a starting position? However, looking at the statistics side of the argument Warner would likely be a lock. After all how can you turn down someone who has the second highest completion percentage all time at 66%, 3 Super Bowl appearances, 1 Lombardi Trophy, a Super Bowl MVP, and 2 NFL MVP awards? Warner also has a few more notable statistics including the highest passing yards per game average in NFL history at 261, the highest percentage of 300 yard games at 45%, and is tied with Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger for the most games with a perfect passing rating. However, the sad thing is that without this year’s breakout Warner might not be in any of the Hall of Fame talk. Still his performance down the stretch has been noticed by everybody in America and truly spectacular to watch. It is safe to say if he can pull off another underdog type feat and win his 2nd Super Bowl then the 37 year old can make retirement reservations for Canton, Ohio, but for now let the debate rage on.