The 49ers shoveled the required heaping mounds of dirt on themselves during the first half Sunday in a thorough burial. That’s why while Niners supporters can continue to spit hot fire and analyze Jimmy Smith’s possible pass interference on Michael Crabtree until they turn several colors that aren’t human, it’s pretty difficult to say that one single play determined the outcome of the game. When a team is down by more than three touchdowns at any point, one possible blown call wasn’t the difference.
The 49ers lost Super Bowl XLVII because of their first-half mistakes and inability to even imitate the dominant defensive team they were all season. One of those mistakes was Colin Kaepernick’s second-quarter interception on a ball that sailed high above Randy Moss’ head as the supposed best receiver in the history of the NFL did nothing. Absolutely nothing.
Most of the criticism following the wayward throw has been directed at the guy who did the throwing. And that’s where it belongs, as Kaepernick delivered an uncatchable ball to an open receiver during what should have been a relatively routine play for a quarterback who’s often most comfortable when he’s rolling out of the pocket.
But watch the play again, and watch Moss. Jump to about the 1:05 mark in the video below, and ignore the Niners bro in the background.
His give a crap level during the Super Bowl seems to be at an all-time low. Even at 35 Moss has leaping ability left, and at the very least he could have elevated to distract Ed Reed. Or if those old bones and muscles would allow it, he may have even been able to tip the pass, and possibly avert an interception.
That’s all hopeful, best-case scenario pipe dreaming, of course, as it’s highly unlikely that Moss could have made a play on the ball. But doing nothing while he watched the errant pass land in Reed’s chest shouldn’t have been an option.
Yet that’s what Moss did. The best there ever was and the best there ever will be entered his patented coast.
Bill Romanowski and Dwight Clark appeared on Comcast’s post-game show, and noted Moss’ severe lack of even alligator arms. From Niners Nation:
Romanowski said that Moss “alligator armed” the pass, in that he didn’t extend for the ball. “He said he was the best receiver in the damn world — OK, you hear me? Oh God! That’s what pisses me off! You’re playing in the Super Bowl, guys! The Super Bowl!” Clark said.
Clark then said that Moss didn’t even alligator-arm it, because he “didn’t even reach up for it.” Romanowski then added that the one thing you “cannot have in the Super Bowl is lack of effort.”
You see Moss begin to jump, and then stop, as if his optimized internal effort calculator determined that the chances of such an action achieving positive results wasn’t worth the required movement. That’s the mentality of an almost champion.