Super Bowl LVI Preview: Through the Eyes of a Wolverine

Super Bowl LVI Preview: Through the Eyes of a Wolverine

February 13, 2022
David Long

This is not an in-depth preview of any sort, but as a football fan, the Super Bowl is the most hyped game of the year. I don’t get as antsy about the Super Bowl as a Michigan State game, an Ohio State game, or a meaningful post-season game for the Wolverines, but it’s still pretty exciting to see the show the NFL puts on.

I usually root for whichever team has Tom Brady; failing that, I usually pick based on which team has more former Wolverines.

#25 RB Chris Evans
Defensive Quality Control Assistant Jordan Kovacs

#36 CB Blake Countess
#25 CB David Long, Jr.

Hit the jump for more.

As much as I appreciate Kovacs, I have to pull for the Rams, considering they have a couple former Michigan standouts. I know some people have mixed feelings about Countess, but he spent four years at Michigan and actually had a pretty darn good career before transferring to Auburn as a grad transfer in 2015.

Chris Evans had 320 career carries for 1,795 yards (5.6 yards/carry) and 15 touchdowns from 2016-2020. He added 49 receptions for 479 yards (9.8 yards/catch) and 2 touchdowns in the receiving game. He missed the 2019 season due to an academic violation but came back in 2020 and became a 6th round pick of the Bengals.

Jordan Kovacs made 334 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, 7 sacks, 4 pass breakups, 6 forced fumbles, and 5 interceptions from 2009-2012 after walking on to the team. He bounced around the NFL for four years, making a total of 11 tackles and 1 sack from 2013-2016.

Blake Countess made 114 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 13 pass breakups, and 6 interceptions during his four years in Ann Arbor from 2011-2014. His best season was 2013, when he made all 6 picks (including a TD return against Minnesota) and was named 1st Team All-Big Ten by the media. That was especially impressive after he missed almost all of the 2012 season after tearing his ACL in the season opener against Alabama. He was picked in the 6th round by the Eagles, though he never played for them, and has bounced around the league since then, making a total of 57 tackles and 2 interceptions in the NFL.

David Long committed to Michigan in 2016 and spent three years in Ann Arbor. He made 38 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 0.5 sacks, and 3 interceptions (returned for 120 yards) in his career. He was picked in the 3rd round by the Rams in 2019 and has 51 tackles, 7 pass breakups, and 1 interception in his career.

As a Detroit Lions fan, too, I also have an affinity for Matt Stafford. I think Stafford did a lot of great things for the Lions and for the City of Detroit. Unfortunately, he was never able to single-handedly pull the Lions out of the doldrums, but this is a franchise that has been struggling for 60+ years. It’s been fun to watch what he can do with a team that isn’t constantly circling the drain as the worst franchise in the NFL. This season he tied a career high by completing 67.2% of his passes, and he threw for 4,886 yards, 43 touchdowns, and 17 interceptions. It would certainly be nice to see him win the big one.

Fandom aside, I do think the Rams will win. The Bengals are also fun to watch, but their offensive line is terrible, and the Rams have a lot of guys who can get to the quarterback. Bengals QB Joe Burrow is pretty dang good – and lucky he transferred out of Ohio State – and I don’t think he’ll get rattled by the pass rush. Still, it’s tough to complete passes if you’re lying on your back, and he’s taken a ton of sacks this year.

My prediction: Rams 31, Bengals 24.

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