NFC South crushes NFC North in first-annual Water Cooler Bowl

By
Updated: January 28, 2013

Quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Roddy White keyed a dominant NFC South victory over the NFC North in the 2012 Water Cooler Bowl.

Stunning upset

To say we’re reeling in shock would be an understatement.

The announcement of the first annual Water Cooler Bowl — billed an all-star match between the NFC North and the NFC South — was met with enthusiasm and excitement. Some of our more outspoken members predicted total domination on the part of the North, while others among us looked for an interesting match-up.

In case you’re not up on all the details, several weeks ago we asked WCSN members to nominate slates of players NFC North and NFC South teams to set up a contest between the best of the Black and Blue and the best of the Dirty South. The announcement of the rosters generated much controversy and some incredulity, not to mention a flurry of passionate predictions.

We were looking for high-flying aerial attacks, punishing running games, lots of hard hits, and plenty of turnovers.

What we got was a one-sided result not even the most rabid of fans would have been bold enough to predict.

Running away with it

In the ten games that we simulated on Madden 13, the South went a stunning 8-2 against the North. I wish I could say that the North played the South close but came up short in the end, but that just isn’t how it turned out.

The South’s average margin of victory was a commanding 14.6 points, elevated as it was by a pair of routs — a 33-point victory in Game 3 and a 32-point victory in Game 8. By contrast, the North won its two games by an average of only 7.5 points. Overall, the South scored an average of 10.2 more points per game.

In other words, it wasn’t even close.

Prolific offense

Interestingly, though, the South’s dominance wasn’t necessarily reflected in their statistical performance.

South quarterback Matt Ryan did turn in the most prolific single-game performances — throwing for 442 yards once and tossing four touchdowns twice — while North quarterback Aaron Rodgers had the most spectacularly bad performance of the series, throwing five interceptions in one game, something he has never done in his professional career.

Things didn’t turn out the way NFC North quarterback Aaron Rodgers might have hoped.

Rodgers averaged significantly more passing yards per game (350.5) than Ryan (305.2), while Ryan threw slightly more touchdowns per game (2.1) than Rodgers (2.0). Ryan did a much better job of protecting the football, throwing 1.3 interceptions per game to Rodgers’ 2.2.

Neither team was dominant on the ground, although here too the South had an advantage.

South running back Doug Martin did have one spectacular 192-yard outing in Game 4 and Chris Ivory did score three touchdowns in Game 7 after Martin left with injury, but they only averaged 70.1 ypg and 20.7 ypg, respectively. All told, the South produced 95.5 rushing ypg.

For the North, Adrian Peterson was particularly disappointing, generating only 39.3 ypg — although, in his defense, he did add an additional 40.4 receiving ypg, scoring a total of six touchdowns. In total, the North averaged a meager 49 rushing ypg.

Roddy White was easily the most dominant receiver of the series, averaging 6.9 receptions for 85.9 yards per game and scoring a total of eight touchdowns for the South, including three touchdowns twice. Vincent Jackson added an additional 57.3 ypg and scored four times.

By contrast, the scoring was much more evenly distributed among the North receivers, as four receiving targets scored twice and four others scored once. Not surprisingly, Calvin Johnson lead the North in receiving yardage (81.5 ypg), highlighted by a 138-yard game, followed by Percy Harvin (73.1 ypg) and Brandon Marshall (67.0 ypg).

Tony Gonzalez (32.8 ypg) for the South and Kyle Rudolph (27.8 ypg) for the North were the only two tight ends to make significant impact in terms of yardage.

Defensive juggernauts

Both defenses proved to be opportunistic, registering an ample number of sacks and reeling in plenty of interceptions.

Standouts for the South included defensive end Charles Johnson, who finished with six sacks; and cornerback Patrick Robinson (four interceptions, including a pick-six); and safety Thomas DeCoud (four interceptions). Gerald McCoy shined with a three-interception game.

The five sacks defensive end Jared Allen registered for the North weren’t enough to lift his squad over the South.

For the North, the defensive line lead with way, with defensive end Jared Allen and defensive tackle Henry Melton each registering five sacks and defensive tackle Julius Peppers adding another four. Linebacker Lance Briggs picked off four passes, while cornerback Casey Hayward proved his nose for the end zone with a pick-six.

Special teams

When it came to field goals, the South had the edge in both scoring and accuracy. Matt Bryant connected on 27 of 32 field goal attempts with a long of 53 yards. Blair Walsh was uncharacteristically inaccurate for the North, missing five of his 19 attempts and connecting on a long of 48 yards. The North also gave up one 92-yard kickoff return to South burner Darren Sproles.

North punter Tim Masthay (44.8 yards per punt) narrowly edged out South punter Thomas Morstead (44.4 ypp) in punting average.

Knotty results

In short, the 2012 Water Cooler Bowl didn’t turn out the way most people were expecting. The general consensus (at least among NFC North fans) seemed to be that this would be a fairly convincing victory for the North. NFC South fans protested loudly that the South was much deeper and stronger than North fans were giving them credit for, and it appears that in the end, they were right.

Hopefully the match-up will turn out a little better next time. It’s not that the South squad won — it’s the manner in which the North lost. By almost no stretch of the imagination could this be called a good game. An all-star exhibition is supposed to pit the best of the best against each other. When an irresistible force comes up against an insurmountable obstacle, the result should be a compelling matchup. It’s supposed to be exciting, explosive, and most of all, tautly contested.

What we got instead was an all-out blowout.

About the author(s)

Rourke Douglas Decker covers the Green Bay Packers beat for Water Cooler Sports. He resides with his family in the Twin Cities. He can be reached for questions or comments at . Connect with .

690 comments
andylet445
andylet445

i feel as though we should arrange a date and time and all change our avatars to rourke's picture

G & G
G & G moderator

Is  Rourke shirtless in that picture?

andylet445
andylet445

I'm excited about the superbowl because of this


BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

Ray Lewis forgives Wes Welker's wife for her comments because... wait for it.... that's what the Bible tells him to do. PRAISE GOD!

Pat Fenis, Esq.
Pat Fenis, Esq.

ESPN doesn't allow users to post "retarded" but it prints it in its story re: Flacco. 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

I really don't give a crap about this Super Bowl.

G & G
G & G moderator

We have to send Rourke and Woude for next year Media Day

andylet445
andylet445

In case you ever get bored.  Fun game 


andylet445
andylet445

i wish i had friends like this.  Best. Idea. Ever.


G & G
G & G moderator

TH3 B3AR5 5UCKS!!!!! 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

 

I wouldn't want Rex or Rob around. Those guys are both bat shit crazy.

G & G
G & G moderator

 I'm in

G & G
G & G moderator

 " Two Million Free Interceptions"

Papa MARK Sanchez

Big Cheese
Big Cheese

 

My Bible doesn't have anything about Wes Welker's wife in it.

BearsSaveLives
BearsSaveLives moderator

As in "giving him 20 million dollars a year is retarded"?

andylet445
andylet445

just goes to show Mzinga really is the mastermind behind the site.

Big Cheese
Big Cheese

 

I think we decided the Puppy Bowl would be the main event now.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

It would be cool if we could get some access to training camps. 

andylet445
andylet445

I'll provide a card table and some folding chairs.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

 

When I get bored, I just take prescription drug and play with robot monsters.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

Timely, what's it been, a week and a half?

Pfffft!

Childerz...
Childerz...

 T|-|3 |33/-\R5 5|_|CK ()()################D 

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

 

TH3 B3AR5 571LL 5UCKS!!!!!

FTFY

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

Mine says something about sodomy, and that's basically my relationship with Mrs. Welker.

andylet445
andylet445

  it talked about prostitutes didn't it?

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

I wonder how much puppy sales go up in the month or two after that show. My kids would watch something like that, and be relentless.

Big Cheese
Big Cheese

Looks like the brown puppy got shipped out.

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

   

I saw the preview for that. It looked awesome.

andylet445
andylet445

  you just think its robot monsters but really its the local football team with their pants off. 

andylet445
andylet445

  I don't think anyone could be good at that game unless you're a pharmacist

MIBearFan
MIBearFan

  

I don't have an issue with that, but when you start to make your problems, my problems, well, then...

Rourke
Rourke

 There's a lot of me.