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Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa drops back to pass. The Alabama Crimson Tide played the Georgia Bulldogs for the CFP National Championship Monday inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Alabama won the game 26-23 in OT. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)

Late in the season, I’ve tried go back afterward and rewatch the college football games that are important to our readers, and none created a different impression the second time around than Alabama’s 26-23 win over Georgia.

Maybe you’ve rewatched that game and figured it looked the same the second time as it did the first, but while covering the game, I felt Alabama was lucky to get to overtime. The comeback amazed me, and afterward, it seemed as if Georgia had outplayed Alabama.

After the rewatch, I don’t agree. With the exception of the 80-yard touchdown pass in the second half, Georgia had to pay a price for every yard its offense gained. Alabama’s defense was solid against a pretty good attack.

Georgia’s defense was good, too, and Tua Tagovailoa exploited issues the Bulldogs had with pass coverage.

It was a good game and the score was as close as the game. One team didn’t necessarily outplay the other.

In rewatching, two plays stood out in the first half that could’ve dramatically changed everything. Without the penalty that erased a field goal, Alabama would’ve had three points, and it would’ve moved to 10 had Anthony Averett made what should’ve been an easy interception of a bad Jake Fromm throw. It came on Georgia’s only touchdown drive in the first half, which increased the Bulldogs’ lead from 6-0 to 13-0.

Alabama could’ve been ahead 10-6 at halftime, and if that had been the case, it’s not likely Nick Saban would’ve taken out starting quarterback Jalen Hurts. We wouldn’t have gotten the witness the exciting story of Tagovailoa use his left arm, churning legs and electric competitive nature to rally his team to a national championship.

It’s just food for thought.

Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3570. On Twitter: @MarkSportsStar.