An Epic Day of Football
The two games yesterday proved why the NFL is (and always will be) the main sporting attraction in the US. Both games made you sit on the edge of your chair the whole game and came down to the final play. Once again, we were shown how much pressure is really on kickers in the clutch as Baltimore's Bill Cundiff pulled a "Brotzman" and lost the game.
If there are any more doubters about Joe Flacco's ability to win in the playoffs, I would love to hear what you have to say now. Flacco played great yesterday and did enough for his team to win the game. Lee Evans dropped the go-ahead touchdown in the final 30 seconds that would have sent the Ravens to the Super Bowl and many perceptions would have been changed about Flacco. He made some key third down throws in tight coverage and made a fantastic throw down the field to Torrey Smith that would have been a touchdown, but Smith could not haul it in.
The biggest question I have for the Ravens is what happened to Ray Rice? He led the league in total yards this year and was virtually non-existent in their two playoff games. If he would have even gotten close to his season average, the Ravens would have ran away with the game. The defense was solid as usual. When you hold New England to just two offensive touchdowns, you are doing something right and I am sure Tom Brady is glad he will not have to face them again for ten months or so.
The Patriots did not play their best game, but regardless of that, they are a three point favorite in the Super Bowl. Tom Brady admitted that he "sucked" but he will now have two weeks to regroup for the rematch of when the New York Giants ruined their perfect season.
The Giants had to work twice as hard yesterday to beat the 49ers than they did to beat the 15-1 Green Bay Packers. San Francisco's defense was incredible and basically shut down the Giants all game. Fortunately for New York, Kyle Williams fumbled two punts, including one in overtime that sealed the game. No matter what happens in the Super Bowl, the 49ers were the best story in the NFL this season. To go from 6-10 to 14-4 is amazing and with their style of play, expect the 49ers to be contenders for many years to come.
Now the hype begins. We are 13 days away from the Super Bowl and even though the Pro Bowl is sandwiched in between, we will hear about every player that has a runny nose throughout the next two weeks. Plenty more previewing to come, but for now its time to take a breath and reminisce about the great games we were treated to yesterday.