Championship Sunday NFC AFC Recap

What a Day

Championship Sunday NFC AFC Recap

At least for me the best day in professional football is today, Championship Sunday.  The first game featured the San Francisco 49ers at the Atlanta Falcons, number 2 at number 1.  The first quarter saw the Falcons dominate the 49ers, and appeared to make it a one-sided game.  Both the San Francisco offensive line and the defense must have stayed at a Sunday Brunch, instead of coming to the stadium.

The final score was 28-24 in favor of San Francisco, but that doesn’t tell the story.  I won’t bore you with all the details of the game, because, like me, I’m sure you watched it.  Suffice it to say that Colin Kaepernick was brilliant, rebounding from a 17-0 deficit in the first quarter.  He read the defense of the Atlanta Falcons perfectly, and marched his team down-field   His longest run was 23 yards, He threw for 233 yards and one touchdown, but took his team down-field to allow his running backs to score 3 touchdowns, Gore with 2 and James with one.

Although place kicker David Akers missed a 31 yard field goal in the third quarter, Kaepernick showed no pressure.  He marched his team down to score the final touchdown which would ultimately win the game.  The 49er defense stood up to Matt Ryan’s offense.  San Francisco will be in the Super Bowl in two weeks.

The second game had the Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro to face the New England Patriots.  The first ten minutes showed and aging Baltimore defense, although the Patriots only scored a field goal.  The last five minutes witnessed the Ravens’ defense energize to stop the Patriots’ offense.  But the questionable Flacco only completed 1 of 6 passes with the wind to his back, and could not move his offense.

The second quarter saw Ray Rice rushing and receiving the ball.  Flacco made a bad throw into the end zone, and Rice bailed him out with a short run.  Score 7-3, Baltimore.  The aging Ravens defense was apparent on the next drive as Brady and his offensive line had their way, and with just under 4 minutes and 20 seconds in the half went ahead 10-7.

When the geriatric Ravens’ defense allowed the Patriots to move into the red zone near the end of the half, New England failed to make a first down, and Brady negligently failed to call a time out with about 14 seconds left.  The Patriots subsequently kicked a field goal.  Halftime score 13-7 Patriots’ advantage.

As the third quarter began, two things were evident.  Although I have personal reasons for disliking him, Bill Belichick is the best coach in professional football, and Joe Flacco is the most overrated quarterback in football.  Ray Lewis, Terrell Suggs, and Ed Reid continued to show that their best years were far behind them.

With 6 minutes and 14 seconds left in the 3rd quarter, Flacco found his tight end Pita in the end zone.  We finally had a game, 14-13 Ravens.

While I was watching the game, I reflected on comments by know-nothing Boomer Easiason on the pre-game show.  He labeled Brady as the best quarterback in the history of the NFL.  I know you were not talented enough to make that statement, but think about it.  What Brady has always had is the best offensive line in football.  Joe Montana was by far the greatest that ever played the game.  After him, and not in a definitive order, came Johnny Unitas, Sammy Baugh, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, and Joe Namath.  Superlatives have to be scrutinized, but prove me wrong.

At the beginning of the 4th quarter, Anqouin Boldin caught a touchdown pass, Ravens 21-13.  With a fumble by the Patriots, and just under 11 minutes left, Baltimore scored another touchdown, score, 28-13.

With 8 and ½ minutes left, New England went for a fourth down with 4 yards to go.  St. Tom may not return to a Super Bowl.  With the Ravens’ possession they never ran the ball, and Flacco could not complete a 3rd down pass.  With about 7 minutes and 40 seconds left, Brady had his opportunity.  Welker caught a ball for 36 yards, and on the next play Ellerby intercepted a tipped ball by the Ravens, and gave them possession.  With just over three minutes left, Baltimore ran for a first down.  With 1:06 left, Brady was intercepted in the end zone.  Final score, 28-13.   The Harbaugh brothers are going to play each other in a Super Bowl.  Saint Tom loses once again.

On February 3rd, history will be made.
The 47th Super Bowl will be brother vs. brother.  How much fun is that?

James Turnage

Columnist-The Guardian Express


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