Championship football on championship weekend.
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for beating the New England Patriots. I thought that Tom Brady and the crew were headed to another Super Bowl, but the Ravens just made enough plays to prevent that from happening. Joe Flacco, whom I have never believed in, made plays. The Patriots decided that they were going to take away the run and the deep pass. They did. Flacco had to hit those intermediate range passes and he did. He was very accurate with the ball. Anquan Boldin made plays. He was huge. Ray Rice continued to pound the ball. The Ravens defense made enough plays. They weren’t great. They did allow Tom Brady to throw for over 320 yards, but he also had two interceptions. As a rule, Brady doesn’t make mistakes in big games. Well, he did today. He overthrew Wes Welker on the opening drive and had an opportunity to run for a first down late in the game. Instead of running, he held onto the ball and then threw a wounded duck into the end zone. It was incomplete and the game was over. This is not the dominant Raven team that we saw win the Super Bowl more than 10 years ago. This team is different. It is more balanced. Both sides of the ball needed to play well for victory and they both did.
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers for outlasting the Atlanta Falcons. Once again, the Atlanta Falcons came out strong and dominated the first 18 – 20 minutes of the football game. Then something happened. The 49ers figured out something. All I really know is that for the rest of the football game, the 49ers were in the driver’s seat. This game was a repeat of last week’s thriller, except Atlanta was unable to mount any offense in the second half. Colin Kaepernick continues to play well. He didn’t turn the ball over and he only ran when he had to. Frank Gore was one player who really, really stepped up for the 49ers. I think that Matt Ryan played a great game, except for one play. He fumbled a snap while he was in shotgun formation. I don’t know if the ball was snapped early or not. All I know is that the end result was the ball rolled around on the carpet and the 49ers fell on it.