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.
Before this game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, there was lots of talk in the NFL about whether Jim Harbaugh really made the right decision by switching to Colin Kaepernick from Alex Smith. Alex Smith was playing good football. If I’m not mistaken, his quarterback rating was over 100. He was not turning the ball over. It was not exciting football, but he was winning. I think most, if not all, critics have now been silenced. Wow!
Colin Kaepernick completely and totally exposed the Green Bay Packers defense. He rushed for 181 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. He rushed… 181 yards. From a quarterback. This fact is, in and of itself, mind-boggling. Then, he threw the ball for another 263 yards.
The Green Bay Packers are going to have to go back to the drawing board on defense. On the third down, the money down, the Packers allowed the 49ers to convert 62% of their third downs. The Green Bay Packers gave up 579 yards of total offense. You simply can’t win in the playoffs when your defense is this porous.
The San Francisco 49ers have been one of the best teams in football all year. They were completely dominating and looked fantastic and suddenly, out of nowhere, they would lay an egg. For example, they absolutely clobbered the New England Patriots on national TV. It was a game when you expected Tom Brady, Wes Welker and the rest of the New England Patriots to make a national statement. It didn’t happen. It was another great game for Colin Kaepernick. Then, the following week, the San Francisco 49ers got absolutely manhandled by the Seattle Seahawks.
I do not know if the San Francisco 49ers will put together two more fabulous games and walk away with the Lombardi trophy. I do know that Colin Kaepernick is the real deal.
Monday Morning News Roundup
DeMarco Murray celebrates a touchdown
The Dallas Cowboys are really playing some awful football. Fortunately for the Cowboys, the Philadelphia Eagles are even worse. The Cowboys are a different team when DeMarco Murray is playing. There was some great football yesterday. The Denver Broncos continue to roll with Peyton Manning. The New England Patriots with Tom Brady are poised for another playoff run. I’m not sure what’s going on with the Baltimore Ravens, who had a great opportunity to knock off the wounded Pittsburgh Steelers. That simply didn’t happen. Russell Wilson, quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, continues to make plays. He was instrumental in the upset victory over the Chicago Bears. I cannot explain why the San Francisco 49ers cannot thoroughly trounce the St. Louis Rams. They can’t. As a matter fact, the Rams played like a playoff team in beating the 49ers.
John Boehner states the obvious – the House is not going to give up their main leverage tool in budget negotiations, the debt ceiling. The White House and Democrats would have to ante up an arm and a leg, and even that might not be enough to move the debt ceiling from partisan politics.
What is this strategic plan for a liberal/progressive future? Continue reading Monday Morning News Roundup