If this wasn’t the best Championship Sunday in recent memory, point another one out. The Ravens and Patriots jumpstarted the day with a thriller that came down to the last kick, which ultimately stopped the Ravens short of the Super Bowl for what felt like the 100th time. The second half of the doubleheader saw the 49ers and Giants go haymaker for haymaker and body blow for body blow in the nastiest of conditions. Calling both battles a “roller coaster of emotions” would be too cliche.
Instead, we just took notes like we always do.
1. For all the talk surrounding Joe Flacco from the media and his own teammate Ed Reed, the quarterback with the 1970’s porn mustache played pretty damn well. In fact, he outplayed Tom Brady outside of the whole, you know, final score part.
2. New England’s defense, their supposed soft spot, came up huge. Vince Wilfork hassled Flacco all day while Sterling Moore – born in 1990! – came up with the play of the day by knocking the ball out of Lee Evans’ hand for what would have been the game winning touchdown.
3. Ray Lewis may be a step slower, but I’ll be damned if he still doesn’t have “it.” Tied for a team high with 12 tackles with Bernard Pollard (ironically, the same guy who ended Brady’s season in 2008, Wes Welker’s season in 2009 and put Rob Gronkowski in a walking boot on Sunday), Ray Ray’s window may be closing but it’s not over yet. The same sentiments apply to Ed Reed as well.
4. Brady beat Tebow after a week full of coverage saying Timmy was blessed and highly favored to win in Foxboro. He avenged his most lopsided playoff loss to Baltimore yesterday. Now, all that’s left is to beat the team that ended his perfect season in 2007.
5. Meanwhile, on the other side of the country we learned something we already knew. San Francisco’s defense is beyond amazing, even downright scary at many times. They were mauling Eli all damn day.
6. Vernon Davis is really a wide receiver disguised as a tight end. And the absence of Ted Ginn, Jr. hurt the 49ers more than we could have ever imagined.
7. Look, as a Cowboys fan, I can’t believe I’m about to say this but Eli, Coughlin, Cruz, Nicks, Tuck, JPP and those guys are the truth in every sense of the word. They’re tailor-made for the playoffs while the younger Manning is building a resume as one of the greatest postseason quarterbacks of all time. Somehow, this all circles back to Terrance Newman though. And Jason Garrett icing his own kicker.
8a. The Ravens went from winning the AFC Championship to tying the AFC Championship to losing the AFC Championship in a matter of 30 seconds and its a sequence of events that’s even more unbelievable to write about than it was to watch. Billy Cundiff will get the lion’s share of the blame, but Lee Evans having the ball stripped out of his hands was the play of the game. Think about it. If Evans catches that pass, the game is over. If Cundiff makes that kick, we go to overtime where anything can happen.
8b. Kyle Williams, poor guy. His mentions on Twitter went to the shitter following that game. The second fumble, while more costly, was actually more understandable. At least then he was attempting to make a play. The first one, however, was stupid. If you’re calling fair catch and have no intentions of trying to catch it, get away from the damn ball. They taught me that as a tyke playing Pop Warner league.
9. There’s a deeper, esoteric meaning behind the fact both Harbaugh brothers were both done over by special teams ineffectiveness.
10. Regardless of who wins, either Tom Brady or Eli Manning will win a Super Bowl in the building Peyton Manning basically helped fund. You can’t write this stuff up any better.