The Patriots are headed for Super Bowl XLVI after winning the AFC Championship game against the Baltimore Ravens.
It was an interesting game to say the least, and it was a defensive battle on both sides of the ball. Vince Wilfork was all over the field. He took down Joe Flacco once and had six tackles. And it goes without saying that Ray Lewis was a thorn in Tom Brady’s side all game long. Brady walked away from this one with an abysmal 57.5 passer rating, easily his worst of the season. He threw two interceptions and no touchdowns.
The Patriots gave owner Robert Kraft an AFC Title on Sunday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
With 15 seconds left in the game, it looked like we were headed for overtime. All Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff had to do was hit a 32 yard field goal to tie the game at 23. If you’re anything like me, at this point you got very quiet and clung to the edge of your seat. But I believe Myra Kraft was looking down on this one. Cundiff missed wide left and just like that the Patriots were crowned AFC Champs.
Drew Bledsoe handed over the Lamar Hunt trophy to Robert Kraft and the team. It was a special moment considering the history Bledsoe has with the Patriots.
At the ceremony Brady applauded the fans for being the twelfth man on the field. He also admitted that he “sucked”. In this matchup we got a taste of how tough it is for the Patriots to win when Brady isn’t on top of his game.
In an unexpected twist, the run game looked good, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis getting 68 of the team’s 96 rushing yards. But other than that, the Patriots struggled. The Ravens won the time of possession battle (33:33-26:27), had more yards (398-330) and more importantly, they turned the ball over less than the Patriots (1-3).
The Ravens put up a fight. Flacco had a 95.4 quarterback rating and threw some beautiful long balls. Next time Brady takes the field, I hope he puts up a similar rating. Especially since the Super Bowl is a repeat of 2007.
That’s right, get ready because the New York Giants are back in the picture.
If you’re going by the philosophy “what have you done for me lately?” the Giants are your team. They are riding hot and playing some serious football. Victor Cruz had ten receptions for 142 yards in the NFC Championship game. He’s a weapon Eli Manning loves to target. The Patriots secondary has some serious prep work to do for that matchup.
If you thought TebowMania was bad, think again. For the next two weeks be prepared to hear about the Super Bowl rematch and all the hype that comes with it. It’s Manning versus Brady and one of these two will walk away with another ring to add to his collection.
The Patriots have a lot of work to do to prepare for the Giants. Brady needs to be hyped up and the defense needs to hold up. The team needs to play a full 60 minutes of football because this is it. The records are 0-0 and it’s anybody’s game.