Monday, January 21, 2013

NFC/AFC recap

Article by

Defense Won Championships

Welcome to the Re-Cap of Yesterdays Championship Games.

First its the early 

First its the early game of the day which had the Atlanta Falcons welcoming in the SanFrancisco 49ers to the very loud Georgia Dome. We all knew that the Falcons had a above average passing attack but I'm not too sure anyone expected that first fifteen minutes to play out the way they did. The Falcons looked like a Greatest Show on Turf sequel when at one point Julio Jones had a 100 yards receiving while the 49ers had a whopping -2 yards of offense. The Falcons had stormed off to an early 17-0 and the Falcon Faithful had eaten it up as it appeared an all out route was in the making. Matt Ryan played absolutely out of his mind for the game as he totaled almost 400 passing yards, three throwing touchdowns, and a quarterback rating of 114.8. The first half time of possession was something that very much resembled what the 49ers had done to the Packers just a week ago. SanFrancisco was able to rally back a bit as they put up two scores with the second score leaving 1:55 on the clock in the half. Matt Ryan took that 1:55 and put on an absolute passing clinic tossing the ball all around the field which ended up culminating in a touchdown strike over the middle to future hall of famer Tony Gonzalez. The half ended with the Falcons up on the 49ers by a score of 24-14.
As it seemed to be the overall theme of the day this game was a game of two halves. The 49ers took the ball to start the second half and from there on out they never looked back. It’s important to note when looking back at the 49ers season just how good of a second half team they really are. The time of possession scale tipped its way back towards the 49ers as Frank Gore and LaMichael James began to pound the ball. One of the more noticeable things about this second half surge was just how effective the read option turned out to be. Plenty of times we would see a defensive end (John Abraham in particular) shoot up to make contact with Kaepernick only to see the second year sensation dish it off to his running back. The Falcons had their chances to put some points together but were stopped by their own doing as Matt Ryan accounted for two turnovers one being by air and the other a mental miscue on the snap of the ball. It’s important to note that while those two turnovers didn’t result in any 49er points it was a series of hiccups that stopped the Falcons from being able to get anything going. It wasn’t till about eight minutes left in the game when the 49ers took the lead on Frank Gore touchdown run. It was then the defenses game to lose as they were able to fend off the Falcons not once but twice in those final eight minutes. It was a last second pass from Matt Ryan to Julio Jones that would be the final play as the Falcons steam rolling turned into steam lost allowing the 49ers to earn their sixth trip to the Super Bowl and their first since 1994.
Before your blood pressure could stabilize it was time for the AFC Championship to begin as the Patriots welcomed in the Ray Lewis farewell tour in the Ravens. The first half of the game didn’t really show the eight to nine point favorites that maybe Vegas might have forecasted the Patriots to be. Tom Brady was steady as he goes while the Ravens as they always do were playing some smash football. The Patriots had won the time of possession in the first half but weren’t able to do much with it as they're first half scoring consisted of book ended field goals by Gostkowski as well as a one yard connection between Brady and Welker. The Ravens had trouble doing much of anything in the first half as the Ravens with the exclusion of Ray Rice touchdown was held to four punts in five offensive possessions and a measly three and out in the second half. The first half ended with the Patriots ahead of the Ravens 13-7. Would that Ravens season end with Ray Lewis crying into a bowl of chowder? The Patriots sure hoped so but Joe Flacco and Anquan Boldin had other ideas.
As previously mentioned the Championship games would tell two totally different tales
between their first halves and the second halves. The Ravens were on deck first as the third quarter to the last outdoor game in the 2012 season would begin. The first Raven drive resulted in a punt but it was their next three drives that turned out to be a hat trick of touchdowns! All three of these touchdown drives culminated in Joe Flacco passes to the end zone with two of them being to Anquan Boldin and one going to tight end Dennis Pitta after receiving a vicious the play before. The hits that were dealt in the second were about as bitter as the cold wind with the marquee hit coming from strong safety Bernard Pollard on one Steven Ridley. Tom Terrific was more like Tom Horrific in the second half throwing two costly interceptions in the second half. The Patriots poor play in the second half turned out to be the difference as Ray Lewis got to extend his career for two more week with a Ravens AFC Championship win by the count of 28-13.
So what a few things we take away from these games in particular? Well from the NFC side of things we see that Matt Ryan is on the cusp of being an "Elite" Quarterback. We also noticed that Kaepernick doesn’t need to use his legs to be productive. We also that Vernon Davis when utilized is extremely effective while the tight end across the field Mr. Tony Gonzalez with ride off into the sunset maybe not with a Super Bowl ring but should be remembered as the greatest tight end to ever play! The AFC Championship game showed us that Joe Flacco can now be labeled as the most underrated Quarterback in the NFL today. The Wind was a factor on kicks, passes, and play calling. Wes Welker although finishing with 117 yards had several key drops could lead to him saying goodbye to the Patriots this offseason. The last thing we learned is that we may never see Ray Lewis not crying during Super Bowl Week. We also saw that both victorious road teams completely shut out the home teams in their respective second halves. The table is now set for that first Sunday in February and it will showcase two teams that although play good on the offensive side of the ball won their respective Championship games with DEFENSE!
Oh and one other thing we learned is that over the next two weeks we will learn way too much about the Harbaugh Family.
Well I hope you enjoyed & if not ... Hey maybe next time?
Stayed tuned for more NFL talk...

No comments:

Post a Comment