Does anyone else get a sense of déjà-vu? The Giants and Patriots are going to do it all over again in the Super Bowl. Al Dannity rounds up the drama from Sunday’s AFC and NFC title games, a day where tragic errors proved decisive.
Ravens bring some offense
We have yet to confirm whether Joe Flacco spent the entirety of Saturday listening to Gonna Fly Now on repeat but it’s the only reasonable explanation for his Rocky-esque performance against the Patriots. The deservedly much-maligned Baltimore quarterback led to Ravens to Foxboro and outplayed Tom Brady for 60 minutes. Even after coughing up an interception in the fourth quarter, Flacco dusted himself off and led the Ravens on a late drive. New England could do little to contain the former Delaware quarterback. This was not the man who once sat behind Tyler Palko on the Pittsburgh Panthers’ depth chart.
Then his moment of glory came, or so we thought. Flacco hit Lee Evans in the endzone but the pass was ruled incomplete. It shouldn’t have mattered. Billy Cundiff was ready to knock over a field goal well within his range. Things didn’t seem right. Cundiff only came on the field with 10 seconds left on the play clock. The ball was snapped as the play clock hit zero. Cundiff rushed his run and shanked his kick. Having eked out wins on Flacco’s bad days, Baltimore couldn’t force overtime on his best day.
Pity the 49ers defense
Vernon Davis aside, San Francisco didn’t bring much offense to the table on a wet and cold Sunday in Candlestick Park. Yet still it’s difficult for NFL betting fans not to feel some sympathy for the 49ers. This was an exceptional defensive display, particularly in the second half and overtime. Alas it was undone by events beyond their control. First Kyle Williams muffed a punt, setting up the Giants for their second touchdown of the day. Then the 49ers appeared to have forced a fumble from Ahmad Bradshaw but the play was ruled over by forward progress. The final blow came in overtime. Having twice held the Giants to fruitless drives, San Francisco’s defense watched helplessly as Williams was stripped of possession on a punt return.
Up stepped Lawrence Tynes, to add another chapter to his already colorful history with the Giants. The Scottish born Tynes made no mistake. Just like four years ago, it was Tynes’ leg that set up a meeting between Big Blue and New England. Nobody’s perfect this year, there is no extraneous historic quest to distract us. It’s just two teams on one field playing for the greatest title in sports.
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