AFC Title Game Notebook

I had time on Sunday to jot some notes as I watched the AFC title game contested between the Baltimore Ravens and the New England Patriots. Now I'm going to write all that stuff again right here. It must have been really good stuff.

First Quarter
3:51 - The Patriots are going to win. (I didn't think of keeping notes of the game until this point. Don't worry, you didn't miss anything.)
3:41 - Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is intercepted. I went looking for art to illustrate this column and was surprised to find I don't have any Tom Brady cards. So I pulled an image from a book I have.
3:25 - Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finds a guy wide open for 42 yards. I still say the Patriots will win. By the way, when you type 'Flacco', it feels like a misspelled word.
1:57 - I love that architectural feature of Gillette Stadium, the iron arch that spans an opening on one end of the field. So cool. It's shown in the lower center-right of this link.
1:51 - "Blindside" guy, Michael Oher, just rolled his ankle. Bet he didn't see that one coming.

Second Quarter
14:27 - Baltimore was lucky to be in that spot, 4th and 1 on the New England 3, and they didn't go for the first down/touchdown. They may not get back there again - you never know. The Patriots appear to be the better team, so Baltimore should have gone for it. Again, the Pats will win.

12:53 - Looks like Brady is just a touch off, just missing his guys.
12:01 - Brady finally hits a tight end right, Rob Gronkowski, on the button.
10:57 - It's always a relief to not see a head inside those helmets that go rolling around on the field.
10:35 - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, whose head was not inside the helmet that was just on the ground, executes a nifty run for a touchdown. Got the handoff, hesitated, found his blocks, and then ran, nearly untouched, for a 7-yard score.

6:42 - Looking at Flacco, I'm wondering who were the best players to wear the number 5 in the NFL? It's not that common for playmakers. Paul Hornung comes to mind.

I like the Verizon commercial that features R2-D2 - pretty clever. "It's like a million dollars in gas."

3:00 - PATRIOTS 13, RAVENS 10
3:00 - The fact is, New England's defense has not been outstanding this year. Baltimore may be good enough to make this a game.

Third Quarter
9:06 - PATRIOTS 16, RAVENS 10. (I was thinking, but didn't note, that this would be when New England begins to pull away for an easy win. Hmmm.)
3:38 - I think the Ravens' receiver, Torrey Smith, was out of bounds and they are reviewing the play right now. It's 16-16 pending the review.

A Masters commercial in January? In other words, CBS doesn't have the Super Bowl this year. They last had it in 2010 (Saints 31, Colts 17) and will have it next year (Seahawks 81, Broncos 6).
3:36 - The ensuing kickoff return is fumbled by Danny Woodhead and recovered by Baltimore. Kathy says, "Uh-oh. Your team is going to pot."
1:41 - CBS keeps showing Woodhead on the bench between each Ravens play.
0:50 - Baltimore field goal is good.

Fourth quarter
12:19 - Quarterback sneak and Brady is into the end zone for a go-ahead TD - unless it is overturned. And it is.
11:29 - Brady up and over for a touchdown. Patriots get to keep that one.

It's turnover time.
7:22 - And there it is. Flacco gets picked by Brandon Spikes.
7:07 - And the Patriots give it right back. Brady gets picked by Jimmy Smith.
4:55 - The Ravens are in field goal range.
2:55 - It's 4th and 6 on Patriots 33 and the Ravens are going for it. Or not. Time out is called. They do go for it but Flacco's pass is incomplete. The Patriots wind up taking over on downs.

I just CAN NOT take the new Hawaii Five-O seriously. Neither does Steve McGarrett.  The real one.
2:18 - Did the Ravens get anything out of Anquan Boldin today? Answer: Yes. Six catches for 101 yards.
1:44 - Here is the game. New England just executed a nifty three-and-out, so the Ravens have one more shot at it.
1:20 - On a 3rd and 5, a pass completed to, who else, Anquan Boldin. Thirteen yards to the Ravens 39 and a first down.
1:05 - Mayo on Rice, a recipe for an incomplete pass.
0:50 - On a 3rd and 1 from the 48, Flacco completes a pass to Boldin who tears down the sideline to the 23 yard line. Boldin got 60 yards here in this last series, so that's why it seemed he hadn't done much when I asked the question earlier.
0:23 - Pass incomplete to Lee Evans in the end zone. Looked like a TD to me.
0:15 - Field goal attempt to tie the game is - - - NO GOOD. Are you kidding me? Welcome to Scott Norwood's world, Billy Cundiff. Unreal.

Later, the Giants beat the 49ers in overtime to win the NFC title. So to sum up the Super Bowl semi-finals: one missed field goal, one made field goal, and two Harbaughs out.

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