Super Bowl XLVII (47) - Ravens win the Super Bowl.
Lightening struck again as the Baltimore Ravens upset the New England Patriots 28-13. for the second playoff game in a row, Joe Flacco was spectacular.
After trailing 13-7 at half time, the Baltimore Ravens. with Joe Flacco at the helm, stormed back to score 21 unanswered points in the second half to win the AFC Championship and a trip to the Super Bowl. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots were 67-0 at home when leading at half time.
Joe Flacco came out in the second half, was calm, collected, and spectacular. On the day, he threw for three touchdown passes with no interceptions or turnovers. He played like two other great Joes - Joe Naimath and Joe Montana, who is the only quarterback to win four Super Bowl Championship rings.
Supporting Joe Flacco was a devistating defense, led by Ray Lewis, that hit hit and hit causing a critical fumble by Steven Ridley with six minutes left in the game and New England driving for a score and recoverd by Baltimore Ravens linebacker Dannelle Ellerbe for perhaps the turning point of the game. Baltimore now faces the San Franciso 49ers in the Super Bowl in New Orleans. While the Baltimore Ravens are likely to be underdogs, for the fourth straight
playoff game—-if history tells us anything, the 49ers should not underestimate the Ravens….they may be the team of destiny.
A final story line for the upcoming Super Bowl game is that this will be the first Super Bowl in history where the two opposing head coaches are brothers. What a battle it promises to be.
Down 14-0 in the first-quarter, the Seattle Seahawks rallied to beat the Washington Redskins 24-14 in their NFL wildcard game on Sunday. After a blazing start, the Redskins took an early two-touchdown lead with a 4-yard pass by Robert Griffin III to TE Logan Paulsen. After the scoring play, a noticeable limp was visible on RG3.
The game was all about one issue - RG3’s leg. His injury was a major concern and key for the Redskins success. A healthy Griffin puts fear into any defense. He is not only a very accurate passer with a high football IQ, he is the fastest quarterback in the league. This is a lethal combination and the reason why the Redskins won 7 straight games and hosted the Seahawks.
Right after the touchdown, he was visibly impaired. Once he lost the speed factor, he became a one dimensional player. It was thrilling to witness his courage. With a hobbled RG3, the game was over in my mind going into halftime. How steep a price did Washington Redskins coach Mike Shanahan pay for sticking with their injured franchise quarterback? The debate is sweeping throughout the sports world.
Seattle showed true mental toughness to win their first playoff victory on the road since 1983. The Seahawks started their rally with three consecutive scoring drives and closed the to gap to 14-13 heading into halftime.
"It was only two touchdowns, but it’s still a big comeback and, in this setting and the crowd, it’s a marvelous statement about the guys’ resolve and what is going on," Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. "It’s not about how you start but how you finish."
The Seahawks outgained the Redskins 352-76 in total yards during the final three quarters. Seattle’s defense flexed their muscle and shut down the limping Griffin and the Washington offense. The focus on both sides of the ball was noticeable in this well-coached, Pete Carroll team.
The star offensive weapon and driving force in the game was the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch who finished with 132 yards on 20 carries. Seahawks’ offense simply wore down one of the league’s better run defenses.
Russell Wilson, the other rookie QB, completed 15-of-26 passes for 187 yards and ran eight times for 67 yards. He also threw a pivotal block for Marshawn Lynch’s fourth-quarter, go-ahead touchdown run.
On the very next drive, RG3’s knee collapsed attempting to recover a botched shotgun snap. Griffin, lacking the athleticism that earned him the NFL rushing record by a rookie quarterback, was out for the remainder of the game. Redskins nation hold their collective breath until they learn the full extent of Robert Griffin III’s knee injury.
Honestly, it is a shame that football fans didn’t witness a healthy RG3. It was difficult to see him hobble throughout the game.
The road gets a little tougher now for the Seahawks - the NFC’s No. 5 seed. With a six-game win streak behind them, the team will be filled with confidence as they march into Atlanta to face the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Washington Redskins finished off an epic turnaround reeling off seven consecutive wins to capture the NFC East title – their first since 1999. After a 3-6 start, no expert in the world predicted what was to come in the next 7 weeks. It all culminated last night in the highest-rated NFL regular-season primetime game ever on NBC. The fierce and disciplined ‘Skins finished the season 10-6 beating the Dallas Cowboys 28-18.
Quarterback Robert Griffin III was quietly solid in his play. His visible injury slowed him from being his show-stopping best. RGIII finished with the highest passer rating of any rookie QB in league history (102.4), and had 20 touchdown passes and only five interceptions.
The star of the night was the other rookie sensation running back Alfred Morris. He played incredibly gritty and carried the offense rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. He set the Redskins’ single-season record (1,613 yards) for rushing yards passing Clinton Portis.
Quarterback Tony Romo was frustrated all game with the blitzing scheme formed by Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. The Redskins defense intercepted Romo three times and allowed their third-lowest point total of the season. The critics will be sure to pile on the maligned quarterback’s reputation for his shortcomings in big games. Romo, with his history of late-season and clutch situation failings, has a year left on his contract. If Jerry Jones still believes in his ability, he might extend his contract to keep the talent. Time is running out for Tony Romo.
What really impressed me in the game was the Redskins discipline. They set a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a season with 14.
The Redskins future is burning bright with their all-in move to acquire Griffin on draft day 2012. Up next is the other hot team led by a dynamic rookie quarterback – the Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks beat the Redskins in the 2005 and 2006 playoffs. It is going to be a great 1st round matchup.
For the second straight year, the Green Bay Packers are the NFC North Champions. Prior to the game, the division was still up for grabs. My thoughts had Chicago as the underdog. They were limping into this game losing their last 4 out of 5 matchups. Green Bay clearly had the momentum entering Soldier Field with 5 straight wins.
This long-standing (oldest in the NFL) and bitter rivalry continued tonight as each team was fighting for a playoff spot. Before the game, the Packers held a one-game lead over the Bears and a two-game edge over the Vikings.
Brandon Marshall was key player that I planned to photograph. He was quoted saying he’d never disliked a team as much as he did the Packers and that Sunday’s game was “personal.” Marshall scored Chicago’s only touchdown. He finished the game with his fewest totals in a month with only 56 yards on six catches.
Jay Cutler had a dismal day. His late first half interception swung the game’s momentum. Cutler attempted to connect to Devin Hester but a mixup caused the ball to be thrown directly to cornerback Casey Hayward. For the season, Cutler has 17 touchdown passes, and 14 interceptions.
With a patched up team and elite playmakers Charles Woodson, Clay Matthews, Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, Desmond Bishop, Cedric Benson, D.J. Smith and Bryan Bulaga either out for the year or having missed significant time, the Packers have won its second straight NFC North title.
The offense was again led by QB Aaron Rodgers and a surprise performance by WR James Jones. Rodgers threw 3 touchdown passes — all to Jones. Randall Cobb also had a big day and was the game’s leading receiver with 135 yards on six catches. The Packers piled up almost 400 yards of offense against an Urlacher-less Bears defense.
The Packers are now 10-4 on the season with games against Tennessee and Minnesota left on their schedule. They are eyeing the NFC’s two-seed and are primed to make another push for the Super Bowl.
This was a huge loss for the Bears, who are now chasing the final Wild Card spot.
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