3rd & 10: Championship Sunday- What happened, New England?
The champions have been crowned and it couldn’t have happened in a crazier fashion. First the 49ers secured their spot in the super bowl over the Falcons. This wasn’t the most exciting game though; many analysts had predicted a San Fran win. The crazy win was the Ravens over Patriots.
The Patriots were favoured to win by 9.5 over the Ravens. Previous to yesterday Brady’s record at home was 67-0. The Patriots offense just, stopped clicking. It was a slow demise, but a demise all the same.
It all started with Talib. He left the game with a thigh injury and that left Boldin free to thrive. The backup corner, Kyle Arrington, couldn’t contain Boldin. Even matched with Dennard the two were no match for Boldin or Smith. Boldin made some huge catches and had two touchdown receptions. Additionally, Spikes had trouble containing Pitta over the middle. Pitta had one touchdown and ate up some good yardage.
Secondly, there were the drops and fumbles. Wes Welker let down the Pats fans once again. He actually led the league in drops during the regular season and didn’t stray from that stat last night. He dropped some key passes; one in particular that could have led to a field goal. Tailback Stevan Ridley had his own issues. His fumble in the fourth quarter sealed the Patriots fate. Of course he was crushed by Pollard and now has a concussion-but a fumble is a fumble.
Thirdly, there was Tom Brady. Brady is a machine. I’ve been quoted as saying that I’m not sure he is even human. However, last night, he was human, and he made some mistakes. His passer percentage was 53.7 percent while it is usually around 65 percent. His average attempt per pass was 5.9 yards, while he usually averages 7.6 yards. Brady’s longest pass was 36 yards-and that didn’t happen until the fourth quarter. He also only had one touchdown, but had two interceptions. Granted one interception was off a tip, but the other one was in the end zone. And then there was his clock management. He made an inexcusable mistake at the end of the first quarter. New England had a chance to get a touchdown and be ahead by 10 points
It took Brady 26 seconds to complete one play, which was to Herandez. Herandez then screwed up further by cutting towards the middle of the field instead of stepping out of bounds. Brady used a timeout and then tried to get out of bounds to save more time on the next play. They had to settle for a field goal, which doesn’t do much for their momentum going forward into the second half.
The Patriots just weren’t themselves yesterday. The Ravens outmatched them at every turn. I feel for Tom Brady; Gisele must be pissed.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)