Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Jan 2013

Championship Game Discussion Thread

Here's our open thread for in-game discussion of the NFC and AFC Championship games.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 20 Jan 2013

183 replies , Last at 21 Jan 2013, 10:23pm by Insancipitory

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Jack P (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 3:52pm

49ers win by 10.

2
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:17pm

Not sure if I think Vernon Davis "may be the fastest guy on the field."

4
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:19pm

Under the TV contract rules the announcers are required to describe anyone who is at least slightly above average as "possibly the best". Its the rules!

16
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:05pm

They're just stuck on his freakin' 40 time.

3
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:18pm

Nice play on the ATL TD.

It is really too bad ATL fans are having such a terrible time in the Georgia dome. They sound miserable. When will the taxpayers think about their poor feelings and provide them a better facility to shovel money into the owners pockets?

It is funny you have two teams with supposedly non-competitive stadia in the Championship game.

9
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:28pm

Doesn't seem like a team's ability to compete would be affected in a salary cap league (ie, all of them except baseball).

11
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:33pm

That not what the owners and lobbyists claim :)

5
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by joe football (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:21pm

Be sure join a star-studded cast of your favorite FO posters for playoff football chat!
Instructions moved to pastebin due to overzealous spam filter: http://pastebin.com/raw.php?i=Qjf3ZzvE

6
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:23pm

ATL's offense looks a little more dynamic than I am used to. Or maybe SF's D is just sleepy. That is the nice thing about HFA.

7
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Insancipitory :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:23pm

Is it just me or do the Falcons look like they're playing much better than last week?

8
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Nathan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:24pm

Event staff goes down hard.

10
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:30pm

Might be a good time to recall this line from the Conference Champoinship Preview:

"...unless White or Jones has a legendary performance against Brown, I just don't see how Atlanta will be able to score enough points"

12
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Scott P. (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:46pm

Blatant push-off there.

13
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:47pm

This is beginning to feel like that Giants-Vikes CG. Unloved home team just pummels the visitor right out of the box. Long way to go though.

14
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 4:55pm

Good move by 49ers. Bash up the middle for a few plays and settle everybody down.

15
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:03pm

Wow, what the hell happened on those two Jones plays? The first one was a pretty badly blown coverage, the second was an amazing catch, but no sign of the usual good cornerback play.

17
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:20pm

Do you think it might be a good idea for any Atlanta defensive player to be within shouting range of Vernon Davis?

18
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:23pm

Joe Buck just described Colin Kaepernick as "a dual threat with his arms, his legs and his mind."

I'm putting that on my business cards.

19
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:28pm

Huge statement getting that TD back before the end of the half

21
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:45pm

double post

20
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:44pm

It was quite an impressive drive

22
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Gus (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 5:54pm

This game feels like whoever has the ball last will win.

23
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:02pm

Especially if whoever is on defense is playing the dreaded prevent.

24
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:09pm

Interesting. I've never heard a goal post go Ka-Bonngggg! like that before.
Good kick, David! not.

25
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:09pm

Fun game so far. Surprised to see Atlanta get a stop there. Akers! Can't believe Jim Harbaugh brought in Cundiff to compete with him, didn't his bro John tell him Cundiff sucks?

26
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:20pm

That didn't look like a forceable blow. I HATE that call. But the rules seem loosely defined, so I don't think there any way to argue a judgement call like that. But I thought the refs might be smart and have a bit more discretion when calling penalties like that in the playoffs.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by MJK :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:16pm

Agree totally. You make that call if (1) it looked like the defender was being aggressive, (2) the defender was being reckless with his play and happened to hit the QB, or (3) he hit the QB forcibly. None of these applied. The defender probably was more likely to hurt his hand than to cause any injury to the QB.

27
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:23pm

I'll state the obvious, SF need to take advantage of this turnover or it will run out of chances and time.

28
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:23pm

Heck of a catch and run by Crabtree.

29
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:24pm

WOW! Huge hit right at the goal line!

30
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:27pm

missed FG and fumble on goal line. Ten possible points lost. Not good.

31
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:37pm

Matt Ryan has made a bunch of great throws today, but why do I keep thinking that dropped snapped is going to be the play that people remember by him this game.

32
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:40pm

Last half of the last quarter. I think we're going to see a great finish. Whattagame!

33
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:46pm

Think that catch stands.

34
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by ima_pseudonym (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:49pm

Didn't look like a catch to me, but it was pretty close to overturn.

35
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:50pm

I swear Matt Ryan is calling "green olives" as an audible. Now I want a martini.

37
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:52pm

Yes, he is ... seems like it is a running play though that is just the last two I heard.

38
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:52pm

He likely is. IN the first half he was using both "oil" and "olives"

40
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:56pm

I think mixing a martini with my Doritos and bean dip might be against the law. If it's not, it should be.

42
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:58pm

"Can I have Things Roger Sterling Probably Never Said for 200, Alex?"

36
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:51pm

I think either position catch / no catch was defensible. No matter what they ruled there were going to be a lot of folks unhappy.

39
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:52pm

Curious: if you're Harbaugh, when, if ever, do you start taking timeouts to save time for a field goal drive in the event of a Falcons touchdown?

41
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:56pm

Well that was obviously a penalty on SF. It happens.

46
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by ima_pseudonym (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:02pm

I wish officials would use the same standards during the reg season and the playoffs.

48
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:05pm

It was inside 5 yards.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by usctrojan11 (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:06pm

doesnt matter once ball is in the air

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:15pm

Yes, but the contact came before the throw.

64
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by usctrojan11 (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:43pm

there was contact with the ball in the air, too

67
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:45pm

...and while the ball was on its way.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by MJK :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:14pm

Don't think so. It was 3rd and 4, and he was aobut 2 yards beyond the line to gain when it happened, it looked to me.

But it doesn't matter. (1) It was a hold, not a chuck. Grabbing and pulling a jersey is a penalty even inside of 5 yards. "Holding", not "illegal contact" should have been the call. (2) I think the ball may have been in the air when it happened, which would make it DPI, and again, the 5 yard zone becomes irrelevant.

But I don't actually blame this one on the refs calling the playoffs differently. The closest official (Umpire?) was about 3 yards upfield of the penalty, with his back to them. The referee was on the other side of the LOS, and probably couldn't see it through the lineman. The Field, back, and side judges were likely watching the recievers running deeper routes. So unless one of the line judges saw it (and it would have been behind a player for one of them, and they were likely watching the line anyway), you can get away with holds like that. It happens all the time to elite TE's.

55
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:17pm

They started at the 10 or inside it and the contact happened at the 5 or higher. I saw a push, not so much a hold.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Box (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:19pm

I´d say it was just i line with how the refs (no)called OPI a few times. Give and take there.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:58pm

Make up your mind and snap the ball!

44
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 6:59pm

Hail Mary coming up. Good luck, everybody.

45
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:02pm

Great game!

47
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by the K :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:03pm

The Falcons' game end management ability makes Andy Reid look like Albert Einstein.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:05pm

0 points for Atlanta in the second half. Yeah, they played soft when the pressure ratcheted up. But if they get a dynamic RB they would be truly scary. Their D was ultimately not up to snuff in the Red Zone as well.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Mike Y :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:11pm

The Yippie-Ki-Yay Postgame show? How lame.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by MJK :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:19pm

On the 9ers TD shortly before the half:

Can some explain why Vernon Davis was eligible? He was lined up second from the end on the LOS. The end got chucked and then ran a route into the endzone, while Davis pulled back as if he was pass blocking, and then trickled into the flat and caught the TD pass. But I thought to be an eligible reciever, if you were on the line, you had to be on the end and uncovered. It certainly looked on the replay as if he was covered, which would make him ineligible, right?

The Atlanta defender covering him certainly seemed to think so...

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by fantasy football indeed (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:40pm

I don't have a replay, but that's pretty dumb by the defender, since Davis should be flagged if he's covered.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:41pm

"Covered" here refers to whether another offensive player was on the line or not, not about the defense.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:40pm

Good question.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by zenbitz :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:45pm

I think Walker is technically a back, he's a titch off the LOS. See 65 below.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:48pm

Yes, I think throughout the league teams are pretty inconsistent about how they line up.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by verdell :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:31pm

I hope Patriots vs. Ravens measures up.

59
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by fantasy football indeed (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:32pm

More suspicious officiating. I think I'll pass on the Boger-bowl.

60
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul R :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:38pm

THAT'S a "country music group" singing the national anthem?!?
Hank Williams is spinning in his grave.

70
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:49pm

Hmm his son called the president a Nazi on national TV. I imagine he's borne a hole through to the next plot by now.

65
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by zenbitz :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:43pm

@MJK 57 - I think if you look carefully at the play (it's a TD so it's on NFL.com) 46 Delanie Walker is NOT covering Davis, he's offset behind the LOS a yard. So Davis is technically on the end.

Or it was a mistake (either in the niners lining up or the ref missed it). It seems unlikely that the Niners thought the refs would miss it (although it might be designed to confuse the coverage)

69
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by zenbitz :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:48pm

Is there a place where I can see the half-by-half box score(s) for the NFCC? It used to be in the gamebook/pdf but that's not out yet (and they might have gotten rid of it)

71
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 7:51pm

I know the Pats have weaknesses covering RBs in the flat, but everyone always follows Ray Rice everywhere. Ravens opening play calling was tepid.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:09pm

The second series wasn't great, either.

72
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:01pm

Why does NE even run the ball? With Tom Terrific's accuracy and the NFL's rule changes it's like sand lot football.

74
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:16pm

Looks like Talib's done for the game with a hamstring injury. That hurts NE's defense.

75
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:22pm

Baltimore would do well to extend this drive a bit. The time of possession must be something like 2:1 in favor of New England, and that old defense is going to wear out.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:39pm

Gees, don't the refs have better things to do than turn this into a soccer game? Was that Italy out there drawing the personal foul?

77
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:41pm

Looks on this drive that the 15 yards didn't matter

78
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:51pm

This game should be 21-7 at best. The NFL-encouraged dink-and-dunk pass offense mastered by New England is virtually unstoppable, and Baltimore just can't keep up.

79
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:57pm

Well, the Pats are doing a lot of things right, like with special teams play. Did you see that stat of average starting field position?

81
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:58pm

And nothing cheesy about going for it on fourth and one and getting it..

80
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:58pm

How was that 4th down trick play not a false start? Or something? Or are you allowed on offense to flap your hands, etc. while the ball snaps to someone else?

82
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 8:59pm

Good question, though I have never seen that called.

88
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by PatsFan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:13pm

You're a Colts fan and you don't know the answer to that?

As long as the QB never goes under center (said rule blew up a nice trickeration the Colts had), he can walk up and down the line all his wants, gesturing, etc., and you can snap it directly to the RB at any time.

90
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:15pm

I totally forgot about that play. Good memory there.

84
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Not Saying :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:04pm

You're just not allowed to simulate the snap, and he clearly wasn't pretending that the snap was coming to him at the time. One player is allowed to be in motion during the snap as well, so he can move around.

83
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:04pm

Unlike in years past the Pats this year have just not been good at managing the clock at the end the half / game.

85
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:07pm

Harbaugh needs to grow a pair and let Flacco air it out. Running it into the teeth of a solid Pats run D is just stupid. The fact that he announced that this was his plan earlier today is even stupider. Ummm, Talib is out of the game, hello.

And is Brady trying to take out the Ravens DB's ACL? Such a smart player, trying to do everything to help his team win.

86
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:08pm

Oh no, Shannon Sharpe and Bill Cowher just echoed my sentiments. Maybe I need to rethink this.

87
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:11pm

Well, it sounds like there's lots of wind, making the big downfield throws more difficult?

89
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:15pm

Good point. Still, if anyone has the arm the sling it through the wind, its Flacco. And if they are just putting themselves in 3rd and long time after time, there needs to be a strategic adjustment.

91
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:18pm

Yeah, I thought it was a wind thing. Almost the perfect weather conditions for the Pats for this game. I think Kraft has sold his soul or something. Play another cold weather team that only differs in that the opponent loves the deep ball? Let's order us up some high winds!

156
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:19pm

Why do people think Baltimore is a cold weather team? I live down here now, its not.

173
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 2:29am

I lived there from 1999-2007. And I recall plenty of late falls where it was, well, cold. You can look through the box scores over at P-F-R and see December temps in the 30's and 40's:

2012 home games in December: 57, 53, 51, 59
2011 home games in December: 42, 44
2010 home games in December: 35, 34, 51
2009 home games in December: 35, 28

The mean temperature is in the upper 30's.

I'm not saying that Baltimore is some Siberia-on-the-Chesapeake or something. But it is certainly not warm in December there, on average.

179
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 11:07am

Baltimore is humid subtropical! That's the same climate as Buenos Aires!

92
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:20pm

If Baltimore is going to win, they need to do a better job with field position. Prt of the problem has been NE moving her ball and then punting, and Baltimore going no where and then punting. But some of it is just bad coverage on punts.

93
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:22pm

I kind of think, as a neutral fan, that I'd prefer to see SF-NE as opposed to SF-Baltimore. Te entrenched dynasty against a new power.

120
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by JIPanick :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:11pm

Also a neutral fan pulling for SF-NE (sick and tired of penny ante "champions"), I do have to question the notion that a team that hasn't won a championship in eight years is an entrenched dynasty.

155
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:18pm

I think NE is something like 5 games above the #2 team for record over those 8 years. They've definitely been the class of the NFL.

94
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:23pm

If the refs are going to allow the Pats DBs to put their hands all over the Ravens WRs downfield it'll be tough for the Ravens to move the ball.

95
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:26pm

I think the NE DB's are doing a good job of walking that fine line of harassing without drawing a penalty.

96
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:31pm

WTF is going on. The Pats hit Reed helmet to helmet after a fair catch, no call. 3 personal fouls on Baltimore so far.

97
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:37pm

Ravens seem to have finally realised that the Patriots pass defense is much worse than their run defense.

98
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:37pm

For whatever reason these long throws aren't working.

99
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:39pm

Wow. Where the hell has this offense been all game. Thank you for throwing the ball.

100
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:40pm

That wasn't a penalty? It doesn't matter because they score on the next play, but based on what they've been calling on Baltimore, that's nuts.

101
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:44pm

I thought the DB play was fine, but the hitting of Reed in the helmet in a fair catch and then the hit on Pitta? Looks like e riffing is getting ne sided here. Hope they even it out, or at least don't continue it.

102
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:45pm

The Pats badly miss Aqib Talib. But that's not the whole problem. A lot of bad tackling on that last drive.

And of course the genius commenters at ESPN.com are blaming Welker.

103
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:49pm

You're reading comments at ESPN??

105
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:50pm

Mike Reiss is worth reading. Actually, the regular commenters there are OK. The problem is that during a game any live thread is filled by idiots. I should know better than that.

107
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:57pm

I guess all I see are the live feeds during the game, and the comments on the post-game write-ups. They're generally around 3000+ comments, filled with lots of chat/text-influenced spelling, all-caps, exclamation points, and accusations that so-and-so is gay.

109
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:59pm

Reiss is an excellent journalist. Worth reading every time.

104
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:50pm

Giselle must be using aliases again.

108
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:58pm

heh

106
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 9:52pm

It was a bad drop by Welker. The following drive wasn't good defense by the Patriots, but yet again it looks like this high-powered offense is what's letting the team down in the playoffs. Too many solid drives haven't resulted in points (or have resulted in a field goal when the touchdown looked there for the taking). It's asking for trouble.

110
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:00pm

My attitude is this: we've seen a lot of good catches by Welker today. He's clearly their best receiver. Sorry he's not perfect, but if that's the standard they need, they are never going to be happy.

And Welker is not the reason the Pats are losing.

154
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:15pm

No, Welker isn't the problem, but hes had an awful lot of drops lately. He definitely has worse hands than he did 2007-2010.

That being said, for an offense built on short passing and running the ball, a drop almost always kills the drive.

111
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:01pm

I have no confidence in this defense right now. Flacco is ripping them to shreds.

112
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:06pm

Down by contact. No turnover. Pollard again against NE. Pats fans must hate, hate, hate that guy.

114
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by fantasy football indeed (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:08pm

Easily the dirtiest player in the NFL (non-Pittsburgh division), but that one wasn't on him IMO.

122
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:12pm

Unbelievable that he wasn't down there, but after seeing the replay after the break, I think that's correct.

168
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:03am

It was a clean play by Pollard - he was head up. Ridley ducked into it and concussed himself.

113
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Lance :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:07pm

Yikes. That guy was KOed before he hit the ground. And ironically, the defender wasn't going for the head-- it looks like the ball-carrier lowered his to attack the defender and by accident their heads collided.

151
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by dcaslin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:57pm

Totally agree. On reply Pollard looked like he was less ready and got the worst of it, but, well, obviously not...

115
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:08pm

Such a scary situation -- a guy knocked out and needing medical help, but a fumble scrum going on next to him. There should be a plan for that. Something that causes everyone to stop.

125
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:15pm

Its not like he is going to die (anytime soon at least), he was knocked out. It happens all the time in a variety of sports, and while it is definitely not good for you, it isn't exactly life threatening.

I do think it odd how a slight graze of a QBs helmet is penalty but things like that are not really discouraged at all. They really only care about the high profile players.

160
Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:25am

But you are viewing through hindsight. What if the injury had been a broken back, neck, or spinal injury, and guys just playing after the whisltle as the NFL traditionally allows on fumbles had caused permanent paralysis where the initial injury did not cause that? Trainers trying to stabilize a neck, and 300 pounders jumping on them and in injured guy trying to get the ball?

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:50am

That happens like once every 5 years. Guys get knocked out every game.

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by bengt (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:21pm

Something that causes everyone to stop.
Something as multiple refs blowing their whistles?

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:13pm

I've always thought that jumping into the scrum after the whistle is blown should either be a 15 yard penalty, or an ejection for that player. It'd be much safer all around, and give you a better idea of who actually recovered the ball.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:26am

Yeah, because blowing whistles has been such a traditionally sure fire way to stop guys piling on after fumbles.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 10:05am

Thats because the incentive (increasing your chance of getting the ball) is significantly higher than the disincentive (pretty much nothing).

They need to start penalizing teams for having players completely uninvolved come running over 5 seconds after the whistle and hopping on the pile.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:09pm

Totally jobbed on that fumble ruling.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:11pm

I am very surprised the TV guys didn't look at it in slower motion. I am not sold on the call, but the announcers seem very sure of themselves. I'd like a few more looks.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:16pm

He looked pretty down, his back leg was under him.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:32pm

I can't say I'm unbiased, as a Jets fan who pulled for New England last year for foolish selfish reasons (I thought they would tank the year after winning it all), and am not sure who I want to win. I thought he was down.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:11pm

This is pretty much over.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:12pm

Depends on the next drive. If NE goes hurry up and scores, it's still a game. I could see Baltimore foolishly then going conservative, and we have seen that they can't run the ball.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:11pm

Game over.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by justanothersteve :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:11pm

I don't think I can handle two weeks of Harbaugh Bowl hype. I may just skip this Super Bowl.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:18pm

Every year there is something they hype to death. I almost prefer that it is actually something notable this time instead of something dumb. Its not like they are going to magically talk football if it is SF-NE. It will all be interviews with Brady about how he keeps his fire, and Kapernick about his childhood.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:22pm

And Brady becoming the undisputed GOAT with 4 SB wins, or Kapernick winning in his second year and becoming the next Brady (you know, replacing a starter during the season, staying as QB after the old starter gets healthy, neither a first round pick, etc). The hype is ugly no matter who is in there.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DavidL :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:58pm

And the Harbowl actually has some degree of bearing on the game; it's not like there have never been opposing coaches who knew each other well, but it has to affect how they approach the game to some extent.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by DRohan :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:21pm

Seconded. Will probably tune out until the kickoff.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Rikki (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:25pm

Ray Lewis is from New Orleans

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:15pm

Is Ridley back in there?

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RedZone :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:17pm

They said Ridley will not return after his head injury.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:16pm

If I am a Baltimore fan, I don't like this soft defense.

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by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:20pm

Featuring a QB with no scrambling ability...wonder if he could have run for those four yards.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:25pm

Pretty much any QB in the league could have... except Brady.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:25pm

Pretty much any QB in the league could have... except Brady.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by jonnyblazin :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:25pm

What a terrible possession by the Ravens there. I was harping on them to throw it all game, but I would have been fine with three runs and a punt there.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:25pm

I'm sure that it would be called if it were the case but geez the Ravens offensive line sure looks like the guards and tackles are lined up too far back.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by fantasy football indeed (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:35pm

> I'm sure

Don't be.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:26pm

Need to kill more than 1:00 on that possession.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:27pm

More bad luck - geeez!

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:28pm

Ah well. C'mon the 49ers, I guess.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Purds :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:31pm

And to think that as a Colts fan I knew Indy wouldn't go far in the playoffs, but I really thought they might be able to beat the Ravens in that first playoff game. I course, that was before the game started.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:39pm

Still irritated that the Pats punted from the Ravens' 34 yard line. It's just not worth it to punt from there.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by duh :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:43pm

Thought the Pats did a completely horrible job of game management ... BB used to be very good at it but has seemed off all year.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by CJS at NYC :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:43pm

Game seemed to turn there somehow. Although I think they punted in a similar situation last week & that worked out.

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by Andrew Potter :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:52pm

Three times the Patriots punted in situations I'd have expected them to go for it. Zero second half points with three turnovers. One touchdown from at least five trips inside the Baltimore 25. Twenty-one points allowed in just over a quarter of play after halftime. Not a good night all round.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:22pm

This is one of my problems with McDaniels coming back... he seems to have control of those situations, and hes signficantly more conservative than BB is.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by fantasy football indeed (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:46pm

Well folks, enjoy the HarBoger bowl.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by RickD :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 10:48pm

Really irritated that the Pats were clearly the better team up to the point when Talib went out. But they need to have more depth on defense. After all, the Ravens didn't have Ladarius Webb.

Gratz to the Ravens.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Sun, 01/20/2013 - 11:10pm

I still don't think the defense lost them that game.

They had 6 drives that went down inside the 25, and came away with 13 points. They had several other drives where they punted from the 30-40. Thats just not good enough.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul M (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:08am

I know many here will discount, or at least not award any special value to, the results of playoff games. But I think this year is extraordinary in terms of what it means for the league going forward-- and the past three weeks has accelerated all the movement, IMHO.

1. Kaepernick may soon be, if he is not already, the best player in the sport. In two weeks we may see that fact confirmed. How in the hell he got drafted when he did is beyond me, but then again, Unitas/Starr/Montana/Brady/Rodgers;

2. The NFC now has a guantlet of great or young or multi-purpose QBs (or all three) for everyone, including themselves, to run through each season. A Niner victory in the Big Easy, which I for one expect, would mean 5 of the last 6 champions from the NFC and 4 in a row, and here we go again into a period of absolute dominance for one conference or the other...

3. Maybe Manning and Brady, particularly the latter, get one more serious shot.. But it is probably equally likely that, at best, they combine for no more than one additional losing Super Bowl appearance-- meaning the chapter on each in terms of postseason success has pretty much been written... Maybe not next year, but within a couple there will be a handful of AFC teams who won't have much trouble copying the Ravens formula against B/B...

4. My guy, Aaron Charles Rodgers, ruled the world just 14 months ago. Defending Super Bowl champ... surefire MVP... QB of an unbeaten team on the way (seemingly) toward defending their crown... best QB ratings in history-- regular season or playoffs.... And since?? With him at QB the Packers have gone 13-8, and lost twice badly in the playoffs, and twice badly to SF and NYG in the regular season.... And his competitors?? Flacco is younger and has won more playoff games; Kapernick is 4 years younger and may win a SB two years before Rodgers ever did; Luck, Griffin and Wilson-- two who reside in his conference-- are fast ascending the stairs to greatness, and Newton may not be so far behind....

This league is changing fast... We may look back at 2012 as a huge transitional season-- with two very aggressive former college coaches at the heart of it in Harbaugh and Carroll whose teams, despite their 2500+ mile distance from the center of the media universe, may have created the best current rivalry in the sport... The Har-Bowl makes sense--- they deserve it.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:42am

"Kaepernick may soon be, if he is not already, the best player in the sport"

That whoosh you just heard was the sound of the world's fastest bandwagon reaching warp speed.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul M (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:54am

Well, I'll say it a different way. He has the best combination of tools anyone at his position has ever possessed. Ever. (though I never saw Sammy Baugh play) He has a coach who, if nothing else (and he has done a lot more, of course) has had a Midas-like effect on every QB he has touched the past 5 years. And a team with a defense and two lines that are very good and will probably stay that way for the forseeable future. All those things-- plus a knack for the game and a superior intellect-- should combine to put him right at the top... And I ask the rest of you--- name me one player who is better right now... Rodgers? Brady? Manning? Peterson?? I don't think any of them are better...

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:07am

Did Steve Young suddenly die?

Just because he's white, everyone forgot how much and how well he ran.

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by JIPanick :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:07am

"name me one player who is better right now..."

Johnny Manziel

At this point, dude, asserting that Kaepernick is better than Manning or Brady is pretty silly.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Kal :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:21am

Or Russell Wilson for that matter.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by justanothersteve :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 1:55pm

Let the irrational Wilson-Kaepernick debate begin!

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by MehlLageman56 (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 2:51am

I like Kaepernick a lot, even if I can't spell his name. Saying that one player will be the be all and end all of the NFL after less than one full season is pretty foolish. 11 games into the 1986, I pretty much thought Ken O'Brien was god, and recently, Michael Vick had a single season resurgence of amazingness. Defenses will adjust to Kaepernick's skills, and perhaps weaknesses will be found. Like his problems getting the play started in loud stadiums on the road. One of these adjustments may be hitting the quarterback every play, and seeing if you can get away with it.
I agree with your impression of the NFC continuing its dominance, but I think Peyton or Brady will add a ring to their collections soon. The league has too much parity for there to be a run like the NFC had in the 80s and 90s. The salary cap won't allow the Niners to keep their defense together longer than the next two years, and teams are already raiding the Seahawks braintrust. The Falcons are aging, and the Giants, while a threat, have only had one truly dominant regular season in the last five to ten years. The Packers are set up well, and they experienced a ton of injuries this year; don't write off Rodgers yet either.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Andrew Potter :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 3:27am

Wow, Paul. Not like you to overreact.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Steve B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:32am

Even if the 49ers win in two weeks and Kaepernick's the MVP, I think it would still be a bit too soon to say that he's the best player in the game. Have to wait and see what happens next season after teams have a book on him.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Steve B (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:34am

#159 - It's also possible that at least 1 or 2 of the 'young guns' aren't going to have the staying power. As we've seen, things can change quickly.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Paul M (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 12:57am

Sure, but let's put it this way... I'll form a league and have Kaepernick, Wilson, Newton, Luck (don't discount his running ability and athleticism) and RGIII as my 5 QBs. You take anyone else 25 or younger as your five--- who's gonna be better off-- short run or long run?? In fact, I'll give you anyone under 30, including Rodgers and Cutler and Flacco-- and take my chances...

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Anonymousse (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 9:35am

Last year people were saying the same thing about Cam Newton.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Insancipitory :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 10:23pm

Last year Newton faced a lot of weaker defeses and a weaker schedule in general, he opened this season with an absurdly difficult slate of defenses, and boomed back into productivity when the quality of his opponants dropped off. It'll probably make him a much better QB in the long run. But, Wilson and Kaepernick are probably going to be facing a modestly weaker slate of defenses next year, both because of regression in their own division, and just by replacing the AFC East and NFC North with the AFC and NFC South.

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by td (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 2:09am

The Pats offense has led to their demise every postseason since 2007. It's definitely part of Brady's legacy

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by steveNC (not verified) :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 3:52am

Interesting that they still have zero Super Bowl wins since Spygate.

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by atinm :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 7:38pm

Interesting that they have 2 Super Bowl appearances and multiple playoff appearances since "Spygate". Most teams wish they were that good and that consistently playoff caliber. Your point?

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Re: Championship Game Discussion Thread
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 01/21/2013 - 8:30pm

No one circles the wagons like the NE Patriots.

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