Thoughts from AFC/NFC Championship Weekend complete with updated contest standings

Wow, what a Sunday of football!

Going into the weekend, the New England Patriots were essentially even money to win Super Bowl XLVI.  When I saw that the Baltimore Ravens, who in my opinion had as good a shot as any to win it all, were six times the underdog, I dropped a friendly wager on them with the hopes of a healthy come back.

It didn’t happen.

But I did pick the Pats in my own contest and isn’t that all that really matters?

Going into the AFC Championship game, I figured if the Ravens could control time of possession, they had a chance.  Three consecutive three-and-outs to start the game, however, did not bode well.  Baltimore could not move the ball early and the echoes of whether Joe Flacco is their man started to murmur.

I was soon reminded why betting against Tom Brady is a bad idea.  As they say, Brady’s favorite receiver is the guy that’s open.  On New England’s second possession, Brady completed passes to six different receivers, taking an early 3-0 lead.

We all knew the Ravens couldn’t win this game if they started every possession from their own twenty- yard line.  They didn’t, thanks to a first quarter interception by Lardarius Webb which led to Baltimore tying the game at three.  But touchdowns, not field goals, win football games.

The Ravens had every opportunity to come out on top, yet a dropped Lee Evans touchdown reception and a missed Billy Cundiff field goal cost me thirty dollars and Baltimore fans a chance at glory.

Quoth the raven, until next season.  The Patriots advanced.

Anticipation brewed over to the second game, 49ers-Giants for the opportunity to play New England in the Super Bowl.  Could the Niners continue their dream season or would we have a rematch of Super Bowl XLII?

It was another hard-fought battle between two evenly matched teams.

The Giants led 10-7 going into halftime, owning time of possession early.  The undrafted Victor Cruz had amassed 125 receiving yards.

Midway through the third quarter, a wide open Vernon Davis caught his second touchdown pass of the game, giving the Niners the lead for the second time.

Shortly thereafter, the Giants began to melt down, committing several costly penalties, until the tide turned back to New York’s favor once again when a punt inexplicably bounced off the knee of Kyle Williams, who was subbing for the injured Ted Ginn, Jr.  The ball was quickly recovered by the men in blue and culminated in a second Giants touchdown: Manning to Manningham.

After a Niners field goal tied the game, the NFC Championship Game resembled its earlier counterpart, tooth and nail.  The fourth quarter became a war of attrition, a battle of sacks and punts.  It was only fitting the contest go into overtime, which it did.

Overtime was a punter’s delight until, much to the 49ers’ dismay, Kyle Williams effed up again.  He fumbled a punt return which the Giants recovered, allowing the much maligned Lawrence Tynes to nail a 31-yard field goal and propel the G-Men to Super Bowl XLVI (that’s 46 for you non-Romans)

Unless there’s an NFC-AFC consolation game, the Harbaugh Bowl will have to wait for at least another year.

Now on to the contest that REALLY matters…

Honorable mention goes to both Dubsism and Chappy who, aside from running fabulous websites, cannot pick football games worth a damn.  Both of them had the Ravens and the 49ers in the Super Bowl.  To make matters worse, Chappy predicted Billy Cundiff would win Super Bowl MVP.  Dwindy, albeit an ardent SportsChump supporter, also pooped the proverbial bed.  He can’t wait for NASCAR season to start.

Only eight of our 19 participants correctly picked Giants-Patriots to advance.

Oh, and surprise, people!  Remember back in school when your teacher awarded you extra credit for following instructions?  I am hereby awarding Steve Nagrant (for predicting Giants-Niners to finish 27-21 when it finished 20-17), Ronbets (“Cruz comes out of the clouds to become premium receiver”), Hanahan (“Eli wills the Gents to victory late”) and Blog Surface (“Close game… somewhere in the 20s, but Giants pull it out”) five points each for taking the time to leave their spot-on analysis.  Nice work, gentlemen.

Here are your current standings:

 

28 thoughts on “Thoughts from AFC/NFC Championship Weekend complete with updated contest standings

  1. I told you, I only entered this damn thing so it would have a loser built in.

    By the way, I really like Florida in the SEC next season.

  2. I like Florida in the SEC every season. I just don’t like them to win it any time soon.

    Ah, there once was a time when picking the Gators to win the SEC a no-brainer.

    Oh, wait, I get it, you’re trying to suggest that since the opposite of everything you pick actually happens that…

    Anyway, let me ask you this. Which statement is more accurate? The Buccaneers are having a tough time finding the coach they want or they’re having a tough time finding a coach who wants THEM.

  3. Chap…

    I can see where picking the field goal kicker in a defensive struggle Super Bowl would be considered a shrewd pick even though, ahem… no field goal kicker in the history of the game has ever won the award.

    But that’s okay, man. I get it. You were trying to be a trend-setter.

    Nothin’ wrong with that.

    Just be careful what type of trends you’re setting. You’ve finished near the bottom of my last two pools.

    Shake it off, brotha. Don’t worry. There’s still my NBA pool you’re in to give you a shot at redemption.

    Anyone else here wanna make fun of Chapman or was that enough?

  4. Oh yea!! Still atop the standings, exactly where I want to be! The football weekend was definitely something else, can’t wait for the Super Bowl! Good job with this.

    -Christian

  5. BS/CDR…

    I’ve always found these contests turn out better when the teams are evenly matched, which they clearly were this weekend.

    You’re looking good with your picks if… Brady pulls off the victory, wins the MVP award and the total game score finishes right around where Vegas set the over/under, which is 55 1/2.

    If it’s any higher than that, you’ll have Han to contend with.

  6. Pingback: Thoughts from AFC/NFC Championship Weekend complete with updated contest standings - BallHyped, NFL | BallHyped Sports Blogs

  7. Man, I’ve got to start listening to those voices in my head. They tried to tell me that the Giants would win, but I got into so much trouble the last time I listened to them I went with my heart (which I left in… oh never mind)

  8. Chris

    Things must be looking up for me at present ! Predicted the winners in both championship games and now Heidi Klum is available for another man of color give her the thing she really needs most . Poor Seal if only he’d shut the hell up and do what comes naturally …….”lay the pipe and keep her plumbing in good working order ” !

    Revenge Is A Meal Best Served Cold ….. and this is what this upcoming Superbowl will be about . Personally I like my hors-d’ouevres and entree` to be really appetizing before the main course ! How ’bout you ? Bern’s here I come ! I’m downing a porterhouse alongside their infamous desserts and cigars .

    The Niners’ Kyle Williams he must’ve been under the impression he had a used prophylactic in his hands . Billy Cundiff has my utter gratitude … and he’s welcomed to my house anytime he wants . .

    tophatal ……………

  9. To answer your question about the Bucs…

    When I heard Chip Kelly tell me that “college football is close to my heart,” I heard “The Bucs weren’t going to put enough in my wallet.”

  10. If I see one more punt returner anywhere near an unpredictably bouncing football I will have to stop watching punts. Except of course…when someone is equally stupid enough to punt in the direction of one Devin Hester.

  11. Aer….

    I really liked the Giants in that game. Not only did I think they were better, they were also the more experienced team.

    Oh, and let me know when you come up with a cure for those voices.

  12. Seal’s dumping Heidi Klum, Al? That doesn’t even sound right. Guess he finally went a little “Crazy” like his song said. Oh well, best of luck in pursuing her. She’d look great walking around Dundee in some SportsChump gear, so now you know what to get her for your first year anniversary, other than that pipe of course.

    If you’re by Bern’s, swing by my bar and I’ll buy you guys a drink. I’m right up the block.

    And that’s nice of you to offer your hospitality to Cundiff. It’s probably a welcome change from all the death threats he’s receiving. Or was that Kyle Williams?

  13. Dub…

    A buddy and I were trying to figure out how much the Bucs would be paying Kelly.

    I mean, you have to figure he’s making at least $3 mil in Eugene, right? I don’t see where the Bucs would be offering much more than that. Heck, that’d make him the highest paid player on the team!!!

    I mean, I know the weather’s significantly better here in the Sunshine State but $3 mil buys a lot of raincoats.

    I honestly think, aside from what the Bucs will be willing to pay these guys, personnel decisions is going to be a major sticking point in this next hire.

  14. SA….

    In two games between four evenly matched teams, we saw both outcomes come down to experience.

    Kyle Williams, a second year player, being way too damn close to a bouncing ball as you suggested.

    And I know you don’t want to ice your own kicker but what do you think Bill Belichick would have done if he saw his kicking team wasn’t ready for a time-tying field goal at the end of regulation and his season on the line. Call the only time out you have left to get things straight or let his kicker rush through things with the game clock showing :01?

  15. I’ve got one but can’t get there from here. Something about wasting company time yada,yada,yada….

  16. Well, I’m down at a really nice spot in South Tampa. If I were to tell you here in the comments section, that would just mean floods of women flocking into the establishment unwarranted.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

    Hit me up via email next time you plan on coming to town and I’ll let you know my schedule.

  17. Chris

    What have Kyle Williams and Billy Cundiff got in common ? Dunno ? Neither do !

    Chip Kelly was right to turn down the Glazers ! Those a_#h#les are looking to buy their way out trouble but they won’t spend jack “ @@hit on the roster . They’re close to $30 million under the salary cap of $120 million . And we’re to believe that they’re ambitious ? Malcolm Glazier can come and kiss my black ##s while I’m defecating ! He’s got about as much business acumen as a friggin’ gnat ! Dominik isn’t that much brighter either !

    tophatal ………………

  18. Actually, Bleed.

    I’m going to change those standings.

    After all, you did write “Both teams hit hard but Eli has proven he can do it more than once while under the gun.”

    Eli was on his ass most of that game. His uniform showed it.

    I am hereby changing the standings and awarding Bleed 5 points.

    Besides, it’ll just make that tiebreak all that more interesting.

  19. LOL!

    While I appreciate the gesture and in light of my knowledgable and insight filled comment, obviously deserve it….I was really only breaking balls.

  20. The immediate families of both Cundiff and Williams as well as the players were threatened . ‘nough said !

    Heidi needs the “pipe” in because obviously Seal with his antisocial behavior wasn’t doin’ the deed at home !

    So the Glazers had $30 million to hire Chip Kelly > ….. (an alleged 5y deal) but they couldn’t spend that much to bolster the team’s roster last season ? They were over $30 million under the league’s mandated salary cap that bordered on $120 million for the 2011 season . What am I missing here ? Now they’re looking at retreads to succeed …. Rah ? No wonder they’re in such a damn mess !

    Courtesy of NFL.com

    Sherman set for second interview for Bucs’ head-coach job ?

    Former Green Bay Packers coach Mike Sherman will have a second interview for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ head-coaching position, league sources said Monday.

    The news comes on the same day that Oregon coach Chip Kelly turned down the job.

    Sherman first interviewed for the position earlier this month.

    Sherman went 57-39 in six seasons in Green Bay from 2000 to 2005 and coached the Packers to three consecutive NFC North titles from 2002 through 2004. He was fired after the Packers finished 4-12 season in 2005.

    The Bucs fired Raheem Morris as coach following a 4-12 season .

    ———————————————————————–
    In order to view in full click on link shown.

    ===============================================

    Wasn’t Sherman coaching when Brett Favre didn’t know what “texting ” actually meant ? Or am I out of the loop ?

    So one of the reasons for Serena’s falter at the Aussie Open might have been due to “tennis elbow” amongst her other recurring injuries ? I guess that’s why the rapper Common has been so happy as of late ……….. she’s been playing with his “joystick” so profusely . Guess that sums up why things have been so bad for her as of late on the WTA (Women’s Tennis Assoc. Tour) ?

    NB: The main link in my comment text is the NFL Bucs’ news page . Peruse at your pleasure .

    tophatal ……….

  21. It’s okay, Bleed. Squeaky wheel.

    Although if you edge someone out for that hat, they’ll probably kick both your ass and mind.

    Violent lot, the SportsChump faithful.

  22. Speaking of Cundiff and Williams, Al, I have a very special piece coming up for the two of ’em.

    Thirty over five for Kelly, huh? Impressive. Who knew they had that in ’em.

    Here’s hoping they have another surprise up their sleeve before settling on Sherman, because that’s exactly what it’d be if they chose him. Settling.

  23. GMEN……..Need I say more!!!! Coughlins goal each year is to just get to the tournament and then turn it on!!! pedal to the medal!!!
    They have owned Brady….even the year the Pats beat them in the regular season final the GMEN knew they were alreay going to the playoffs while New England was still trying to go perfect. Coughlin used that game to learn how to play them should they meet again….and when they did that year we all know what happened.
    This season the GMEN went to their house and that game looked identical to the BOWL……This year the GMEN are a better all around team and New England has no D….Edelman on one of our receivers does anyone really think they can stop the MAN-NING and his passing crew….The d-line will be in Brady the Brat’s face all game and by the end of the 3rd he will be throwing down his Gatorade cups in frustration to the carpet……Any of the NFC TEAMS in the playoffs this year could have beaten this Patsie crew!!!!

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