Monday, January 23, 2012

Baltimore's no Vegas, but neither is Indy ...

After a night to sleep on it, here's some more thoughts from Saturday's spectacular conference title games ...

  • Even Pittsburgh Steelers fans have to feel for Baltimore Ravens fans this morning. First, Lee Evans had the winning touchdown catch, and then he didn't. If he holds on, Billy Cundiff never gets the chance to be the goat. And how can the replay official not spend an extra 30 seconds looking at that play? It only decided who went to the Super Bowl. The networks showed that Evans did not get the second foot down before the ball got punched out, but it was very, very, very close.
  • We spent all week talking about New England's offense and San Francisco and Baltimore's defense. Where were both games won and lost? Special teams. Ain't called "special" for no reason, people. Maybe if Jim Harbaugh had put Vernon Davis back to return punts, too ...
  • 
    Fu manch-blew.
    
  • Joe Flacco showed his stripes. Nobody gets to doubt him any more. He will get the Ravens to the big one someday, even with having to maneuver around Big Ben and Andy Dalton for at least another five years. (Wonder if Mike Holmgren in Cleveland is going, "Hmm, was retirement really that bad?") But, dude, shave the 'stache. You don't do porn.
  • Yes, I spoke ill will of Eli Manning last night. But that's because of the hijinks he pulled on Draft Day 2004 to get out of San Diego and into the glitz of New York. I must give mad props to his game. He got absolutely massacred by the 49ers' pass rush (five sacks and 10 knockouts, some that would have us yelling, "Check please!") and got right back up every play. He now has five playoff wins on the road and has started every game for the last 7+ years.
  • 
    Vinny, Dominic and Joey One-Brow
    await your business transaction.
    
  • Besides, NBC couldn't sell Alex Smith if they tried. Eli sells himself, especially going for a second ring (to Peyton's one) in big brother's barn. So expect big ratings. Vegas is saying that this should be the heaviest-wagered Super Bowl to date. The Patriots open as a 3-point favorite and I'll stick with them since I picked them to win it all back in September, but the Giants have been proving me wrong for better than a month.

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