With a little over four minutes remaining in the Sunday’s Super Bowl game, The Patriots were up by two points and were driving to put the game away. It was second down and 11 at the Giants 44 yard line. Wes Welker found himself wide open in a seam on the left side. It would have been a first down and much more. As the ball neared the wide open Welker, he suddenly was seen going backwards, body twisting, ball hitting him in the hands, then falling awkwardly. The critics came out of the woodwork after the game and even much more on Monday.
Giants 21 Patriots 17 | Super Bowl XLVI
The first score of the game was a bizarre safety — New England quarterback Tom Brady called for intentional grounding from his own end zone. It made the difference.
At the other end of the game, with the Giants driving inside the Patriots’ 10 yard line, down two points, and the clock nearing a minute to go before confetti time, New York had to score a touchdown in order to force New England to score their own TD instead of a field goal. The Giants indeed did score that TD, with a bit of the bizarre there, too. But, without that safety, it would have only taken a Pats field goal at the end to force an overtime.
Patriots 23 Ravens 20 | AFC Championship Game
I felt an incredible sense of loss at the end of the game. And I’m not a Ravens fan or a Patriots hater. It was the feeling that the Baltimore players that had given everything had been let down by one of the quirks of football. In fact, I felt as if all neutral football fans had been let down.
Former Pro Bowl place kicker Billy Cundiff badly hooked the 32-yard field goal attempt at the dead-end of the game allowing New England to escape the task of an overtime to advance to their seventh Super Bowl in a quarter century.
Joe Flacco. The name alone conjures up images of the waterfront. So when a football observer rightly says that Flacco has the strongest arm in the league, the double entendre is irresistible. The Baltimore Ravens’ quarterback just can’t be taken seriously by fans in bulk, especially now that he is facing Lord Brady. Even when Flacco wins, such as when the Ravens thrashed the Patriots 33-14 in the 2009 playoffs, he gets no respect. Perhaps he hasn’t earned it — Flacco completed only four passes on that day.
The last day of any NFL season can bring a lot of drama as playoff qualifications and seeds are sorted out. This season’s finale gave us a lot of notable bullet points. The following are those I collected throughout the afternoon based on a variety of Twitter entries and announcements on Fox, CBS, and the NFL Network.