Patriots Edge Ravens In AFC Championship Thriller

All I can say is, “wow.” Joe Flacco did his part. He deserves a lot of credit, despite the Ravens loss to the New England Patriots. Flacco threw the game winning touchdown to Lee Evans who had the ball promptly ripped out of his grasp on a play he’ll likely have nightmares about for weeks or months to come. The game looked as if it was set up for an overtime finish when Billy Cundiff pulled a chip-shot 32 yard field goal wide left. All you can say is, “wow.”

Tom Brady had an uncharacteristically mellow game, throwing for just 239 yards, no touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. It was enough. One of Brady’s interceptions came immediately following a Joe Flacco interception. The Patriots took a shot at the endzone, and probably a knockout blow, but the Ravens’ defense was able to bail out its offense for the moment.

The Ravens will be making one of the most painful trips home they’ve ever had to make. Billy Cundiff will likely be given some pats on the back, but that kick is all on him. His only relief comes at the expense of Lee Evans and his inexplicable drop. As I write this, I’m still in utter disbelief.

The Patriots didn’t win statistically. The Ravens’ offense passed the ball better, they ran more effectively overall, but it still wasn’t enough. They simply left too many opportunities on the table to win in Foxboro.

The Patriots deserve to be congratulated. They weathered the very storm that derailed the Green Bay Packers last week. Tom Brady, their star quarterback, had an off day, but the reason the Patriots are now in the Super Bowl is simply due to a better supporting cast.

As we get ready for the NFC championship game, we can only hope for a finish that left us as speechless as the Ravens, Patriots finish. Congratulations to the Patriots, and happy trails to the Ravens. We still have another one of these things to go tonight.

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About Shane Clemons

Shane Clemons came from humble beginnings creating his own Jaguars blog before moving on to SBNation as a featured writer for the Jaguars. He then moved to Bloguin where he briefly covered the AFC South before taking over Bloguin's Jaguars blog. Since the inception of This Given Sunday, Shane has served as an editor for the site, doing his best not to mess up a good thing.