We were blessed with two very entertaining contests on Sunday in the AFC and NFC championship games. And with all the talk about elite quarterbacks going against talented defenses, it’s interesting that both contests came down to that important third phase of football – special teams.
Baltimore kicker Bill Cundiff missed a chip shot 32-yard field goal that would have tied the game at the end of regulation, allowing New England to sneak past the Ravens, 23-20.
And San Francisco returner Kyle Williams, playing in place of an injured Ted Ginn, fumbled twice in the New York Giants 20-17 overtime win over the Niners.
So NBC executives get the game they wanted, a rematch of the Super Bowl four years ago with the Patriots looking for revenge against the Giants, and hopefully fans get another competitive football game. John Czarnecki of Fox Sports gives us an early breakdown of the matchup here.
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Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com provides some in-depth analysis beyond the typical scapegoats for San Francisco and Baltimore staying home for the Super Bowl.
We see social media at its worst with Williams receiving death threats through Twitter after fumbling twice against the Giants.
Ray Ratto of CSNBayarea.com overlooks Williams’ miscues and points to the San Francisco’s weaknesses for that team’s loss – lack of explosiveness on offense and a failure to create turnovers on defense.
Russ Lande of the Sporting News previews the Senior Bowl.
Matt Bowen of the National Football Post provides some key things to look for at Senior Bowl practices and in the game on Saturday. Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly had a change of heart, backing out after initially agreeing to take the head coaching job at Tampa Bay.