NFL Playoffs: #1 Seeds move on
Well the Ravens and Patriots once again gave the people a classic football game. Who would have guess that the Ravens would blow two 14-point lead. Patriots will move on to the next round and will host the winner of the Colts-Broncos game. Seeing the Ravens lose in the postseason did hurt, but for me, it wasn't as heartbreaking like when Lee Evans drop the ball or in 2007 when they held Peyton Manning to 0 TDs and still loss. I didn't even expect the Ravens to make it this far, let alone be in the postseason. When you factor in all the obstacles they had to overcome this season, making it this far is an accomplishment.
As far as the game go, Ravens didn't put enough pressure on Tom Brady, reason why they lost. It's not too often you see the Ravens blow a 28-14 lead but with a depleted secondary against a Hall of Fame QB, it's not impossible. The Ravens front 7 allowed Brady to be comfortable in the pocket, and it wasn't one of Brady's best performances, but it got the job done. The Patriots only rushed for 14 yards, which is the second lowest in NFL Playoff history, and still managed to defeat the Ravens.
The Ravens offense did as much as they could do. Flacco went 8-8 with 2 TDs on his first two drives, helping the Ravens establish a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter. Flacco finished with 4 TDs and 2 costly INTs, one of which was not his fault. On his second INT, he put the ball up in order for Torrey Smith to make play, but Torrey never made a play on the ball allowing Devin McCourty to end the potential game winning drive for the Ravens.
I predicted a 28-3 victory for the Seahawks. I also said the Panthers would have to play a perfect game in order to win. I was half right on my prediction, the score didn't turn out to be 28-3, but the Seahawks did win and forced 3 Panthers' turnovers. The score doesn't really tell the story of this game though. It was actually close all the way up to the point when Kam Chancellor took it to the house 90 yards in the 4th quarter, putting the dagger into the hearts of Panther Nation.
Despite the turnovers, the Panthers managed to keep it close. Going into halftime, it was only a 10-14 game. The Panthers defense did the best they could do to keep the Seahawks offense in line, holding Marshawn to 59 yards rushing. They forgot to keep Russell Wilson in line though, as he threw 3 TDs, completing 68% of his passes, and 0 turnovers. He threw all 3 of his TD passes to 3 different receivers, and not one receiver had more than 5 catches. The numbers may not be elite but Russell Wilson and the Seahawks offense is far from pedestrian.
I said if the Seahawks play their game then they will win this game, and they did. Only thing that was missing was a big rushing day from Marshawn. The defense played phenomenal, the offense didn't turn the ball over, and they fed off of the crowd. Beating this team is one thing, but beating them in Century Link field is a whole different beast. Cowboys or Packers will have to go through Seattle in order to make the Super Bowl, and I think both can walk out of there with a W.