The Super Bowl matchup we’ve always wondered about is on it’s way. The HarBowl has gone from curious possibility to reality.
But first, let’s talk about Sunday’s games.
Game 1: Niners at Falcons (Niners 28, Falcons 24)
What We Learned: The #1 Seed falls yet again. Neither the Falcons (#1 NFC) nor the Broncos (#1 AFC) will be representing their conference in the Super Bowl this year, which proves once more that the elusive #1 Seed can be more of a curse than a blessing. 2009 was the last time a #1 NFC Seed won the Super Bowl (Saints), and you have to go all the way back to 2003 to a time when the #1 AFC Seed won the Super Bowl (Patriots). Teams can’t, and wouldn’t/shouldn’t try not to have the best record in their conference – that defeats the whole point of playing the game. But it just goes to show that when the postseason arrives, everything goes out the window. It’s a new season and a level playing field. (If you’re interested in the whole seeding vs. success thing, which is really intriguing, read this story by ESPN.)
For the second week in a row, the Falcons took off with a scorching lead – 17-0 right out of the gate! And for the second week in a row, they allowed their opponent to come back – only this time, their opponent won. The comeback wasn’t as all-consuming this week as last week – it was more like a slow creep onto the scoreboard mixed with a few fatal errors from the Falcons – but it was a comeback all the same. The Falcons weren’t able to convert in the red zone on 4th down late in the 4th quarter following a hotly debated catch call, and that kind of sealed the deal for them.
What’s Next?: Little brother vs. big brother in Super Bowl XLVII.
Game 2: Ravens at Patriots (Ravens 28, Patriots 13)
What We Learned: Ray Lewis was right! No weapon formed against the Ravens has prospered. Even this one: Tom Brady was formerly 67-0 against all opponents at home when going into halftime with the lead. That was quite the record, but the Ravens smashed it on Sunday. The defense was a thing of beauty, disrupting Tom Brady and rarely allowing classic Patriot-esque quick, big plays. The Patriots fabled clock management? Completely thrown off. Joe Flacco wasn’t a hindrance to the Ravens cause, either. He had the offense firing on all cylinders in the second half (and Anquan Boldin? Hello!)
What’s Next?: Big brother vs. little brother in Super Bowl XLVII.
Well, This Is Weird:
Both Harbaugh teams were road teams.
Both road teams won.
Both scored a total of 28 points.
Both shut out their opponents in the second half.
I was pulling for the Falcons, but I have to admit that it’ll be a fun historic moment to have two brothers coaching against each other in the Super Bowl, and on paper it seems like a great game. Congratulations to both teams!
How about you guys? Did the games turn out as you hoped? Are you excited for the Super Bowl???