I guess the Baltimore Ravens win over Peyton Manning and the Broncos in the divisional round wasn't the fluke that some made it out to be. Baltimore came out a little flat on offense against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game before jumping all over the home team in the second half.
Joe Flacco completely outplayed Tom Brady in what has to be considered one of the best performances for the enigmatic quarterback in his career. He did so in an unlikely scenario, especially at Gillette Stadium against the defending conference champs.
Baltimore's defense forced three turnovers in the second half en-route to running off 21 consecutive points and putting the game away in the fourth quarter. For his part, Flacco threw three more touchdowns compared to zero interceptions in his third consecutive stellar postseason performance. Tom Brady, on the other hand, threw two key interceptions (one in the end zone), completely shocking the home-team fans.
Key plays in the passing game, some amazing stops on defense and better coaching won the day for Baltimore. Offensive coordinator Jim Caldwell completely outclassed the Patriots defensive staff, Bill Belichick included, by making necessary adjustments to his scheme at halftime.
The results were two fold. First Baltimore was able to produce a couple lengthy drives to keep Brady off the field. Secondly, it put more pressure on the Patriots to succeed as heavy home favorites. In the end, it seems that Brady folded under that weight and Flacco didn't.
In all honesty, I never thought those words would ever be typed from my fingers to a computer monitor. I actually had to take a step back, pinch myself and come to the realization that Flacco simply outplayed Brady with a spot in the Super Bowl on the line.
We are now going to have to endure two weeks of "Harbaugh Bowl" or "Harbowl" talk as the Baltimore Ravens will take on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII two weeks from yesterday.
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