By Lucas Frankel
The sports world was dying for a great game yesterday in the NFL and Broncos Ravens delivered big time. The Broncos played not to lose, and they lost which is only a small part of my take on the game:
Let’s start in the 4th quarter with the chance for the Broncos to end the game. They were up by 7 and all they had to do was throw it with Peyton Manning. If no one was open, just fall down and take a sack. No harm, no foul. At least they would have attempted to win the game. But no, they chose to run the ball with Ronnie Hillman instead. Broncos offensive Coordinator Mike McCoy should be ashamed of himself. Back in the 2010 AFC title game between the Jets and Steelers, the Steelers had the ball 3rd and long. The Steelers and Ben Roethlisberger chose to pass, which they completed to Antonio Brown and the Jets season ended on that play. Denver had the same chance, but instead of trying to win, they played not to lose and gave the Ravens a shot. You have Peyton Manning, only the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen, let the man make 1 throw!!! It’s obviously easy to say that now, but I was screaming for it before the play happened.
So the Broncos punted giving the Ravens the ball back. With 38 seconds left, Joe Flacco threw a deep pass into no mans land. Broncos safety Raheem Moore may have had one of the biggest gaffe’s since Bill Buckner let the ball go through his legs in the 1986 World Series. Cornerback Tony Carter was also no where to be found on this play. Carter and Moore let Jacoby Jones run right past them and catch a desperation pass for a game tying touchdown. Under those circumstances, that’s one of the worst defensive plays in the history of the sport. A complete breakdown of massive proportions. I don’t want to even fathom that happening to the Jets, that would have been bad for lack of a better term.
After Jones’s touchdown, the Broncos got the ball back with about 30 seconds left with 2 of their timeouts. Instead of trying to possibly get a quick 40-50 yards and lining themselves up for a game winning field goal, they took a knee. Do I have to remind the Broncos they have Peyton Manning and not Tim Tebow. Let the man throw it down the field, give him a chance.
That sent the game to overtime and for one play, I thought Brett Favre un-retired. Peyton Manning threw the 2nd worst pass of his career behind the pick 6 he threw to Tracy Porter a few years back in the Super Bowl. Peyton was running for his life, threw off his back foot across his body and was intercepted which led to the game winning field goal for Baltimore. You have to throw the ball away in that spot. Have to have to have to. That pass was the same exact pass that Favre was intercepted on while playing for the Vikings in the NFC title game. The Ravens had no business winning yesterday’s game, and they did.
The Green Bay Packers against the San Francisco 49ers game was a much simpler game. Colin Kaepernick was besides an early pick 6, absolutely unstoppable. He threw for 263 yards and 2 touchdowns, and ran for a quarterback playoff record of 181 yards and 2 rushing touchdowns. He averaged about 3 more yards per run than he did per throw. The 49ers were strictly a defensive team before Kaepernick, and now combined with that defense also have one of the most dynamic offenses in the sport. I kept thinking the pressure would finally get to Colin, but he is one tough man. What he did in Foxborough was remarkable, and then to do it again against Aaron Rodgers and that Packers defense was sensational. Once again, Jim Harbaugh looks like a genius. Don’t look now, but we could be seeing a Harbaugh Super Bowl.