Monday Morning Quarterback: Championship Weekend
San Francisco 49ersAtlanta Falcons
Why are the 49ers going to the Super Bowl? There are many reasons but the play of Colin Kaepernick is at the top of the list. Forget his numbers – 16-of-21 for 233 yards with a touchdown – and just look at his ability to keep his cool. The Falcons came roaring out of the gate and built a 17-0 lead and Kaepernick was not bothered a bit. Since the Falcons did not want him to run wild the way he did in the divisional playoffs against Green Bay, Kaepernick simply dissected the Atlanta defense with his pinpoint accuracy and came away with the road triumph.
Matt Ryan got his playoff victory in the divisional playoffs, but he couldn’t finish off the Niners after building a substantial lead. While he threw 3 touchdown passes in the first half, he couldn’t lead the Falcons to any points in the second half and he simply had no answers when it mattered most.
Baltimore RavensNew England Patriots
If there was any doubt previously, Joe Flacco is now one of the elite quarterbacks in the league. A year after battling Tom Brady on near-even terms in the AFC championship game a year ago, Flacco got the better of his rival this time around. Flacco threw for 240 yards and 3 TDs and had no problems taking charge in the second half when the Ravens outscored the Pats 21-0.
Tom Brady looked like just another quarterback in this game. He threw two second-half interceptions that kept his team from having any chance at a comeback. Brady seemed unwilling to throw the ball downfield against a seemingly vulnerable Baltimore defense. After leading New England to a 13-7 halftime lead, the Pats did nothing offensively in the second half and much of that is on Brady.