Listen to Dial Global's Coverage of Superbowl 47 on 1460 KXNO
By: Joe Quinn - 1460 KXnO - @joequinnshow
See that graphic above? Yep, may as well rename it the "Har-Bowl" for this year - I fully expect to be sick of the reference in two weeks.
I claimed last week this is my favorite weekend in the NFL, and while it was fantastic as a whole (two come from behind victories!), there were a few things that really stuck out to me in the AFC Champ game.
AFC Championship Game: Baltimore 28, New England 13
Time to come clean - I was secretly cheering for the Patriots in this one.
Why? I'm a Brady fan. One more Superbowl victory would put him into rare air - only Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana have more rings than Brady right now, albeit they both went 4-0 in the big game.
Will Brady ever be in the same league as Joe and Bradshaw? Probably not unless he wins 5, but it would make for a fun debate. He already owns most of the career postseason passing records, but there's something about 4-0 that rings a step above 4-2. 5-2 would probably trump all.
In the game, Joe Flacco was fantastic. Forget the Brady turnovers, forget the Ravens defense, heck - even forget Ray Lewis. At one point, Flacco was 12 out of 13 when the game was still in questions, and finished with 3 TD's, 240 yds, and outplayed his future hall of fame opponent in every facet of the game.
Some honorable mentions for the Ravens:
RB Bernard Pierce (9 carries - 52 yds) - Even though it was just over 50 yards, it sure seemed like a lot more. Pierce was able to rip them up for 6-7 yards when they needed it, and proved to be a difference maker in the run game.
DE Pernell McPhee (2 batted passes) - One of his deflections went a mile in the air, and right into the arms of Dannell Ellerbe. The other one was late in the game, just adding to Tom Brady's frustration.
WR Anquan Boldin (2 TD's) - Not sure where Boldin was in the first half, and probably can't underestimate Aqib Talib's injury in his success, but man, Boldin was big in the second half. No way the Ravens are in the game without Boldin's big play threat.
And for the Patriots:
WR Wes Welker - (117 yds , 1 TD) - Scored the only TD for the Pats, but still managed to have his signature 1 or 2 big drops and crucial times. He's a special player, who would do well to stay in New England with Tom Brady.
TE Aaron Hernandez - I think Hernandez is making a case for being the #1 TE in New England. Gronk can't seem to stay healthy when the games count, and Hernandez reeled in as many as could be expected.
RB Shane Vereen - Didn't really make much of an impact in the game, and I can't decide why. Every time he stepped on the field, he made something happen, whether it was on the ground or in the passing game. Not having Vereen be a bigger part of the game plan goes down as my #1 question for the Pats.
LB Dont'a Hightower - Only had 3 tackles in the game, but the young LB from Alabama made every single one of them count. I thought he might have killed Dennis Pitta at one point in the game. He'll be in the league for a long time.