10 Biggest Losers from NFL Championship Sunday
Championship Sunday lived up to the hype once again. Two great games came down to the wire to determine the AFC and NFC winners. Most importantly, we learned who will face off in two weeks for the big game.
The New England Patriots and the New York Giants will fight for the Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl XLVI.
Before we look forward to the big game, let's look back at the 10 biggest losers from this weekend.
Who hurt their team the most on Championship Sunday? Who embarrassed themselves?
Let me know what you think!
What better way to kick off Championship Sunday than having Steven Tyler sing, and butcher, the Star Spangled Banner?
Unfortunately for Tyler, this wasn't his gig.
In fact, Jared Allen, Ron Rivera, Dexter McCluster and several other members of the National Football League showcased their singing skills and did quite well during a commercial break.
Ray Rice did not have a good day against the New England Patriots defense. Rice ran into a brick wall almost everywhere he went in Sunday's AFC Championship match in New England.
The Baltimore Ravens running game had no answer for the Patriots rush defense. The Ravens offensive line did not do Rice many favors in this game.
Rice ran for 67 yards off of 21 carries for a 3.2 yard per carry average and no touchdowns.
Tom Brady did win himself another ticket to the Super Bowl, but he certainly did not earn it.
Brady went 22-of-36 for 239 yards on Sunday. He threw two interceptions and did not throw a touchdown in this game.
Luck was not on Brady's side when Bernard Pollard tipped a pass in the end zone to his teammate, Jimmy Smith, for a big interception to give the Ravens second life after Joe Flacco threw an interception of his own.
In the end, Brady and the Patriots found a way to pull away with the win, despite not having success through the air. Brady knows that he must spend the next two weeks preparing himself to have a better game.
With 22 seconds left to go in the game, Joe Flacco threw a strike to Lee Evans for what would have been the go-ahead touchdown reception.
Evans secured the football in his hands near the corner of the end zone with one foot on the ground and needed to place the other down in order to rule it a touchdown.
New England safety Sterling Moore came away with the most heroic play of the game by getting his hand on the football and knocking it away from Evans before he could establish possession.
Had Evans held on to the football, the Ravens would be going to Indianapolis, not the Patriots.
However, luckily for Evans, football fans in Baltimore are not calling for his head.
Lee Evans did drop a big touchdown pass, but it was Billy Cundiff who choked while missing a 32-yard field goal with 15 seconds left.
Cundiff missed what was going to be a game-tying field goal.
With a focused Ravens team that had its eye on the prize, the win was taken away by a missed field goal from close range.
Cundiff will forever be referred to as one of the most disliked Ravens in franchise history. Had he made the field goal, there would have been two conference games played in overtime on Championship Sunday.
When you see a buff person, you would think that he would be intimidating. Ed Hochuli is anything but intimidating.
In fact, he is probably the most entertaining referee in the league.
Who could forget his bad season in 2008, when he had many bad calls and stumbled a few times?
During the NFC title game, Hochuli and his officiating crew had to look over the first touchdown of the game to see if the receiver's foot was out of bounds.
Hochuli had a hard time trying to explain himself to the fans in Candlestick Park, resulting in him being a worldwide top trending topic on Twitter.
Vernon Davis did have a memorable NFC Championship game with three catches, two of them resulting in touchdowns, for over 100 yards.
But Davis also had some bone-headed plays, as he was penalized twice following the end of two different plays.
After scoring the first touchdown of the game, Davis celebrated on top of a platform on the field which is designed only for camera operators. Davis was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct because the platform is considered a prop. As we all know, anything used as a prop during a touchdown celebration in the league will warrant a penalty.
The penalty caused the 49ers to go back 15 yards on the kickoff.
After a scuffle between a couple of Giants and 49ers players, Davis got involved by jumping on top of Michael Boley when he got into a shoving match with Anthony Davis. Vernon Davis was flagged for unnecessary roughness, forcing his team to go back another 15 yards.
Davis hurt his team with two penalties for 30 yards. Players in the league cannot allow that to happen in a league like this where every play matters.
Giants Offensive Line
Eli Manning had an up-and-down game.
Manning went 32-of-58 for 316 yards and two touchdown passes. However, Manning finished the game with a quarterback rating of 82.3.
Manning had a hard time looking for a receiver due to the heavy pressure provided by rookie Aldon Smith and the 49ers defensive front.
The Giants offensive line could not help Manning, as he was sacked six times and knocked down 20 times on Championship Sunday.
The line must improve and not allow Vince Wilfork to invade the pocket, otherwise, it will be a long Super Bowl for the Giants.
Kyle Williams decided to forgo taking a punt back in the fourth quarter. However, Williams was still near the football, even though he had no interest in returning the punt.
The football bounced off of Williams' knee, making it a fumble and allowing the Giants to recover the ball. The Giants eventually got it in with a touchdown pass to Mario Manningham.
But that wasn't the end for Williams.
Williams fumbled a punt return with 9:32 to go in overtime, allowing the Giants to start at the 49ers' 24-yard line. The Giants went on to win the NFC shortly following the fumble.
Did a loss last week result in a discontinuation of all of the "Discount Double Check" commercials?
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