NFL Playoffs: Ranking the Championship Weekend Goats
Great games or close games? How do you decipher yesterday’s AFC and NFC Championship games?
However you view them, they both have one thing in common—goats.
Goats have been infamously recognized throughout all sports from Scott Norwood of the Bills, to Jackie Smith’s drop in the end zone and so forth.
Yesterday’s game was marred by a poor play of three different individuals. Billy Cundiff, Lee Evans and Kyle Williams all suffered defeat and criticism after their poor plays.
Hopefully these guys can bounce back, but in the mean time let’s rank these guys from yesterday. Which player earns the accolades of hurting his team most?
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Billy Cundiff is kicking himself today. You can guarantee that..
However, was Billy Cundiff the biggest goat of the day?
Figure this—the Baltimore Ravens shouldn’t have even been in that position. If Lee Evans catches a brilliant pass from Flacco, Cundiff is trotting out for an extra point. Following that, he (for reasons unknown) was very late to enter the field before his kick, possibly altering his warm-up.
Say Cundiff nails that 32-yarder through the uprights. Who was to say the Patriots would’ve gotten the ball and scored in overtime anyway?
Either way you slice it, I can’t fully blame Billy Cundiff. He only had the opportunity to tie the game and let his teammates finish it.
If it was to win the game, I would be singing a completely different tune.
2. Kyle Williams
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Kyle Williams can’t be a total bust either for various reasons. As with Cundiff, his mistake technically didn’t lose the game, since the 49ers were tied and would’ve had some poor field position.
The reason I don’t put the full blame on Williams is for the mere fact that the 49ers offense was so bad that I don’t think it even mattered. In the second half alone, the red and gold offense punted five out of eight times. The other three possessions were a third quarter touchdown, an early fourth quarter field goal and the last drive when time expired.
The New York Giants had most of the momentum at that point anyway. Don’t get me wrong, if Williams didn’t fumble, the outcome could have been different. However, the San Francisco 49ers offense was more to blame, in my opinion.
1. Lee Evans
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In my eyes, Lee Evans is the goat for the Ravens’ demise.
Lee Evans has been relatively unknown since his final days as a Buffalo Bill and a Baltimore Raven. This was Evans’ time to shine. A high draft pick with tremendous potential, Evans never really became a star receiver many thought.
This catch describes his career in a nutshell.
Evans blew this game for the lone fact that it was to WIN the game! The Ravens marched down the field with only a short time remaining. Flacco threw his greatest pass of his young career where only Lee Evans can haul it in.
You have hands for a reason. You have a body for a reason. It is mind-boggling how that ball did not stay in his stomach.
IF he catches that ball, Cundiff doesn’t need to kick, there will be no shot at even going to overtime and with only seconds remaining, it would’ve taken a miracle for New England to win.
Sorry Lee, but today was not your finest day.
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If Lee Evans’ drop was in overtime or the game was tied it would still be significant, just not AS significant.
This is what we all have to ask ourselves:
What did Billy Cundiff’s miss disallow?
The Ravens weren’t guaranteed a win or even another possession.
What did Kyle Williams’ fumble allow?
He allowed the Giants to get solid field position. However, a turnover was plausible as was a missed Tynes kick. Though it was really bad, it didn’t cost San Francisco the game.
What did Lee Evans drop do?
It cost his team the game and a Super Bowl appearance. That catch wins the game and there is no need for further discussion.
Everyone has their opinions and points their fingers. I would love to see anyone argue that Cundiff or Williams cost their team the game.