FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Baltimore's Joe Flacco is doing his best to look like Ben Stiller's character in Happy Gilmore after New England's victory over Baltimore in the "Blown Opportunities Bowl," a.k.a. The AFC Championship Game.
Maybe I'm just on a roll, but the bizarre and sometimes ironic storylines coming from the Patriots victory in the Blown Opportunities Bowl (a.k.a. the AFC Championship game) is enough to make one want to choke.
- It's not all that common that before a game ends, people can say "whichever team loses, they should have won this game."
- Baltimore, the team that doused its coach with Gatorade - the act of a champion - after regular season wins loses a playoff game because its receiver started to celebrate before completing the catch.
- The Year of the Quarterback just saw one half of its conference championship game quarterbacks throw two terrible interceptions in the fourth quarter. Tom Brady admitted he "sucked" today during the trophy presentation. He isn't exaggerating.
- The Patriots defense was maligned during the regular season, but managed to force the Ravens into an interception, a turnover on downs and a missed field goal on their final three possessions.
- In fact, the best defense was the Ravens offense - penalties and dropped passes stood in their way all game.
- Ravens fans are blaming the play calling in the fourth quarter for a loss that saw its team fail to score on its final three possessions, and after that, blame is placed on the kicker despite the dropped touchdown in the end zone and the third down draw play called in the series they turned the ball over on downs.
Great football games do not end with such misery. There are no excuses for either team, one moves on to the Super Bowl after perhaps the least inspiring conference championship victory the AFC has seen in several years.