NFL Championship Sunday
January 22, 2015
We got a thriller that turned into an Instant Classic and we got a blowout.
Green Bay gave us the biggest second-half collapse in conference championship game history when it fell late to Seattle. The Packers led 16-0 at halftime, and no other team had blown that big of a lead in either the NFC or AFC title games.
The game basically came down to special teams. Green Bay failed to handle an onside kick and the Seahawks recovered it and scored to go ahead 22-19 with 1:25 remaining. Earlier, the Packers got burned o
Seahawks’ Russell Wilson
n a fake field goal in the third quarter. On third-and-19 from the Packers’ 19-yard line, holder Jon Ryan, the Seahawks’ punter, took the snap and waited for backup offensive lineman Garry Gilliam to sneak out from his eligible receiver position before lobbing a touchdown pass to him that cut the lead to 16-7 with 4:44 left in the third quarter.
The Seahawks won it in overtime, 28-22, on a 35-yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson to Jermaine Kearse. The victory means Seattle has a chance to become the first team in 10 years to win back-to-back Super Bowls.
Wilson had a career-worst four interceptions but led the Seahawks to two fourth-quarter touchdowns in the final two minutes of regulation and the winning throw to Kearse, who, ironically, was the target on all four interceptions.
Seattle’s redzone defense and the running of Marshawn Lynch kept the Seahawks in it until Wilson’s late heroics.
Patriots’ Tom Brady
The defense kept Aaron Rodgers out of the endzone for the most part as the Packers scored just one touchdown to go along with five field goals. Meanwhile, Lynch did his thing. He rushed for 157 yards on 25 carries, including a 24-yard touchdown that gave the Seahawks a 20-19 lead late in the fourth quarter before a successful two-point conversion. It was his fifth 100-yard game in the postseason. May have to call Lynch Mr. January soon.
New England gave us the blow out as it destroyed Indianapolis to give us what could be a classic Super Bowl.
I will spend more time on the matchup next week. So far, Vegas has it as a toss-up. Seems like last year’s Seattle-Denver was also supposed to be a close game. The Seahawks crushed Peyton Manning and the Broncos. I see them beating Tom Brady this year. I don’t think it will be a lopsided affair, but Brady has not seen anything like Seattle’s defense in years.
NCAA Sold Out
I don’t know if you missed it because there has been little reporting on it. But Penn State is back in the news.
The latest ruling on Penn State was very disappointing, to me at least.
The NCAA was sued for fining the university $60 million and taking away all of Coach Joe Paterno’s football wins.
And in the interest of retaining whatever controlling authority it still thinks it has left, the intimidated NCAA decided to restore Paterno’s wins in the wake of a child sex abuse scandal under his watch. Penn State also no longer has to pay the fine to the NCAA and can spend it on child abuse programs in the state.
I am not sure if there has ever been a more short-sighted decision in college athletics.
Now that Paterno’s wins have been restored, we can now look forward to the winningest major college football coach in history being a man who turned his head away from child abuse because he didn’t want anything to interrupt the success of his football team. It does not matter to me all the accolades I hear of Paterno’s character and principles as a coach. Those achievements, on the field and with players he mentored, mean little to me compared to the damage he indirectly caused by being an enabler for his buddy, Jerrry Sandusky. There is no sustainable argument that the coach was unaware of Sandusky’s behavior. Reading even the slightest amount of coverage of the case tells us that. Everyone else within the football program appeared to know. How can one believe Paterno was not aware of Sandusky’s crimes?
Shame on the NCAA. It had a chance to acquire a touch of relevancy and send a message about the real purpose of collegiate sports. Instead, they chose to protect the money. Collegiate sports might want to consider ignoring the NCAA. All schools need to do is voice thoughts on taking away their funding.
Jerry Sandusky in custody
The NCAA is so out of touch with the times. They cave on serious issues and concentrate on their little rules.
College athletes earn billions for America’s universities and they can’t even accept a meal from a coach, or even a ride to an off-campus practice. I even read the other day that the NCAA recently banned a tradition of rowing teams betting each other their racing jerseys because it was deemed gambling. And I will never forget how a coach got sanctioned a while back for giving an athlete chocolate milk after practice instead of Gatorade upon being told by nutritionist that the milk is a better drink for recovery. Of course, Gatorade is a big NCAA sponsor, but I can say with sarcasm that I am sure that had nothing to do with the sanction.