Tag Archives: AFC championship game

Are the Patriots truly being punished for their insolence?

The last five years for the Patriots would make many people believe in karma. Since Tom Brady left his baby mama Bridget Moynahan for Gisele and Bill Belichick got caught videotaping other teams’ run throughs, here are the Patriots season results:

  • 2007: Crazy late game Super Bowl loss to the underdog Giants
  • 2008: Brady tore his ACL early in the season and they missed the playoffs despite going 11-5
  • 2009: Brady had a stinker in a first round loss to the Ravens
  • 2010: Finished 14-2, but Brady had another stinker in a second round loss to the rival Jets
  • 2011: Brady nearly blew it against the Ravens again in the AFC championship game and they sneaked into the Super Bowl, only to suffer another late game loss to the underdog Giants

Gisele continued her negative influence by blaming the loss on drops by the Patriots receivers (only Aaron Hernandez had a truly bad drop, and it was probably too late to matter). The Patriots have 60 wins over the last five years (12 per year), but no rings. If the Patriots go 15-1 next year and get a rematch with a 9-7 Giants team, the Giants will probably be favored. They can’t get past those guys.

Close games are generally decided by luck — Bill Barnwell gets into this at Grantland, but finds himself backtracking almost immediately to avoid angering Giants fans (“The Giants were not lucky to win Super Bowl XLVI because they fumbled twice and fell on both of them.”). There will be no backtracking from me! The Giants were lucky to win (as the Patriots would have been if they had won). Here’s the way the ball bounced Continue reading

Advertisements

Part 2: did Lee Evans make the catch?

One post was not enough to sort through the deepest, darkest corners of the NFL rule book on the Lee Evans catch/no catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game. I posted a general commentary on the games earlier, but for those of you that love these details, Adrian the Canadian breaks the play down from a few more angles:

So I was hoping to delve into some nasty, ugly, complicated issues with the NFL’s instant replay system today, but, before doing so, I think we have to spin out the Lee Evans non-catch and the NFL’s awkward touchdown catch rule. First, Mike Pereira’s brief take at Football ZebrasContinue reading

Part 1: did Lee Evans make the catch?

“Upon further review,” Lee Evans catch/non-catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game has become a hot topic today. No one thought it was a catch yesterday, but the discussion is heating up. Should the Ravens be in the Super Bowl? It comes down to Evans’s second foot. Or, should I say, it’s all about whether Evans’s second foot came down. Here’s my take on Sunday’s games, but I rely on the lawyerly Adrian the Canadian to sort this call out. Here’s his quick take (check out his second post for even more gory details):

THE LEE EVANS “CATCH”

One of the many hot topics in the wake of yesterday’s conference championship games is Lee Evans non-catch at the end of regulation in the Pats-Ravens game. Over on Slate, Josh Levin has a good analysis of the catch. Levin seems to think that a strict application of the NFL rule Continue reading

Ravens – Patriots notes

I skimmed through Aaron Schatz’s Football Outsiders preview of the Ravens – Patriots game today. As usual, he gives a lot of interesting numbers. Football Outsiders has better data than anyone else. Just like everyone in the world, Schatz picks the Patriots as the clear favorites in the end; I agree, though I think the Patriots’ edge is subtle. The Patriots have home field and finished second to the Packers in True Wins with 12, but the Ravens played a harder schedule (7.8 average True Wins for Ravens opponents versus 7.3 for the Patriots, including a game against the Vick-less Eagles).

I often find that stats-based previews list a lot of numbers that don’t mean much. Here’s an example from Schatz’s piece: Continue reading

Goodnight Tebow, goodnight Texans, goodnight Saints, and goodnight PACKERS

Despite True Wins historical success, neither True Wins nor actual wins had a great weekend predicting playoff games. In the one game where the two measures gave a different prediction, the 11 True Win 49ers toppled the 11.5 True Win Saints, giving actual wins a half game lead (half credit given since actual wins were tied at 13 for each team). Both predictors got the Ravens and Patriots games right, and both Continue reading