Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

2013 NFL Championship Weekend Recap: The Harbaugh Bowl is Set

The Harbaugh Bowl is happening, but how did we get there? Let’s take a look back at the second to last weekend of real NFL football this season and break down the AFC and NFC Championship games.

AFC Championship

Baltimore Ravens 28 – New England Patriots 13

Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Who could have seen this coming? The Ravens frustrated and shut down Tom Brady and the powerful Pats offense all night long. The Patriots were able to gain yards, but they couldn’t convert the yards into points, which is extremely rare with Tom Brady at the helm. The Ravens, on the other hand, converted all 4 of their red zone trips for all 28 of their points, and that would prove to be more than enough. I have to say I was impressed by the Ravens, and especially by Joe Flacco. He continues to show veteran’s composure and poise, and isn’t rattled by missed opportunities. His “ego” is probably better described as confidence, and the rest of the offense feeds off of that. Plus, he has a great rapport with his wideouts and tight ends, and has the arm to put the ball exactly where he wants it.

Also, the Patriots with Tom Brady losing for the first time in sixty eight games in which they held a halftime lead. That’s absolutely insane. The Patriots aren’t “done” just yet, but you have to imagine they’re running out of time. They’re such a great franchise, but it’s very funny to see how they go from absolute dominance to frustratingly inconsistent on a week to week basis. Still, I would gladly trade what the Buccaneers have done over the past decade or so for what they’ve done. We certainly haven’t seen the last of them.

NFC Championship

San Francisco 49ers 28 – Atlanta Falcons 24

Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Buccaneers fans, couldn’t you see this one coming? The team that we watched play our Pewter Pirates was not good enough to win a Super Bowl, and they finally met their match. Matt Ryan was outstanding, and anyone blaming him is out of their mind. I enjoy taking jabs at his nickname, but he certainly did everything he could. I honestly believe “Matty Ice” was let down by his coaching staff and his defense. The Falcons took their foot off the gas as Tony Gonzalez celebrated his late second quarter touchdown, and the Dirty Birds just couldn’t flip the switch back to “on”. The team only carried the ball 23 times in a game where they lead by 17 points. That’s not championship football unless your quarterback is named “Brady,” and even then it’s proving to be more and more difficult. The 49ers, on the other hand, continued to run the ball even though they were behind, and it proved to be the absolute right decision. Kaepernick is a star in the making, and he has all the weapons he needs.

Also, what’s the deal with the Falcons refusing to cover tight ends? I’m pretty sure I could have caught 8 balls for 100 yards against them, and the last athletic thing I’ve done in life is play middle school basketball back when boy bands were popular. I think Vernon Davis could have gone for 200 yards if the Niners needed to throw the ball more often.

I am quite happy with the Super Bowl matchup. In years past, there has always been a team that I disliked in the mix, and that makes it a frustrating watch. However, I can honestly say that I respect the heck out of both of these teams, and both coaches. Harbowl, or Super Baugh, is going to be awesome. It is also going to show two blueprints for the Buccaneers, because these are teams that pride themselves on strong offensive lines, big play quarterbacks, and no nonsense coaches. But let’s hear what you think, Bucs fans. Who ya got in the Super Bowl? And what were your favorite moments from Championship Weekend?

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Tags: NFL

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