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Morning links: Giants-Patriots rematch in Super Bowl

Post by Eric Williams on Jan. 23, 2012 at 9:55 am with 28 Comments »
January 23, 2012 9:55 am
San Francisco 49ers' Kyle Williams (10) fumbles as he is hit by New York Giants' Jacquian Williams (57) during overtime of the NFC Championship NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, in San Francisco. The Giants won 20-17 to advance to Super Bowl XLVI. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)

We were blessed with two very entertaining contests on Sunday in the AFC and NFC championship games. And with all the talk about elite quarterbacks going against talented defenses, it’s interesting that both contests came down to that important third phase of football – special teams.

Baltimore kicker Bill Cundiff missed a chip shot 32-yard field goal that would have tied the game at the end of regulation, allowing New England to sneak past the Ravens, 23-20.

And San Francisco returner Kyle Williams, playing in place of an injured Ted Ginn, fumbled twice in the New York Giants 20-17 overtime win over the Niners.

So NBC executives get the game they wanted, a rematch of the Super Bowl four years ago with the Patriots looking for revenge against the Giants, and hopefully fans get another competitive football game.

John Czarnecki of Fox Sports gives us an early breakdown of the matchup here.

Bill Barnwell of provides some in-depth analysis beyond the typical scapegoats for San Francisco and Baltimore staying home for the Super Bowl.

We see social media at its worst with Williams receiving death threats through Twitter after fumbling twice against the Giants.

Ray Ratto of overlooks Williams’ miscues and points to the San Francisco’s weaknesses for that team’s loss – lack of explosiveness on offense and a failure to create turnovers on defense.

Russ Lande of the Sporting News previews the Senior Bowl.

Here’s the North roster. And check out the South roster here. You can watch Senior Bowl practice at 1 p.m. Pacific time today on the NFL Network.

Matt Bowen of the National Football Post provides some key things to look for at Senior Bowl practices and in the game on Saturday.

Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Oregon head coach Chip Kelly had a change of heart, backing out after initially agreeing to take the head coaching job at Tampa Bay.

Morning links
Leave a comment Comments → 28
  1. Dukeshire says:

    Ray Ratto is out of his mind if he truly feels SFs D is in any way responsible for that loss. They played brilliantly. And explosive plays? Vernon Davis’ 73 yard TD…? If one wants to overlook Williams’ miscues, the next place I’d look to lay responsibility is on play calling. Why they shelved the running game in the 4th, especially on that 3 oncompletes and out on their last possession, is mind boggling.

    Regardless, that was the best championship Sunday I can remember.

    And after watching those games, and 4 defensive lines playing in the offense’s backfied time and te again, my desire for Seattle to upgrade 3-tech and LDE is stronger than ever. (yes, yes, I know: Seattle needs a QB…)

  2. RynoGreene says:

    Duke, agreed. Gore (like many bruising backs) is a beast late in games. It shocks me that they rode him into the playoffs, then got away from using him in a game like this one. Especially when going against talented pass rushers when your receivers haven’t gotten open all day.

  3. Yep, me too. Yesterday said a lot about the value of a defensive front-7. I hate SF, but their formula for success is a lot like Pete Carroll’s and it is working. One thing about those 49ers, its taken a long time for that D to mature. Harbaugh joined that team at just the right time to reap the benefits.

    Its hard for me to see that NYG offensive line winning a super bowl. But Eli keeps surprising us, so I guess anything can happen.

  4. Even against NO they seemed to ignore what got them there, D and Gore. It’s funny how coaches sometimes change the way they play call when they get into the playoffs. It would seem that they would stick with what works and what got them there, but for some reason they feel they have to mix it up. Even his brother changed it up, wasn’t Ray Rice their leading receiver going into the game, how many times was he thrown to?

  5. Since I didn’t watch any post game coverage (final game ended at 5 am in the morning here, today has been hell) I wonder if the same people who raved about Smith after the game against the Saints have to say about his performance, besides throwing to Davis, he only checked it down to Gore, granted, he didn’t turn it over, but 1 for 13 on third down is horribly, delightful performance by him, nothing but an average to below average game manager.

  6. edstang45 says:

    Glad to see them lose makes me feel fuzzy all over. I could hear the air come out of the stands when the fumble happened. I hate these guys like I hated the broncos years ago!!!!!! Bring on the draft and 2012

  7. Dukeshire says:

    I wonder what SF will do with A Smith? I can’t imagine there is much of a market for elsewhere. Meanwhile, they have Kaepernick in the wings and yesterday showed once again, that Smith isn’t leading any team from the front. So called “game manager” and not many of those win championships (no matter how strong their defense is.) But Colin certainly isn’t ready yet. Will
    Be interesting what they offer him and what what he’ll demand.

  8. letsworkitout says:

    I always wonder what happened to someone to have such venom for a team. That takes a lot of energy to maintain that hatred. I can only assume they are naturally angry people.

  9. RDPoulsbo says:

    The Gronk must be feeling real sore today and not because of the foot injury. I was watching to see what the Ravens would do when he was split out and they’d have someone in the secondary taking 15 yard runs at him trying to time the snap. He was getting outright mugged on some plays.

  10. I was the one that said I was worried about Smith and Davis becoming a crazy duo, but I agree, blanket Davis and all Smith gots is his legs. So, yeah, no need to be worried about them, I guess I got a little bit over anxious on that game winning drive last week. That 3rd down completion percentage was ridiculous.

  11. I hate the Steelers, Raiders, Cowboys, and anything from NY or Boston with a passion. I guess I’m a little angry, but mainly it’s due to all the bandwagoners who just jump on board with them just because they are who they are. If your your from there or live there, it’s cool, but otherwise it’s annoying, but that’s just me. C-Town love all the way baby.

  12. grizindabox says:

    I would point the finger at poor wide receiver play for the Niner lack of offense more so than at A. Smith.

  13. Dukeshire says:

    letsworkitout – Not sure how passionate you are about any particular team, but fan is short for fanatical and than means wins and losses are personal. A reflection on our selves. Do you really not get it?

    Smith sucks, period. But yes, SF has next to nothing at WR. But still, they have to run Gore into the ground and let Smith manage the perifery of the offense. That’s all they have on offense. They need receivers and a QB.

  14. Dukeshire says:

    Sorry if that last post is a little dry. But I’m sur you all get the gist.

  15. Dukeshire says:

    They just showed Carroll and Schneider at ST bowl practice, and made me giddy.

  16. Dukeshire says:

    North practice just wrapped up on NFL Network. And while it was a little disjointed to watch (too much 7 on 7, not enough 1 – 1, IMO) the two things that stood out most were; Kellen Moore’s size – he’s tiny. Watching games for 3 years didn’t revel just how small he is. Even standing next to coaches he looks wee. Doug Flutie small. And Kirk Cousins. Also not a tree topper. However, he can spin it. Not a big arm exactly, but major rotation on the ball and delivered on time and in stride.

  17. HawkfaninMT says:

    I don’t have NFLN so I get just the tidbits here and there. But some players I am curious about this week are:

    DB- Asa Jackson (saw him in person and was impressed)
    DE- Vinny Curry (Leo?)
    DE- Andre Branch (Leo?)
    DE- Melvin Ingram (Leo?)
    LB- Emmanuel Acho (Will?)
    DE- Jake Bequette (DE)
    WR- Dwight Jones (Seeing him against Dennard will be a good match up)

  18. RDPoulsbo says:

    I’m a big fan of drafting Cousins. IMO, he’s probably the most undervalued QB going into the draft. He comes from a system that makes him NFL ready, but he just lacked weapons and not given the chance to put up huge stats like a lot of other QBs out there. He’s not a guy you’d make an immediate starter, but someone you could use a mid-round pick on and let develop.

  19. Dukeshire says:

    Not sure Sesttle is looking for a Leo type player considering their d-line didn’t play that scheme much last season. But if we’re using that as a catch- all for an end that can get to the QB, then yes, they need one. Badly.

  20. Happy for Bernard and Grant going to superbowl. Wasn’t it Bernard that broke Smiths collarbone or was that Porkchop?

  21. Happy that Bernard and Grant are headed to the Superbowl

  22. GeorgiaHawk says:

    BigBlew- I agree about being happy that Bernard and Grant are headed to the Superbowl.

  23. bayareahawkfan says:

    Rocky broke Smith’s shoulder, did the Sugar Bear Shake, and ushered in the final starts in Dilfer’s career.

    I look back fondly on that era of Seahawk-Niner relations :).

    Did anybody else see Rocky with that bloodied mouth after Canty was called at the end of that fight on Sunday? He looked MAD, and more like an angry bear than a sugar bear :).

    Good times.

  24. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yawn!!! Not a big fan of pre draft practices! waste of time, imo.
    It’s what they do in the games that really matters to the scouts!

  25. HawkfaninMT says:

    Speaking of Dilfer…

    As much as it pains me to say it, he was spot on with Andy Dalton. I remember last year he was praising Dalton and saying he should be a 1st round pick. Well he is back at it again. He was on NFL32 today talking up Nick Foles as though he should be a first rounder. Was he just lucky with the Dalton call? Or does this guy actually have an eye for QB talent beyond the obvious?

  26. Dukeshire says:

    Seeing the best against the best in one on one drills is awesome, IMO. Anyone can pick on the little guys, seeing them perform agains the best of their peers gives us a great idea where they are heading to the next level.

  27. SandpointHawk says:

    Kam Chancellor and Brandon Browner have been added to the Pro Bowl roster…

  28. Dukeshire says:

    HawkfaninMT – That’s a great question. The guy is such a blowhard… I’m going with lucky until he hits another one.

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