- Detailed NFL Mock Drafts, Player Prospect Rankings, and One of the Largest Mock Draft Databases on the Web

Week 20 NFL Game Recaps

Patriots 23, Ravens 20

  • How do you miss a 32-yard field goal? Billy Cundiff was paid $2.2 million this year. It's simply inexcusable that he couldn't convert a routine kick to send this game to overtime. He can't be allowed back to this team. Not after this.

    Of course, Cundiff shouldn't have been in that position anyway because Joe Flacco threw a game-winning touchdown to Lee Evans two plays earlier. Unfortunately for Baltimore, Evans couldn't hang on to the football, as Sterling Moore, who was on the practice squad earlier in the year, knocked the ball out of his hands. Moore saved the season for Tom Brady, who has now tied John Elway for most Super Bowl appearances (5) and Joe Montana for most playoff victories (16). If Brady wins in two weeks, it's an easy argument to say that he's the best quarterback in NFL history.

  • Brady didn't play like the best quarterback in NFL history in this contest, however. He finished 22-of-36 for 239 yards, one rushing touchdown and two interceptions. He was just off. The picks weren't really his fault because they were just great plays by the Baltimore defense (the second, which Bernard Pollard tipped to Jimmy Smith in the end zone, is the best interception I've ever seen), but Brady missed some routine throws, including one where he had Rob Gronkowski open in the end zone.

    Brady will obviously need to play better in the Super Bowl because his defense isn't good enough to carry the team. If Moore doesn't knock the ball out of Evans' hands, the Patriots would have surrendered a game-winning drive to Joe freaking Flacco. That says it all.

  • Speaking of Flacco, he was pretty brutal early on, but got into a rhythm in the second and third quarters just when it looked like he wouldn't be able to get a first down. Flacco finished 22-of-36 for 306 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He scrambled smartly when needed (4-27) and made some really nice throws, though New England's putrid defense made it pretty easy for him. Unfortunately, the pick was awful, as it was heaved right to Brandon Spikes with 7:30 remaining in regulation in Patriots' territory.

    Flacco deserves a ton of credit for this near-victory because he was handicapped by Cam Cameron's atrocious play-calling. Cameron decided to run the ball on first down on the opening three drives, putting Flacco in second-and-long each time. The Ravens consequently had to punt on all three occasions.

    Cameron's play-calling would improve, but he really screwed up on the penultimate drive of the fourth quarter. He had Ray Rice run a draw on 3rd-and-3 on the New England 30 - a down in which the Ravens couldn't lose yardage no matter what. Rice was tackled three yards behind the line of scrimmage, forcing Baltimore to go for it on 4th-and-6. Flacco would throw incomplete because of pressure.

    If I'm Cameron, I'm sending Cundiff a gift basket (and perhaps a suitcase full of money) because if the kicker doesn't whiff on that field goal, Cameron would have been the easy scapegoat.

  • There was one seemingly critical injury in this contest, and that was to Gronkowski. The big tight end injured his ankle and had to be helped into the locker room. He would eventually return, so that bodes well for his chances to play in two weeks. The Gronk led the team with 87 receiving yards (5 catches). Both Aaron Hernandez (7-66) and Wes Welker (6-53) had more receptions.

  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the lone Patriot skill-position player to find the end zone. The Law Firm was a monster, bulldozing the Baltimore defense for 68 yards on just 15 carries. He was so impressive that I joked, "Green-Ellis is the second coming of Walter Payton!" in the Live In-Games Thread on the forum.

  • Green-Ellis amazingly edged out Rice by a single yard. Rice dashed for 67 yards on 21 carries. He had just one reception for 11 more yards, which makes you wonder why he wasn't a bigger factor in the aerial attack.

  • Anquan Boldin had a second-consecutive solid performance, hauling in six grabs for 101 yards. Torrey Smith (3-82) and Dennis Pitta (5-41) both found the end zone. Smith could have had a much greater performance, as he was open twice for deep balls, but Flacco overthrew him on both occasions.

    Ed Dickson, meanwhile, really struggled. He had a big drop and was guilty of a crucial false start in the fourth quarter.

  • Congratulations to the Patriots for advancing to Super Bowl XLVI. I'm rooting for Bob Kraft because of his wife's passing earlier this year. However, I have to criticize him for one thing. He needs to shell out more money for the national anthem performer. Yes, the homeless woman poured her heart and soul into singing the Star-Spangled Banner, but Kraft needs to get a musician who doesn't live in a cardboard box next time.

    Giants 20, 49ers 17

  • Cam Cameron obtained Ten Ginn with the ninth-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, a selection that was viewed at the time as a major reach. Who would have thought that four-and-a-half years later, Cameron would be one of the scapegoats for one championship game loss, while Ginn's absence would be the reason for another championship defeat?

    Seriously, how big was Ginn's knee injury? If he's in the game, the 49ers don't muff a punt and fumble a return in overtime. You really have to feel for Kyle Williams. Unlike Billy Cundiff, Williams' main job isn't returning punts. He was in the game because Ginn was hurt. That doesn't excuse his two crucial mistakes that led to 10 New York points, but if you're comparing Williams to Cundiff, it's no contest. The kicker was more responsible.

  • This was a dead-even game otherwise. The total yardage was 319-319 at the end of regulation, and both squads would have been worthy NFC champions. The reason I picked the Giants, however, was that an even matchup like this would go to the team with the better quarterback. And Eli Manning was unquestionably the superior signal-caller.

    Manning went 32-of-58 for 316 yards and two touchdowns. That's an impressive stat line considering the immense pressure he was under. He seldom had time in the pocket and took six sacks (2.5 from Ray McDonald). San Francisco's defense definitely came to play.

    As for Alex Smith, he was 12-of-26 for 196 yards and two scores. He made a couple of great throws to Vernon Davis, but two things stick out to me. First, he had an open Kyle Williams downfield for a long touchdown in the second quarter, but overthrew him by about five yards. Second, Smith couldn't convert a third down to save his life. He was 1-of-13 in those situations, with the only positive result coming right at the very end of regulation when the Giants allowed him to complete a pass well short of the end zone.

    I don't want you to think that Smith is a lost cause or anything. He made great strides this year, and it wouldn't be fair to dismiss him because of this loss, especially after his late-game heroics versus New Orleans. He deserves a chance with more than one weapon to throw to. Vernon Davis was a monster again (3-112, 2 TDs), but no other Niner receiver or tight end did anything. Michael Crabtree caught one ball for three years yards.

  • Frank Gore had a really nice game. He rushed for 74 yards on just 16 carries, and chipped in with six catches for 45 receiving yards. Remember when I said this contest was evenly played? Well, Ahmad Bradshaw had the same amount of rushing yards and receptions (20-74; 6-52).

  • The star for the Giants was Victor Cruz, who had a whopping 10 grabs for 142 yards. All of his work came early though, and he didn't get a single reception in about 10 of the final drives. Hakeem Nicks (5-55) also played well, while Mario Manningham (1-17) and Bear Pascoe (1-6) caught Manning's touchdowns.

    My playoff 2011 NFL Power Rankings, will be posted Monday morning.

    Leave a comment

    click on image to refresh it
    Adam C 10-22-2012 04:41 am (total posts: 1)
    34     12

    According to the rules if Freeman stays in the pocket that play at the end is a touchdown but apparently the NFL rules committee never saw a situation where a QB rolls out and the DB just decides to push the WR out of bounds so he can't be eligible. Once again the NFL rules committee clearly shows they don't know what they're doing.
    JC 10-21-2012 10:21 am (total posts: 2)
    6     5

    the arguments above leave out injury risk of a free kick vs a kneel down. Also, the whistle blew on the Lynch fumble early and the replay showed Lynch recovered his own fumble. I think it would have changed the ball position by about a yard or two.
    KMOB 10-20-2012 02:58 pm (total posts: 1)
    30     32

    Declining the safety is 100% the right move. There have been 0 fumbles on kneel downs in over 800 attempts since 2010, as recorded by ESPN. The Rivers fumble Walt refers to was not on a kneel down - they were in regular offensive formation and Rivers was not simply about to take the snap and kneel.

    The Seahawks would have had over 40 seconds, and while it is unlikely that they score twice, the possibility exists. Not only that, why would a coach with Super Bowl aspirations expose his team to a dangerous special teams play, followed possibly by additional defensive and special teams plays on top of that? Why not ensure your team is as healthy as possibly while still preserving a win which, according to recent statistics, is 100% guaranteed?

    I don't see anyone up in arms about the times that RBs (I can picture MJD doing it at least once) have chosen to go down at the 1 yard line so their teams can kneel it out rather than score a touchdown. See - this is with his team BEHIND and still needing to make a FG. And he got praise form every corner.

    Just because it costs you money doesn't mean it's the wrong play.
    lol walt 10-19-2012 02:48 pm (total posts: 6)
    143     7

    I love how walt does this. Anyone who frequents this site would know that walt is the best at making his point of view sound better after he is wrong. He does this even better than I do.

    Directly from above...

    "What's more likely to happen:
    A) Fumbled snap on a kneel down (has happened before)


    B) Onside kick recovery
    60-yard touchdown
    Onside kick recovery
    30-yard play to put the team in field-goal position
    Field goal
    ...All in 22 seconds and no timeouts?"

    I love walt so easily forgets to mention the little fact that seattle would still need to score a touchdown with no timeouts if you choose A. Yes, in order for A to work out, you ONLY need to fumble the wouldn't need to go 80 yards down the field with no timeouts or anything like that.

    And he seems to mention "22 seconds" quite a lot even though by now it is well known that there was in fact 43 seconds left at that point. lol walt
    wow you're bitter about that declined penalty 10-19-2012 02:10 pm (total posts: 1)
    10     7

    you can rationalize all you want about Harbaugh's decision to decline. For a safety standpoint, it's much safer for his players to not have to play a kick off return. Bottom line, you are just seriously bitter about the two points for the cover.
    foggwest 10-19-2012 01:28 pm (total posts: 1)
    7     6

    @ Stewart [ as well as others ] : Unless there has been a rule change that I'm not aware of, the team that committed the safety has the option of a free kick from their own 20 yard line. The free kick can be either a punt or a kickoff. In the last few years more teams have gone to using a punt because of the hang time allowing for better kick coverage. In the case of last night's game the Seahawks would have used an onside kick if the safety stood.
    Am I the only one that thought the penalty in the end zone was questionable ? The referee called it a ' chop block' not holding. On the replay the lineman hit the defensive player around the waist from the side which looked legal to me.
    Intelligent Human Being 10-19-2012 01:07 pm (total posts: 2)
    70     63

    I have many friends who gamble heavily and think they are gods gift to betting, know everything under the sun, and are never wrong. When they lose a game, and something out of the ordinary happens, or even when the game is normal, they all go to the same excuse. The games are fixed, there is this huge conspiracy against gamblers so vegas can make money. Its a coping mechanism used to soothe their bruised egos. I got news for you, Walter included, you are not always right, games are not fixed, vegas makes enough money from idiots like you, get over it. By the way, I bet games as well, not as heavy as some of you. I win some, I lose some, regardless of winning or losing I don't ever blame anyone else for what happened.

    Side note, never ever hear games are fixed by people winning the bets...hmm that makes you think doesn't it? Stop crying like babies and Man Up.
    Stewart 10-19-2012 01:07 pm (total posts: 1)
    10     8

    How could Seattle have attempted an onside kick? Don't they have to punt after a safety? You can't recover a punt unless it's touched and either fumbled or muffed.
    blapblap 10-19-2012 12:57 pm (total posts: 1)
    9     12

    it was the correct call. ...
    Sake Master 10-19-2012 12:47 pm (total posts: 1)
    5     6

    I wouldn't have bet this game, laying too many points
    RichmondPete 10-19-2012 11:57 am (total posts: 1)
    7     9

    If it was fixed then why did they call the safety in the first place? Are you suggesting that Harbaugh himself had money on the game?
    Intelligent Human Being 10-19-2012 11:19 am (total posts: 2)
    69     5

    For all of you idiots complaining this game was fixed. Did all of you forget that the safety happened because of a call made by a referee. Then Harbaugh decided he wanted to take the ball immediately rather than risk a special teams play where ANYTHING can happen including getting a player hurt or possibly losing the ball. His job as a coach is to win the game, not cover spreads. And if the game was so fixed, then why on earth would the referee make the holding call in the end zone to give san fran those points? But its so fixed that Harbaugh said no, I bet the seahawks you silly referee, take those points away that you gave me because you are fixing the game wrong. Christ people, get your heads out of your asses and stop seeing games from a degenerate gambler's point of view. Bunch of idiots, and by the way if you had any intelligence whatsoever you were betting the under last night and not worrying about spreads. Stop making excuses for being bad at gambling.
    Booby HIll 10-19-2012 11:05 am (total posts: 1)
    58     7

    He made the call to decrease chance of his players getting injured. It's that simple.
    "do you guys know" is an idiot 10-19-2012 09:53 am (total posts: 1)
    17     7

    there is no such thing as a punt kick off, its a drop ball kick off and follows the same kick off rules. you can still go for an onside kick. in fact, it may be easier considering the kicker has more control of the ball.
    Chris 10-19-2012 09:13 am (total posts: 6)
    52     23

    Also just read the last paragraph here:

    "*Note - Many are arguing that Harbaugh made the right call because the Seahawks would have attempted an onside kick. No, he didn't. What if the 49ers fumbled the snap on the kneel down, a la Philip Rivers? Going up two possessions with 20 seconds remaining would have been the right move. Even if the Seahawks recovered, they would've had to have scored twice. "

    Rivers didn't fumble on a normal kneel down play to end the game. He fumbled trying to center the ball for a field goal. It is not the same thing. You never see anyone fumble on game ending kneel downs.

    Also, there were more than 40 seconds left at the point when San Fran. declined the penalty, not 20. Seattle definitely had a greater chance of winning the game if they were able to kick off.

    Fantasy Football Rankings - July 24

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - July 24

    2015 NFL Mock Draft - July 23

    2015 NBA Mock Draft - July 1

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 2

    2014: Live 2014 NFL Draft Blog - May 8

    2013: Live 2013 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2013 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2013 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2013 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2013 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
    2013 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 8
    2013 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 15
    2013 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 22
    2013 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 29
    2013 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 4
    2013 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 11
    2013 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 18
    2013 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 25
    2013 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 2
    2013 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 9
    2013 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 16
    2013 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 23
    2013 NFL Week 17 Recap - Dec. 30
    2013 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 6
    2013 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 13
    2013 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLVIII Recap - Feb. 3
    Super Bowl XLVIII Live Blog - Feb. 2

    2012: Live 2012 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2012 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 10
    2012 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 17
    2012 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 24
    2012 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 1
    2012 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 8
    2012 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 15
    2012 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 22
    2012 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 29
    2012 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 5
    2012 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 12
    2012 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 19
    2012 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 26
    2012 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 3
    2012 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 10
    2012 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 17
    2012 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 24
    2012 NFL Week 17 Recap - Dec. 31
    2012 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 7
    2012 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 14
    2012 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 21
    Super Bowl XLVII Recap - Feb. 4
    Super Bowl XLVII Live Blog - Feb. 4

    2011: Live 2011 NFL Draft Blog - April 28
    2011 NFL Week 1 Recap - Sept. 12
    2011 NFL Week 2 Recap - Sept. 19
    2011 NFL Week 3 Recap - Sept. 26
    2011 NFL Week 4 Recap - Oct. 3
    2011 NFL Week 5 Recap - Oct. 10
    2011 NFL Week 6 Recap - Oct. 17
    2011 NFL Week 7 Recap - Oct. 24
    2011 NFL Week 8 Recap - Oct. 31
    2011 NFL Week 9 Recap - Nov. 7
    2011 NFL Week 10 Recap - Nov. 14
    2011 NFL Week 11 Recap - Nov. 21
    2011 NFL Week 12 Recap - Nov. 28
    2011 NFL Week 13 Recap - Dec. 5
    2011 NFL Week 14 Recap - Dec. 12
    2011 NFL Week 15 Recap - Dec. 19
    2011 NFL Week 16 Recap - Dec. 26
    2011 NFL Week 17 Recap - Jan. 2
    2011 NFL Week 18 Recap - Jan. 9
    2011 NFL Week 19 Recap - Jan. 16
    2011 NFL Week 20 Recap - Jan. 23
    Super Bowl XLVI Live Blog - Feb. 6

    2010: Live 2010 NFL Draft Blog - April 22
    2010 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 8
    2010 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 9
    2010 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 13
    2010 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 20
    2010 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 27
    2010 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 4
    2010 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 11
    2010 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 18
    2010 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 25
    2010 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 1
    2010 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 8
    2010 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 15
    2010 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 22
    2010 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 29
    2010 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2010 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2010 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2010 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2010 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 3
    2010 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 10
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 17
    2010 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 24
    Super Bowl XLV Live Blog - Feb. 6

    2009: Live 2009 NFL Draft Blog - April 25
    2009 Hall of Fame Game Live Blog - Aug. 10
    2009 NFL Kickoff Live Blog - Sept. 10
    2009 NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 14
    2009 NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 21
    2009 NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 28
    2009 NFL Week 4 Review - Oct. 5
    2009 NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 12
    2009 NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 19
    2009 NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 26
    2009 NFL Week 8 Review - Nov. 2
    2009 NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 9
    2009 NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 16
    2009 NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 23
    2009 NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 30
    2009 NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 6
    2009 NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 13
    2009 NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 20
    2009 NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 27
    2009 NFL Week 17 Review - Jan. 4
    2009 NFL Week 18 Review - Jan. 11
    2009 NFL Week 19 Review - Jan. 18
    2009 NFL Week 20 Review - Jan. 25
    Super Bowl XLIV Live Blog - Feb. 7

    2008: Live 2008 NFL Draft Blog - April 26
    2008 NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 4
    NFL Week 1 Review - Sept. 8
    NFL Week 2 Review - Sept. 15
    NFL Week 3 Review - Sept. 22
    NFL Week 4 Review - Sept. 29
    NFL Week 5 Review - Oct. 6
    NFL Week 6 Review - Oct. 13
    NFL Week 7 Review - Oct. 20
    NFL Week 8 Review - Oct. 27
    NFL Week 9 Review - Nov. 3
    NFL Week 10 Review - Nov. 10
    NFL Week 11 Review - Nov. 17
    NFL Week 12 Review - Nov. 24
    NFL Week 13 Review - Dec. 1
    NFL Week 14 Review - Dec. 8
    NFL Week 15 Review - Dec. 15
    NFL Week 16 Review - Dec. 22
    NFL Week 17 Review - Dec. 29
    NFL Wild Card Playoffs Review - Jan. 4
    NFL Divisional Playoffs Review - Jan. 11
    NFL Championship Sunday Review - Jan. 19
    Super Bowl XLIII Live Blog

    2007: NFL Draft: Day 1 Review Blog - April 28
    Quarterback Rankings - June 25
    NFL Kickoff Blog - Sept. 6
    Chief Carl Has Lost a Step - Sept. 9
    The NFL Cheated the Patriots - Sept. 16
    NFL Week 3 Wrap-Up - Sept. 23
    NFL Week 4 Wrap-Up - Sept. 30
    NFL Week 5 Wrap-Up - Oct. 7
    NFL Week 6 Wrap-Up - Oct. 14
    NFL Week 7 Wrap-Up - Oct. 21
    NFL Week 8 Wrap-Up - Oct. 28
    NFL Week 9 Wrap-Up - Nov. 4
    NFL Week 10 Wrap-Up - Nov. 11
    NFL Week 11 Wrap-Up - Nov. 18
    NFL Week 12 Wrap-Up - Nov. 25
    NFL Week 13 Wrap-Up - Dec. 2
    NFL Week 14 Wrap-Up - Dec. 9
    NFL Week 15 Wrap-Up - Dec. 16
    NFL Week 16 Wrap-Up - Dec. 23
    NFL Week 17 Wrap-Up - Dec. 30
    NFL Week 18 Wrap-Up - Jan. 6
    NFL Week 19 Wrap-Up - Jan. 13
    2008 Championship Sunday Diary - Jan. 20
    Super Bowl XLII Live Blog - Feb. 3

  • © 1999-2014 Walter Cherepinsky : all rights reserved
    Privacy Policy
    2 5 9

 Now on Twitter: Twitter

    Subscribe to the RSS Feed: RSS Feed

    Support Walt's Other Site:

    Sales Tips and Sales Advice - Tons of sales tips, sales techniques and sales advice, including a Sales Mock Draft: The 32 Worst Things You Can Do in Sales.