You can say the Flacco INT was a momentum killer. You can say Lee Evans let the Raven's SB bid slip right through his hands. You can even say that the Cundiff FG gaffe was what did the Ravens in, but the truth of the matter is yesterday's game came down to two things: poor offensive play calling at crucial moments in the game, and the "Brady Rule." QB Joe Flacco has been the topic of discussion as to him being a franchise QB or whether or not he has what it takes to take the Ravens to the next level. Honestly, I've seen enough of "Joe Cool" to come to the conclusion that whatever short comings his critics may have of him, he's not the reason for any failures the Ravens have had in the post season, including yesterday's game. In his defense, I think the play calling deserves more criticism than he does. With the addition of Evans, Smith and Dickson on offense this was the year the Ravens were supposed to take off. Yet all year we have seen play calling at crucial times of the game that have stubbed the Ravens in games against teams they've lost against when they should have won easily (See Seattle, Tennessee, and Jacksonville). The offense that's currently installed does not maximize the attributes of Flacco. It does not take advantage of his strengths. If there is a flaw to pick on with Joe, it's the fact that he doesn't throw intermediate passes very well. I think this is something he can improve over the offseason but nevertheless the thing that needs to be improved the most heading into next season is the offensive system that's currently in place.
The second thing that I have a bone to pick about is centered on one player. Tom Brady. In all the years I have watched the game of football, I've never seen rules being changed to protect one player the way I have with Brady. Ever since his season ending injury in 08, we've seen the NFL take steps to enforce protecting the QB by calling penalties for "hitting the QB after the ball is gone." We've seen flags thrown for "hitting the QB too hard." All of this started the year following Brady's injury. I watched the Ravens Pats game yesterday and was appalled by the countless no calls for holding against Pats. Their line did everything and all but tackled Ravens defenders all game long while Brady received "praise" for the team's success against the Raven's defense (Gag). The Pats are without a doubt the most overrated team in the league. When you have comments coming out from other NFL teams (Eagles, Rams, Panthers, and Steelers) who who've played against the Pats and are all saying the same things about the favoritism that Brady gets, at some point you have address the possibility of what is being questioned. Judging by the majority of the posts throughout the NFL "blogmosphere," I don't think I stand alone in this assessment. The East coast media loves to brag on how "great" Tom Brady is. If he's so "great" let him prove it on the field without help from the officials. In last weeks interview on ESPN with Skip Bayless, Suggs said it best: "We all know you can't (touch) certain players in the league." Brady is one of them. http://search.espn.go.com/suggs-vs-skip-bayless/
With all of that being said, I hope that this year's SB will receive the lowest rating it ever has in years. I won't be watching it to do my part in protesting it's illegitimacy and hope a lot of people follow suite in what I hope will send a message to the league that as fans we want to see the best teams win, and not the one's that have the biggest stars.