Print Edition: January 25, 2012
The game was a close, hard fought battle which featured several plays that could have changed the outcome. Brady missed his tight end Gronkowski on a wide open touchdown pass early in the game. Patriots returner Danny Woodhead fumbled a punt which lead to three points for the Ravens. However, the most important misplay of the game occurred with two seconds left in the game. Down 20-23 with under a minute left, Ravens QB Joe Flacco led the Ravens into field goal position. Ravens kicker Bill Cundiff lined up for an easy 31 yard field goal which would have sent the game into overtime. Instead, Cundiff hooked the kick wide left which sent Brady and the Patriots to their fifth Super Bowl in 11 years. During the AFC Championship trophy presentation Patriots QB Brady admitted he, “sucked pretty bad,” and gave credit to his defence. Brady finished the game having thrown for 239 yards and two interceptions; he also rushed for the game winning touchdown. Flacco finished the game with 306 passing yards along with two touchdowns. Following the game, Ravens middle linebacker announced that he will not retire after 16 seasons and that he will be back next season anchoring the Ravens defence.
With a score of 17-17 at the end of four quarters, the game went into overtime. Both teams traded possessions after failing to gain yards before 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams fumbled his second punt of the game which was recovered by the Giants in field goal territory. Lawrence Tynes kicked a 31-yard field goal which sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. Giants QB Eli Manning finished the game having attempted 58 passes and completing 32 of them for 316 yards and two touchdowns. Alex Smith completed 12 passes for 196 yards and two touchdowns.
The Patriots and Giants will face off in a rematch of Super Bowl 42 on February 5.