Deep Posts: AFC Championship Edition

-- Tom Brady got up early Monday morning for his weekly spot on Boston's WEEI radio station, and he of course had much to say about the Pats' 23-20 AFC championship game win over the Baltimore Ravens. "It's pedal to the metal for five months and now there is a light at the end of the tunnel for everybody. There is one game to play and it means everything. I can't wait, I'm excited. I wish I'd done a better job yesterday, but I'm thrilled to be a part of this team and lead our team onto the field in Indy."

As for the surprise loss the Pats took from the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, that's something Brady doesn't have much use for anymore. "I mean, time goes on, and I still can't watch highlights from that game. We had a great opportunity and we squandered it. We didn't play our very best and we realize [you have to when] playing against the best competition in the league where everything is on the table. ... But this team deserves to be there now." [Boston Herald]

-- Here's some good news for Mr. Brady — tight end Rob Gronkowski will be ready for Super Bowl XLVI, despite the ankle injury he suffered against the Ravens. For once, the Bernard Pollard Effect was not entirely evident. [Boston Herald]

-- Peter King thought that there should have been more officiating review on two Sunday plays — Ahmad Bradshaw's non-fumble that was apparently stopped by forward progress in the New York Giants-San Francisco 49ers game, and the near-touchdown pass from Joe Flacco to Lee Evans. Of course, Fox Sports officiating "expert" Mike Pereira said that appropriate due diligence was done on both plays, which means that more work almost certainly should have been done. It did look as if Evans lost the ball (with the assistance of Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore) before his second foot hit the ground, but it would have been nice for the officiating crews in both games to spend as much time reviewing the plays as they did searching for face time (yes, we're talking to YOU, Ed Hochuli). []

-- Did Joe Flacco prove his doubters wrong, despite the fact that he apparently "lost" the AFC championship game? Some actually believe that in a loss, Baltimore's quarterback proved more than he did in many of his "wins." [Baltimore Sun]

-- Using its apparent mixture of astrology, "clutchiness" and whatever Skip Bayless blurted out that morning, the "World Wide Leader's" Total QBR stat (which is basically the wrong half of a concept Football Outsiders invented a decade ago) says that Tom Brady outperformed Flacco, which means that it was almost certainly the other way around. Brady did not throw a touchdown pass, and he had two picks. Flacco threw two touchdowns and had one pick. Sometimes (and this is coming from a "stat guy") stats can be very stupid things. So … Mr. Brady, when you said that Flacco played better than you … you was WRONG! [ESPN]

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