The “Flacco Fling,” as it’s now being called, kept the Baltimore Ravens’ season alive and set them up for an opportunity to play in a second straight AFC championship game.
Now that they’re there, they’ll have to go through a familiar opponent if they hope to advance to their first Super Bowl since winning the Lombardi Trophy back in 2000.
And it won’t be easy.
The Ravens opened as 9-point underdogs against the host New England Patriots, who dismantled the Texans on Sunday in the Divisional Round. In last year’s AFC championship game, the Pats held on for a wild 23-20 victory, but only after Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a last-second field goal.
Before the matchup was even set, the Ravens began trash-talking the Patriots on Twitter, bringing up the 2007 SpyGate scandal and criticizing the team for their “gimmicky” hurry-up offense.
Among the tweets:
In a sport that is predicated on mano y mano, ” lets hurry up n snap it ” = bitchassness
— Brendon Ayanbadejo (@brendon310) January 13, 2013
Needless to say, it should be another interesting matchup.
On the NFC side, the San Francisco 49ers opened as a 3-point favorite against the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons, and the early money appears to be on the 49ers.
A handful of books in Las Vegas have San Francisco listed at -3.5 as of late Sunday evening.
We’ll continue to provide updates throughout the week.