WATERCOOLER CHAT: LSU OVER BAMA, GIANTS OVER PATS, RAVENS SWEEP STEELERS

FOOTBALL

In college football this weekend, it was the unofficial National Championship Game between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama.  If the season ended prior to this game, these two would face off in the National Championship on a neutral field. But, this game wasn’t played on a neutral field, it was played on an Alabama’s field — one of the toughest places to play in college football.  Then again, LSU has arguably the most traveling fan base in college football, so they would definitely have a presence.

The game, as predicted, was a defensive showdown (as both offenses are clearly inferior to the team’s defensive squads).  It was a field goal contest, as the game went to halftime with Alabama leading 6-3 (then again, Alabama botched a few field goals or it would have been more).  LSU tied it up in the second half, but neither team could do anymore, so we were headed to overtime.  In OT, Bama got the ball first, but LSU’s defense shut them down, and Bama missed a long 52-yard field goal.  LSU got the ball, and punched it to Alabama’s 5-yard line — setting up an easy field goal to firmly establish themselves as the #1 team in America.  Alabama isn’t completely out of it yet, but baring a major upset, LSU controls its road to the National Championship.  LSU 9, Alabama 6.

In the NFL, it was a rematch of a much remembered Super Bowl between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots.  The Pats came into the game with a 21-game home winning streak.  Most of the action of this game came in the 4th quarter.  With 3 minutes left, Eli Manning hit Mario Manningham in the endzone to put the Giants up 17-13.  But Brady answered, marching the Pats down the field, then, on 4th down, hitting tight end Rob Gronkowski alone in the end zone to put the Pats up 20-17.  Suddenly, however, it seems Eli Manning has established himself as an elite quarterback.  He drove all the way into the Pats red zone, thanks to a horrendous Pats defense, then hit tight end Jake Ballard in the corner of the end zone to ice the game and end the Pats home winning streak.  NY Giants 24, New England 20.

Finally, in the Sunday night showdown, it was another rematch as the Steelers were looking to avenge the beating the Baltimore Ravens gave them on opening day.  Except… the Ravens were ready and stopped the Steelers offense in the first half.  But, in the second, the Steelers got back to business.  Roethlisberger got the job done, leading the Steelers to the end zone (with a TD from running back Rashard Mendenhall) and then a beautiful strike to speedy wide receiver Mike Wallace.  It looked like the Steelers had the game won, but they didn’t expect Joe Flacco to finally become clutch.  He marched the Ravens down the field, and with 10 seconds left hit Torrey Smith with a 26-yard touchdown strike to win the game and sweep the season series against the Steelers.  Baltimore 23, Pittsburgh 20.

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