"Well, I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us."

-- Tom Brady

FOXBORO -- He's right on both counts.



For the second time in four years the Patriots will play the Giants in the Super Bowl.

In a hard-hitting defensive affair, the Giants took advantage of of a fumble by punt returner Kyle Williams that set up Lawrence Tynes for a 31-yard field goal that sent the Giants to Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis on Feb. 5 (6:20 p.m. on WEEI 93.7 FM) with a 20-17 victory in the NFC championship game. It's also a rematch of the Week 9 game between the Patriots and Giants in Foxboro on Nov. 6, when New York handed New England its last regular-season loss, 24-20.

Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff missed a 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the AFC championship on Sunday, a kick that would have tied the game but instead proved to be the last chance for Baltimore in a 23-20 loss to the Patriots. Cundiff spoke to the media after the game and was asked about the miss.

"It's a kick I've kicked a thousand times in my career," Cundiff said. "I just went out there and didn't convert. That's the way things go. There's really no excuse for it."

FOXBORO --  Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans took responsibility for not catching what would have been a go-ahead touchdown with 24 seconds remaining in the AFC championship game against the Patriots Sunday.

"The most disappointing part of it is that I let everybody else in this locker room, in Baltimore, I let everybody down," Evans said. "That's tough to swallow."

FOXBORO -- Ravens safety Bernard Pollard was asked about the performance of Joe Flacco against the Patriots on Sunday. Flacco -- the subject of criticism from teammate Ed Reed and the national media following a lackluster effort a week ago vs. the Texans -- threw for 306 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 23-20 loss to New England. 

Nose tackle Vince Wilfork had a monster game for the Patriots with six tackles, a sack and a quarterback hit in Sunday's 23-20 victory over the Ravens. He anchored a defense that held NFL total yardage leader Ray Rice to 78 yards.

Wilfork's biggest play came with 2:46 left and Ravens on a fourth-and-6 from the New England 33. Wilfork bulled his way to the backfield and got a hand on Flacco, forcing a rushed pass that fell harmlessly incomplete.

After holding off the Ravens, 23-20, in the AFC championship game, Bill Belichick's Patriots are going to the Super Bowl for the fifth time. Together with Tom Brady, that's the most Super Bowl trips of any coach-quarterback combination in league history.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, in postgame remarks on the field following the Patriots' 23-20 victory to reach the Super Bowl, expressed gratitude to his defense for the role it played in punching New England's ticket to Indianapolis. Though Brady tied Joe Montana for the most playoff wins (16) in NFL history, he deflected credit for the accomplishment.

FOXBORO -- Billy Cundiff missed a potential game-tying 32-yard field goal wide left with 11 seconds remaining and Vince Wilfork forced a Joe Flacco incompletion on fourth-and-6 at the Patriots' 33 as New England held on for a heart-pounding 23-20 win over the Ravens in the AFC championship at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots will play in Super Bowl XLVI on Feb. 5 in Indianapolis after claiming their seventh AFC title. 

FOXBORO -- In a nightmarish scenario, Rob Gronkowski injured his left ankle on a tackle from Bernard Pollard late in the third quarter and had to be helped off the field. 

He was taken to the locker room for further examination. Gronkowski returned on the next series, blocking on the offensive line as Tom Brady dove head first into the end zone for TD on fourth and goal from the 1. 

It was Pollard who ended Brady's season in the 2008 season opener with a hit on the quarterback's left knee.