FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 22: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots dives into the end zone to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Baltimore Ravens during their AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium on January 22, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Billy Cundiff's Late Miss Gives Patriots 23-20 Win, Super Bowl Berth

Ravens kicker Billy Cundiff had a chip-shot to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, but missed badly. The Patriots are Super Bowl bound after a 23-20 win in the AFC Championship. For more on this game, check out Ravens blog Baltimore Beat Down, Patriots blog Pats Pulpit and SB Nation's Pats-Ravens StoryStream.

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AFC Championship TV Ratings For Ravens-Patriots Are Down From Last Year

The AFC Championship Game between the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots drew a 29.1 overnight rating, sources told John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. That would represent a somewhat significant decline from last year's AFC Championship Game between the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, which drew a 31.4.

Each ratings points represents about 1,159,000 households. That means nearly 34 million households tuned into the game, which is obviously nothing to scoff at.

Still, the decline in ratings is a bit odd being as fans were treated to another close game, just as they were last year. On top of that, there should have been a fair amount of pre-game interest in the game, as the Patriots featured one of the league's top offense and the Ravens had one of the top defenses. On paper, this seemed to be a game that people should have flocked to.

One possible explanation could be that fans have just grown tired of seeing the Patriots and Ravens. At least one of those two teams has appeared in eight of the past 12 AFC Championship games. In the NFC, where the San Francisco 49ers were making their first conference title game appearance since 1998, the game drew a 33.4 overnight.


NFL Playoff Schedule For Sunday: AFC, NFC Championship On Tap

The AFC Championship Game kicks off the NFL weekend, while the NFC Championship Game will be played in primetime on Sunday night.

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