By CALEB CALHOUN
8:03 PM EST, January 23, 2012
Like his dad and his brother, 11-year-old Collin Horan is a New York Giants fan, but that did not stop him from saying the NFC champions were not the best team in their conference this year.
“The (New Orleans) Saints probably should have been in the Super Bowl,” Collin, of Greencastle, Pa., said Monday.
On the other hand, he said, “I think the best team in the AFC was the Patriots.”
Collin was among area residents who gave their analysis on Sunday’s NFL conference championship games. Although residents had mixed reactions when talking about whether the two best teams made it to the Super Bowl, they all agreed that both games were exciting.
“Both games came down to the last minute,” Collin said. “I was on the edge of my seat in my house.”
The New England Patriots beat the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 Sunday to get to the Super Bowl, while the New York Giants beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-17 in overtime.
Collin’s brother, 7-year-old Aidan, agreed that the two best teams did not make the Super Bowl, despite being a Giants fan.
“The Saints probably could have made it to the Super Bowl, and the (Baltimore) Ravens probably could have won yesterday, but the referees made a bad call,” he said.
The call by the referees to which Aidan was referring came when Ravens wide receiver Lee Evans caught a pass in the end zone near the end of the game but then dropped it. The pass was ruled incomplete.
Collin agreed with the call.
“I saw the highlight this morning, and you could see the ball coming out before his foot was down,” he said.
Collin’s and Aidan’s dad, 39-year old Don Horan, said the two best teams did not make the Super Bowl, but he added that in the playoffs, the talent level of each team does not matter as much as it does in the regular season.
“It’s all about when you peak, and both teams peaked at the right time,” he said. “The hottest teams are in the Super Bowl.”
Nick Young, 31, of Hagerstown said he believes the playoffs are about which teams get hot.
“Both teams came on at the right time,” he said. “The Patriots don’t have a good defense, and the Packers and Saints are statistically better than the Giants, but any given Sunday, anything can happen.”
Hagerstown resident Angel Leach, 39, said she could not say the Giants and the Patriots were not the two best teams.
“It’s hard to argue against them when they’re in the Super Bowl,” she said. “I like New England and (Tom) Brady, and I like (Eli) Manning; he seems to be cool under pressure.”
Leach, however, said she thought the Green Bay Packers were the best team in the NFL before the playoffs began.
Larry Roberts, 65, of Hagerstown, said he thought at least one of the teams in the Super Bowl was not the best team in its conference.
“I thought the 49ers were the best team in the NFC,” he said. “I don’t know who the best team in the AFC was; any one of the four teams that played Sunday could have won the Super Bowl.”
Roberts jokingly added that he thought the New York Jets should have been in the Super Bowl because they were his pick at the beginning of the season.
Rich Sodergren, 51, said he thought the Giants were the best team in the NFC but that the Ravens should have represented the AFC.
“Both games could have gone either way, but coaching and quarterback mistakes cost the Ravens,” he said. “But I think the Giants are the best team because of Eli Manning.”
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