off I just want to thank all the fans of this site. I have been
promoting my books for sale primarily on this site. As a result, I
have sold almost 500 books in the past year. Thank you for your
support and patronage, both are greatly appreciated. I cannot tell
you how happy it made me when I read that report. So thank you Draft
fans and Patriot fans alike, and mostly thank you to all the fans of
my books and website worldwide.
had to put Edelman in to receive the punt to start the 4th quarter. He let
it bounce and didn't try to return it. I thought he got a little too close
to it after watching Cyrus dance so dangerously with two bouncing oblongs.
I could think about was my 7-things for Sunday Night. I said we would
learn more about this team, as a Super Bowl Contender, than in any other
game this season. With the Raiders losing, which put both KC and the
Raiders a full game behind the Pats, this was their first do or die
Playoff game. I'm not sure they can go into KC and win in the AFC Champ
game. They needed this win against the best defense in the NFL at Home.
They beat the crap out of the Ravens in the 1st half. That was the best
beating they had given to this team in their, what, decade or so rivalry.
But then they not only let them off the mat, they took the old one-two
combo right in the face. Twice. And got knocked to the mat by the
specialteam fumble into a TD combination.
now the question this team had to answer was could they get up off the
mat, like the Ravens just did, and punch their way back to victory. That
question had not been answered yet this season. In fact, just the
opposite. They had played so many cupcakes that it seemed they had five
Bye Weeks this season.
game is tough to win in this league," BB said. "Each week we
kind of go through the same process. Build through preparation, go out and
play as hard as we can and then empty the tank out there and leave it all
on the field then come back and start it all over again. We'll do the same
thing this week. The Ravens are a good team. They're tough. They do a lot
of things well. We just did a few things a little bit better tonight but
we'll take it." Yeah-yeah, I get it Bill, this is the NFL. But
seriously? Cleveland? New Jersey? The Friggin' Rams?
Pats had two straight three and outs after they got up off the mat the
second time. But, the Pats defense was terrific. They bottled up the
Ravens Offense with their zone and three-man rush. The three and four man
rushes caused just enough trouble for Flacco that he kept dumping the ball
off, and even false started on a play that would have been a key 1st down.
Ravens then got called for a Hold at the 11-minute mark, after they picked
up a key 1st down. The Pats defense lined up in a 4-2 Nickel. With
Hightower and Roberts in at ILB. Flacco dropped, turned, and then dropped
the ball into Perriman's breadbasket 46-yards down field.
and 10 Ravens at the 29, they lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun. The Pats
matched up in a Nickel, with five guys on the line and Hightower behind
them. Sheard had a good rush, and just as he broke inside Flacco threw to
the tight end crossing. Hightower and McCourty took him down.
and 3, the Ravens showed a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. The Pats matched up in a
meandering Nickel. Which ended up the same, as they lined up in, on 1st
down. Flacco handed the ball off inside on a Smash. Long and McClellin
were their to slow him, and Hightower and Ryan moved in to take him down
after the second surge for the First.
and 10, the Ravens lined up in an I. The Pats matched up in a 3-4 with
both Safeties up. They handed the ball off to Dixon, and he barely sliced
between Van Noy and Hightower in the backfield. Branch took him down with
help from Valentine and Chung.
and 5, they lined up in a 3-Wide I. The Pats matched up in a 3-3 Nickel
with a Chung in the box. Branch burst right up the gut, and flushed Flacco
off the play action. The rest of the D-line went the wrong way. He tried
to get in front of him but couldn't. He looked like a giant Sumo chasing
Ronald McDonald outside. However, he slowed Flacco enough for Long to get
back in the play, and he just stopped him from turning upfield for a
First. That was a great play by Branch.
and 4, the Ravens stab themselves in the foot, and are forced to waste a
timeout. They lined back up in a bunched up Strong shotgun. The Pats
matched up in a 3-3 Nickel. The Pats finally blitzed. They sent six.
Ninkovich stunted behind Branch and Brown, and swung around right into
and Flowers dived onto of Flacco as well. "[Rob's sack was] huge. Huge!"
BB shrieked. "That was a big third-down stop. I'd say probably both
teams played quite a bit of zone defense tonight. We were able to make
[Joe] Flacco hold the ball just a little bit and get to him." It is
easy to forget that the Ravens had punched their way back to being within
less than a touchdown. That Sack held them to a field goal, and allowed
the Pats to hold onto the lead.
Pats offense came out with no cushion left. The Ravens had counter-punched
their way back into this game with 20-straight points. They were now
within three points. How would the Pats respond? Would they fold, or would
they show the heart of a champion and counter punch their way out of this
2nd Half beating? It was literally make or break time. This was the 15th
Pats offense lined up on 1st and 10 at the 21-yard line. Brady ran a great
play action to Blount. It fooled three of the four rushers. They got stuck
on the line. Suggs however got under Cannon and was bulling for Brady.
Cannon was able to reanchor and slow him. Both ILB charged up to within
three yards of the LOS, and the Safeties blinked.
was somewhere there between Elam and Weddle. The play-action was to the
other side. Either the safety was supposed to come over. Either Weddle was
supposed to come over or Elam was supposed to carry him. I don't know
which it was, but something happened there and the play-action might have
affected the safety coming over," BB said. "I mean it looks like
an easy play, but it's really a little bit of a tough read for the
quarterback and the receiver when a coverage kind of breaks down like
that. [That was not really] how to read the coverage based on our rules
that we have for running against a single-high safety, or a split-safety
look. It kind of wasn't really either. So as a receiver you just have to
be decisive and take the read that you think it is. It's a little bit of a
dirty read and fortunately Tom saw it the same way. It's a case of taking
advantage of an opponent's mistake, and in this case we were able to do
it. It's a great play by Chris and Tom, good protection. They made an
error. We were able to capitalize on it."
stood pretty clean in the pocket. Cannon got knocked back until his back
foot was about a yard away from Brady. But he had his hands locked on
Suggs, and he was not letting him get either shoulder. Brady looked like
he was watching Hogan going down the seam the whole way, and was just
waiting for him to look back.
he made a great play," Brady said. "It was off a run fake. Hogs
and I.. he was just kind of… [he was] not really the primary receiver on
that play. But he saw what I saw [Weddle take two false steps inside], and
kind of adjusted his route. And I just tried to put it out there for him.
It was a big play. We needed it."
lofted it high over Hogan's head. He just had to run under it. It looked
like it was going to go too far. But Brady put just enough touch on it
that it dropped ever so elegantly into Hogan's outstretched hands on the
Ravens 44-yard line.
the touchdown pass it looked like play-action. It looked like it kind of
held Weddle a little bit over on the weak side," BB said. "Elam,
it looked like he was rotated down to our right. We had thrown the pass to
Julian [Edelman] a little bit earlier in the game so it looked like they
just kind of got stretched on that with the safeties. Chris split it so
obviously that was a huge play for us in the game.
our play-action game overall was pretty productive. We hit Marty. We hit
Chris. We hit Julian. We got some big plays on those play-action passes
which of course always comes off of a productive running game. They're
tough to run against but I thought we hung with it. We had some patience
and we hit some solid runs and that was a key for us in the game, just to
be able to punch out some yards in the running game." Weddle had
taken two steps forward off the Play action.
was clearly looking for help over the top from Weddle. "That was me,
I should be there. I told everyone play-action was coming, and I move
around so much that it hurt me on that play," Weddle said. "It's
just unfortunate when you have a chance to win the game and you give them
a play like that. It wasn't so much them it was us. They played a
phenomenal game, we fought we just didn't get it done." Hogan ran
down the seam all alone, like he had farted so badly that everyone turned
away from him.
even turned and looked back at about the 15, because he couldn't hear
anyone chasing or coughing. "I have to look at it. I'm just as
shocked as you are," Suggs said. "When he threw it, I thought we
may have got it. But it was their guy running down the field. We have to
look at the film and see what we can correct. Like I said, you can't make
a mistake against this guy, he'll make you pay for it, and he made us pay
big." That was a Playoff quality counter punch by the Patriot's
stunned the Ravens again with a right cross. "I didn't really know
what it was... I knew it was an error... I don't know what was going
on?" Orr said. "We really didn't have time to talk about it, so
it's one thing that we have to go back and correct this week and get it
fixed." The Pats just out toughed the Ravens.
Ravens exploited the two Special Teams blunders, but in the end they
weren't tough enough to take that Champ level counter punch. "It was
something that is preached about through OTAs, camp and preseason and
everything like that," Orr, who is going to be a great player, said.
"We want to eliminate big plays and we had a bust and we don't want
to give them anything especially going against a team like that. If you
miss an assignment, then Tom Brady and those guys are going to exploit
that to the max and ultimately, it was one of the plays that cost
us." Pats-30. Ravens-20.
good news is that the last time the Pats had a special teams blunder as
bad as they had in this game was in Philly last year. That fake
kickoff/drop-kick/punt iron-screw-up thing killed that team mentally. I
thought that was the deciding play of the entire season. The Pats never
recovered from that mistake, and crashed into the Playoffs out of 1st
this year's team took not only one, but two disastrous Special Team
blunders, and converted those kicks in the head into a victory. That is
the mental toughness they lacked at the end of last season. The lack of
the mental toughness that cost them the Home Game in the Champ Game. Not
this year baby! We'll see in Denver again this week, and this time the
Pats will pull it out. F the Rocky Mountain Curse.
me if you'd like a question blogged:
dogs on Main St howl Because they understand.