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D-Lightful Victory.

 

By TOM

October 18th, 2010

Iíve got Championship! Just kidding, LOL. I just think itís funny how every week people react to every win or loss as though it is the only thing that matters. If they win they are Super Bowl bound, but if they lose then every stinks and we should kill them all. It was a phenomenon that used to be more prevalent with red Sox fans, but unfortunately it seems to have crept into some Patsfans psyches. I hate it. Itís like I always say , ďthere is no lower form of humanity than Red Soxís fans who call WEEI.Ē The hatred they had for the Red Sox is disgusting. Now I donít think everybody should wave a towel through an 0-16 season, but whining about every loss like it was the apocalypse it just plain stupid, and annoying! Okay sermon over;-) 

The first half was an offensive display of miss opportunities, mishaps, and mistakes. However, it was also a time when it appeared that the young defense, the key to any Super Bowl hopes the Pats might have, was growing right before our eyes. Brandon Deaderick starting at Left Defensive End. Brandon Spikes starting inside, Jermaine Cunningham and Rob Ninkovich starting outside at Linebacker. Devon McCourty and Kyle Arrington starting at the Corner spots, and of course my main man Patrick Chung starting at Safety. That folks is four rookies, two second year starters, and a guy who barely stayed in the NFL for four years (Ninkovich) starting on defense. That means seven very young players are starting on this defense who could not start on this defense last year for other obvious reasons. That my friends has the makings of a transition to a young improving defense that has the chance to back bone this defense for a long time.

The good news about the first half was that despite all the mistakes, they were only down three. The best news about that was that Brady was terrible in the first half, missing guys all over the field, and generally over-throwing the ball into the feet of his receivers. I donít mean to degrade the Ravenís defense, but they left guys wide open every series in the first half, and Brady over-threw them every time. For those who donít understand, when you over-throw, the ball goes down or to the left. It shoots out straight and down because the thrower holds onto the ball to long so the ball is thrown in the downward follow through. That is Brady kept hitting his receivers feet rather than their hands, or threw behind them. So I completely agreed with BB when he ran out the clock at the end of the half: too many risks for too little rewards, when the problem was simple throwing mechanics by Brady. And could someone who thinks they should have went for it explain to me just what they saw in the first half that made them think Brady was was going to lead them down the field? Nothing, that's what. BB knew he just needed to get Brady off the field and calmed down a little and he would rip the Ravens wings off later. Plus, the Patís defense had shut down the Ravenís offense down. They had scored on their first two possessions, and had gone the rest of the half scoreless. Plus, the Defense had caused two fumbles that were recovered by the Ravens, either one would have been a disaster for the Ravens, who seemed to be clinging onto the lead desperately rather then taking charge of the game. I wasnít frightened of either unit at half time.

The second half started with good omens. On the first drive, Brady did not throw himself into Hall of Fame, but he also didnít throw the ball to the feet of a single receiver. Granted, he had pressure in his face and was hit by the blitzing safety Landry, but Welker was also shoved off his pattern by Ray Lewis, who is apparently allowed to dive-shove WRís off their patterns twelve yards down field, I guess. And of course, when you hit the QB and cause a turnover they have a consistent way of turning into points. In this case a perfectly executed 25-yard TD pass to Anquan Bolden to give the Ravens a 10-point lead which they held unto till the 4th Quarter. And in the confusion of the anti-celebration, I crashed my laptop, not that I was upset, but the god damn little knob you attach the power cord too finally completely disconnected! Son-Of-A-Bitch! What a day I had Sunday, it was all doom and gloom before the end of the forth quarter. I tore my calf muscle playing basketball in my Sunday morning ritual, I poison myself with flea and tick spray and had a massive asthma attack during the game, my computer died a said miserable death with two page of game text, and the Patís just couldnít quite get out of their own way on offense. Okay, Randyís gone, enough of the whining;-)

But there is something about this team: they have flashes of brilliance, especially on defense and special teams, they donít give up despite setbacks that would kill most teams, and they have Tom Brady. Who drove them haphazardly down field on the next possession to somehow get a field goal to back to within seven points.

The Ravenís came out running the ball, which BB had decided was the one things they were going to take away from the Ravenís, and another encouraging sign was their run defense was pretty good all game. The Ravensí came out of that game averaging about 3 yards per carry, which is a huge stat. They ran and passed the ball almost every other play on the first two downs, and then ran the ball four straight times, to set up an easy mid range reception to the 26-yard line. A pass and a run brought the ball to the 20-yard line to set a big 3rd and four, to set up the worst call of the game. If Brandon Meriweather did anything wrong on that play, then I donít understand football? Bolden leaped over Arrington to grab the ball as he flew over the goal line, and Meriweather hit him right in the arms as he held the ball and knocked a TD out of his hands. Even Phil Simms said, ďthat is the way you do it.Ē Terrible, terrible call, and defense looked like it was too much to overcome. But Arrington stopped Rice as he bounced outside on 1st down. Another run by Rice made it 3rd and two as the third quarter expired. Eugene Chung gave a vicious TD saving hit to Derrick Mason, which was exactly what Brandon Meriweather had done a few plays earlier, only this time it was not a penalty, instead it set up a short field goal for the ravens to give the Pats a 10-point Forth Quarter deficit., and it seemed all my bad luck was cursing the young New England Patriots.

However, they Patriotís still have Tom Brady. The Pats came out in the Shotgun looking for vengeances. Brady threw it to the miraculous Wes Walker for a a nice 1st down reception. A quick 2-yard run made it 2nd and 8. Surprise-surprise the refs actually called a pass interference call on the Ravens, who whined like... well like me. They almost ran the ball to G-E, for a one-yard loss. Then the bizarre Woodhead story continues as they run him twice for 13 and 12 yards to pop the ball into the Redzone. Then boom a pass to WoodÖ I mean Welker for 5-yards. Then Brady throws it to Edelman who got smashed by Ray Lewis, dropped the ball, and look like he got injured again, and he never returned to the field. Then the delightful Deion Branch whips himself back to right side of the endzone, leaving the Ravenís Corner in the dust behind him for a far too easy looking TD catch to snap the Pats back to within 3 with 11:02 left on the clock.

However, Flacco came out looking like he was not ready to surrender the lead to the Pats. He throw a beautiful pass to Bolden for a quick 17-yards. Another 6-yard run by Rice was making Patsfans nervous. A thumping stampede by the big Fullback made it 3rd and 1, but Flacco couldnít sneak it over the first down marker, with Wilfork and Warren sticking their big butts right into both Guard-Center gaps, and Deaderick lined up over the Right Guard attacking the 1-gap with Warren. They gave Flacco nothing in what was the biggest play of the game for the defense so far.  

Brady came out firing a 21-yard pass to the delightful Deion Branch. Staying five-wide he hit Branch again for four yards. Then Walker for ten, and Brady was in the zone. Woodhead caught the ball and leaped ahead for seven more yards, and Woodhead again running for 7-yards and a first down out of the power spread formation. Then a Holding call and a False Start, put a knife into the hearts of New Englanders everywhere. Except, Brady was in the zone he floated a duck to Gronkowski as he was hit to the ground for 24-yards, and a short run by the hopping and bopping Woodhead and they had over come 15-yards in penalties on first down with two quick plays. A run by G-E made it 2nd and 6 at the Ravenís twenty. The delightful Deion Branch tumbled the ball into the Redzone running a bubble screen for 7-yards and a 1st-down. Now it was time for the Ravens to look nervous, as another bubble screen to the delight Deion Branch made it 2nd and 6 inside the ten. G-E ran it to the six yard line to make it 3rd and three with the two-minute warning coming fast. Unfortunately, it came a little too fast, and Brady had to waste a timeout with 2:01 on the clock. However, Brady, being human, made his first mistake on the drive and just overthrew the leapingly delightful Deion Branch in the right corner of the endzone. Gostkowski tied it up just after the two minute warning.

Enter the Patís defense, still young and still improving almost by the quarter. Flacco goes wacko and throws an airball on first down as no one was open. Then a short pass to a swinging Rice made it 3rd and 5. Then from the ash rose the phoenix-like Shawn Crable who burst around the Right tackle to force Flacco to throw the ball early to Ray Rice swing out on the opposite side, and he dropped the bullet to set up a punt.  

With We Welker in to return punts for the injured Edelman, he burst around to the left for a more exciting than productive punt return to get the Pats close to field goal range at the Ravenís 47. As the Ravenís blitz, Brady threw it deep to Brandon Tate, who could not Randy Moss the ball. Then a Sack by the gigantic Haloti Ngata and it was 3rd and 20, and confusion reigned. They didnít take a TO for 20 seconds which wound the clock down to 15 second, in a mistake that could have cost them the game and clearly cost them a field goal attempt that could have won the game right there. Brady hit Woodhead for a 19-yard catch to set up a 60-yard field goal. However, confusion continued to reign and they tried a hail Mary instead to end the half?

The Ravens won the toss to receive the ball to start overtime. Spikes hit Rice to stop him for only 3 yards on first down. Then they ran Rice for two short yards to make it a long 3rd and 5. But Flacco was flushed form the pocket by Phoenix Crable to force a punt.

Brady came out throwing to the rookie sensation, but he showed he was still a rookie by dropping two perfect passes in overtime. A horrible Welker screen made it 3rd and 13. Then Delightful dropped a high pass by Brady and the Pats had to punt.

Flacco came back out ready to redeem the Ravens, but they ran the ball to Rice for five, and then for 4 to set up a bog first run by the big FB. finally the Ravenís coaches decided to throw it, and Mason caught and ran for 20. Then the coaches went back to the run, and Spikes burst through the middle of the ravenís line and stumped Rice for a no-gainer. With the Patís D playing good coverage Flacco had to throw it underneath to Rice for four to make it 3rd and 6. Enter rising star Devon McCourty who tipped the ball up in the air to prevent a fist down pass to the TE. I think he would have caught the deflection for an INT, but Chung came in and annihilated everyone. Welker caught the punt at the 13 to set up Hernandez's second drop. Woodhead runs for 3 and the Pats start looking vulnerable again, forcing BB to call a smart Timeout to regroup the troops. A bubble screen on 3rd and six that was over-thrown into the grass set up a 65-yard punt by another rookie who looks like the real deal.

The Ravens finally come out throwing. But run the ball on second down, but Spikes, Wilfork, and Cunningham come bursting threw the line and stop Rice for nothing. Cunningham suckers the big FB into a phony Personal Foul to make it 3rd and 19. But with great deep coverage by the ever improving secondary, Flacco is forced to throw it underneath again and they have to punt.

Enter Brady, stage right, and donít forget the delightful Deion Branch, who cut inside 17-yards down field for a 22-yard reception to carry the pats over midfield. Welker then catches a 4-yard reception to the 40-yard line, and it was starting to look like the Pats were going to have some fried Raven for for dinner. BB called another smart timeout to settle the offense, and Brady came back and calmly threw the ball to Alge Crumpler to set on 3rd and 2 at the 31-yard line. Brady threw a delightful pass to Branch who took it to the 21-yardline and the Pats were suddenly setting up a game winning chip shot. Two risky two-yards run by G-E made it 3rd and six, and Gostkowski calmly sank the chip-shot to give the patriots an impressive come from behind, overtime, 23-20 victory over the tough, physical, and play off tested Ravens. This win was huge for the young Patriots, who will have to fight through more slug fests if they want to do some damage in the playoffs. 

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com

 

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