Sunday, January 20, 2013

Ravens - Patriots Takeaways

I Said, Ha Ha
> The winds were strong, which means that we heard about them for a really long time

> Baltimore won the toss and elected to do the intelligent thing

> This is Patriots QB Tom Brady's 7th AFC Championship game, which is just kind of nuts

> On 3rd and 2, Brady hit WR Wes Welker deep, but there's a reason why the Patriots aren't going to retain Welker, and the drive ended

> Baltimore called timeout rather than defend a 4th and 2 where backup QB Ryan Mallett shifted under center, which was a nice little moment of gamesmanship from Patriots HC Bill Belichick

> The Ravens went three and out with two runs and an incomplete, all of it basic stuff for RB Ray Rice

> You will be shocked to learn that these two teams aren't terribly fond of each other

> WR Brandon Lloyd held on despite a big hit from S Ed Reed for a conversion

> Either the wind is a big deal, Brady is hurt, or he just doesn't have much on the deep ball any more

> On 3rd and 2 from the Ravens 12, New England ran into the gut and got stuffed for a big third down stop, and limit the drive to a field goal

> The Ravens got only one first down on the subsequent drive as CB Aqib Talib owned WR Anquan Boldin on two plays, and that little time of possession while having the wind isn't very helpful

> Talib went to the locker room after that play, which will be the pule of contention for Patriot Fan for the rest of the year

> TE Aaron Hernandez converted a third down and got a bonus 15 from MLB/Media Geisha Ray Lewis for a blow to the head

> On 3rd and 9 from the Ravens 35, Lloyd couldn't corral a slant and the Patriots punted

> RB Bernard Pierce danced his way to a first and continued to look better than Rice as just a pure runner

> Baltimore's offense really did not do much with the first quarter wind

> TE Ed Dickson dropped a first down ball, and then TE Dennis Pitta couldn't track down a fly, which isn't saying much for the Raven pass catchers so far

> Welker nearly broke a big punt return, which is becoming something of a trend against Baltimore

> Brady lawyered his way out of an intentional grounding call

> The Patriots missed repeatedly on third and 2 in the first quarter

> CB Kerry Williams nearly defensed a pass into a crazy ricochet INT, but DT Paul Krueger couldn't bring it in

> The Ravens started to make hay with short passes to the RBs and TEs

> Flacco to WR Torrey Smith was the first completion to a WR and put the Ravens in the red zone

> Flacco looked a lot more comfortable throwing into the wind than with

> The Ravens OL, on run blocking, started to look for blood, which made a first down fade route to Pitta a really odd call

> Rice broke two tackles to score, then faked a throw into the stand to further infuriate Patriot Fan

> Baltimore gave New England a gift 15 for responding to cheap shottery

> Welker broke a big play on a WR screen where Brady read the defense perfectly

> Welker's touchdown caused the Raven secondary to resort to unseemly in-fighting, but I'm not sure how the S is suppose to get to the sideline from the middle of the field on a quick out

> LB Rob Ninkovich sacked Flacco to end a three and out and give the Patriots a continued advantage in field position

> Brady got tackled by a ref, who might have more footspeed now anyway

> The Patriots converted a fourth and one on a direct snap to RB Danny Woodhead, which was a three point play

> On 3rd and 10, Brady rolled away from pressure to convert for 17 to Hernandez as the defense started to noticeably sag

> Brady, very uncharacteristically, failed to throw a ball away or call a timeout before the 4-second mark, costing his team a shot at a touchdown at the end of the half

> Gostkowski's figgie made it 13-7 at the half, with Baltimore getting the kick to start the second half

> Boldin converted a third and 9 when the CB fell down, which avoided an opening three and out

> When everyone in the building knows that your first down play is a run by Rice, that's kind of easy to defend

> Flacco missed the world on 3rd and 12 to force a punt, and was lucky it wasn't picked

> S Bernard Pollard got called for an extra 15 after hitting Welker on a deep slant, mostly because Welker is small

> Welker dropped a first down throw at a place in the field that forced a short punt

> Reed was nailed after a fair catch for no flag or media notice, just to assure Raven Fan that the refs are in the bag for New England

> Rice for 15 on a frantic middle screen showed the greatness of the player

> You can hit the receiver in the head without penalty if you are a Patriot, and the receiver is a big white TE

> TE Dennis Pitta scored a play after taking a brutal hit, with an open elbow wound, and immediately silenced the crowd with his utter bad-assedness

> Pitta's disgusted touchdown celebration, where he just dropped the ball at the ref who didn't make the call on the previous play and stomped off, was all kinds of awesome

> A hold wiped out a third down conversion and led to a 3-and-out for New England, which was more than a little unexpected

> The 23-yard in to Smith for a first down was a big damned deal

> New England started going for run blitzes, which as we know from a lifetime of Eagle Football, is high risk behavior

> On 3rd and 2 and just outside of field goal range, the give was to Pierce, who broke it outside for 11 and the first

> Boldin's touchdown to start the fourth quarter was downright manly, and I appreciated his pointing at the prone defender and laughing at the end of the play

> New England kept going conservative on short yardage downs, which reminded me a lot of John Fox last week -- and no, that's not a good thing

> Ridley was absolutely destroyed by Pollard before a concussion-aided fumble for the first turnover of the game

> Flacco trucked for 14 and a red zone possession

> Boldin for another touchdown was just crazy manly, put the string of unanswered points at 21, and is going to do much to aid the smooth flow of traffic out of Gilette Stadium

> Up 15 with 12 minutes left, the Raven defense went into Prevent And Inflict Pain Mode

> Vereen had a big drop on a 2nd and 4, leading to miss on 3rd and 4, and a potentially game-ending 4th and 4

> On the had to have it play, Brady couldn't run for four yards and a first, and instead opted for an awkward cross-body incomplete

> Not to cast aspersions, but that play looked a lot more like self-preservation than competitiveness from the aging Dreamboat

> Why the Ravens are throwing the ball, up 15 with clock to burn, I will never know

> Why the Ravens are not covering Welker deep, I'll never know...

> The face that Brady made after the ensuing tipped ball INT was last seen on the face of a small child who just learned the truth about Santa, and made me far too happy for a losing bet

> This time, the Ravens actually took time off the clock and ran it, which worked

> Belichick didn't seem very interested in using his timeouts late in this one, which was nice, in that it gave Patriot Fan even less time to get out

> Raven Fan was a lot louder than Patriot Fan at the end of this one

> I appreciated the icing INT in the end zone from CB Kerry Williams, just to underscore how much the Ravens owned Brady today

> The Patriots are now 67-1 at home under Brady when leading at home at the half, which was really a bad time to take the one

> Both road teams won today, and you can be forgiven for being sick of the Harbaugh Family storylines already

> The better team won, by a lot, and once again, I regret not realizing just how awful the AFC East is, to make the Patriots a perennial playoff favorite

> Lewis mooned the media in deference to God

> I'm going to spend the next two weeks enjoying Patriot Fan's bitter, bitter tears, and so should you

> Idiotic storylines aside, it should be a good Super Bowl

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