Monday, January 23, 2012

Pats Back In The Super Bowl

Boy did I miss this feeling! The Pats are finally back in the big game!

After being at that game yesterday, I am physically and mentally exhausted. I feel like I played in the game. Didnt have a voice at all last night and barely had one today at work. But it was all worth it. The big bad Ravens came into town - fairly quiet leading up to the game - and left like they usually have in the past; losers.

You gotta give the Ravens defense a lot of credit though. This really could have been over pretty earlier - they held the Pats two 3 field goals (all of which came in or very close to the red zone). If the Ravens don't force those field goals, they could have lost this game by 14 points.

On the other hand, the Ravens offense killed them. Plain and simple. The lack of a passing game really hurt them. The Pats took away Ray Rice and that kind of handcuffed them. Yeah, I know they broke some 5 plus yard runs to Rice, but they didnt allow him to break a huge play like he has done to them in the past. Whether it was a run or pass, they did a great job keying on him and knowing where Rice was at all times. Next, the Pats matched up Edelman on Boldin for basically the whole game. When did we start hearing Boldin's name being called? Pretty much the final drive of the game. That's all Flacco's fault. He needs to know that their best receiver is being covered by the Pats 5th receiver. Flacco also missed a wide open Torrey Smith about 3 times. Oh, and he threw a costly INT while they had a great drive going in the 4th quarter. I'm sorry, but Joe Flacco sucks. He is garbage. I don't care how big of an arm he has, the Ravens won't win a Super Bowl with Flacco at QB.

This was a great team game by the Pats. No question about it. Brady played like absolute poop, but the D kept the Pats in the game and made huge plays at the most crucial times. 3 players on defense who deserve the most credit after the AFC Championship win.

1. Big Vince - 75 set his place in Patriot history with his performance yesterday. Yes, he has been great for a while but he became a face of the franchise last night. When the D needed a big stop or needed someone to get pressure on Flacco, Vince was there. He stuffed Rice on a huge 3rd down causing the Ravens to go for it and eventually turn the ball over on downs.

2. Brandon Spikes - This man is an animal. He brings so much energy to the defense when he is out there. Spikes has improved greatly in the past 2 seasons. He took a lot of heat when he was hurt this season about taking so much to come back from the MCL injury when players like Mayo and Hernandez rehabbed much faster than Spikes did. He got absolutely blown up by Vonte Leach leading the Ravens to picking up a huge 1st down, driving into Pats territory in the 4th quarter. What happened next you ask? Well, Spikes made a great read in pass coverage and picked off Flacco, killing the momentum that the Ravens had on that drive. Yes, Brady threw a pick on the next play but he gave the Pats an opportunity go put the nail in and "drop the hammer" and close out the game. You know it's something huge happened when you get a text after a play like that from Dan saying "I'll (expletive) Gator chomp to that."

3. Lastly, Sterling Moore. Who? Exactly. This just shows you that its all about the next guy up on this Patriots team. He got all sorts of turned around on the Lee Evans play but had great instinct to knock the ball away at the last second. Wasn't a catch. Harbaugh said he was surprised that they didn't review it. There was no need. Big time receivers make those catches. There is a reason why the Buffalo Bills traded you, Lee Evans. The next play, Moore batted away a 3rd down pass forcing the Ravens to kick a field goal...well, attempt a field goal.

We all know what happened next. Cundiff went wide left and the Pats went to Indy. There is still one more piece of business to accomplish on February 5th vs. the Giants. People are talking about revenge for the Super Bowl loss in 2007. Yes, it's a revenge game. No, its not about 2007. Its about the when the Giants came into Foxboro earlier this season and beat the Pats on the final drive (thank you Sergio Brown. Btw I hope he doesnt step on the field in the Super Bowl). Expect the Pats to be well prepared for this game. This defense is completely different when they play with confidence. Should be a fun two weeks. How sweet would it be to beat Eli in Peyton's building? Would there be anything better than that?

One last thing in regard to the missed field goal. Now, I'm probably the last person who would believe in spirituality and stuff like that. But you have to be completely out of your skull if you think Myra didn't have anything to do with that kick going wide left. There was no way in hell that Myra was going to let that ball go through the uprights. Absolutely no chance.

Bob Kraft said it best to Ian Rapoport postgame "There were forces at work that's beyond anything we can understand... Someone was smiling. We had an angel."

Go win this for MHK.


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