Take A Seat, Flacco Outduels Brady – Ravens On To Super Bowl XLVII
To be perfectly honest I don’t write about the Patriots unless I am forced to, mostly because I despise the Golden Boy Tom Brady. His model wife, Uggz contract and brazen attitude make it difficult for me to cheer for but despite his douchey attitude I can respect his abilities as a football player. As we all know the Patriots fell to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship on Sunday by a score of 13-28. For the third time in 4 years these two teams faced off in Foxborough during the playoffs and for the second time Baltimore left Beantown as the victor.
Tom Brady has been touted as the greatest that ever was; his legend grew last week when he tied Joe Montana for the most playoff victories in NFL history after defeating the Texans handily. Brady would continue his postseason success finding Wes Welker in the 2nd quarter to give the Pats a 10-7 lead. Brady had an opportunity on the final drive of the first half to score again but poor time management from head coach Bill Belichick left New England without giving Tommy boy a shot at the end-zone. They would add a chip shot 25 yard field goal with Stephen Gostkowski to give them a 6 point lead at halftime.
The only Ravens score in the first half came on a 2 yard run by Ray Rice, who was hoping to recreate the success he had against the Pats in 2009. In that game Rice had 22 rushes for 159 yards and 2 touchdowns on the way to a 33-14 victory. In that game Ravens QB Joe Flacco was 4-10 throwing for 34 yards, 0 touchdowns and 1 interception. Despite the early score from Rice in this game he was not able to recreate the magic and finished the game with 19 rushes for 48 yards and wasn’t even the team’s leading rusher. Joe Flacco on the other hand continued his success in the postseason and may have finally proven that he is an elite quarterback.
I said last week that Flacco had converted me into a believer and after this game I’m sure there are plenty more aboard the “Kingslayer” bandwagon. In the second half Flacco threw 3 touchdown passes, 2 to WR Anquan Boldin and another to a headless Dennis Pitta. Pitta was absolutely blown up by Pats LB Jerod Mayo but held on to the ball giving the Ravens the lead. Joe would lead his team to a 28-13 victory, scoring 21 unanswered in the second half and knocking the #1 Patriots out of the playoffs. Flacco finished the game 21-36 for 240 yards with 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions.
So far this postseason Joe Flacco has thrown for 853 yards, 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions posting a QB Rating of 106 or better in every game. In Flacco’s 12 career postseason games he currently has an 8-4 record. In those 8 career victories he has thrown 13 touchdowns and just a single interception but has only 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his 4 losses. The Ravens are on their way to the Super Bowl for the first time since Trent Dilfer won it in 2000. There’s a huge difference between those teams as the Dilfer led Ravens didn’t pass for more than 172 yards in any of their 4 postseason games while Ray Lewis and the Ravens defense shut down the opposition.
Flacco’s Ravens have thrown for 235 yards or more in every postseason game this year along with at least 2 passing touchdowns. The Baltimore defense has rallied around Ray Lewis’ impending retirement and played like the Ravens defense of old, not their 2012 regular season selves. Baltimore Ranked 17th in pass defense, 20th in rush defense and were tied for 12th in points allowed. They aren’t shutting people out like they did on their last Super Bowl trip but they made terrific Tom look like terrible tom during the second half of this AFC Championship.
Tom Brady led his team to just 1 touchdown drive when he found Welker in the first quarter and on that drive he was 5-6 with 42 yards and the score. For the rest of the game Brady was 24-48 278 yards, 0 touchdowns with 2 interceptions and like Brady has done in the past he threw tantrums and let his displeasure be known. Just as the Ravens are led by Flacco the Patriots performance relies solely on their quarterbacks play. Brady threw for over 4800 yards 34 touchdowns and just 8 interceptions this season but 5 of those picks came in the Patriots 4 losses. Since Tom Brady started his playoff career 10-0 on the way to 3 Super Bowl wins he now has a 7-7 record in his past 14 postseason games.
Tom Brady tied Brett Favre for the most postseason games started by a QB when this game against the Ravens started. Despite Brady’s early success he has 10 touchdowns and 7 interceptions in his team’s losses but in his team’s last 7 playoff victories he has tossed 17 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. The difference between the Brady teams that won three Super Bowls in 4 years and those after is that they were complete teams. The only complete team since then was the 2007 squad that was upset by the Giants in the Super Bowl behind one of the most historical catches by a football player in the history of the game. In Brady’s Super Bowl Champion seasons he threw for 11 touchdowns and 3 interceptions in 9 games, tossing for more than 237 yards just twice. Must be pretty frustrating for Brady to actually perform better in the latter portion of his career, but his team can’t seem to get that 4th Super Bowl ring.
Brady’s frustration may have led to the most controversial call of the game, which in my mind shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Brady was scrambling and before future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed could get close to him the QB slid to protect himself. His slide was what I would describe as a “cleats up” play lead with his feet in the air, just as a baseball player would do to break up a double-play. Brady hit Reed with his feet but realistically he was probably just trying to protect himself, or blatantly be a dick, either way the NFL announced they will review the play and most likely will fine him as a first time violator. The 15 to 25 thousand dollar impending fine is chump change to the power couple that is Bundchen-Brady.
Giselle did a good job of holding her tongue this year, after calling out Wes Welker for not being able to catch the ball after last season’s Super Bowl loss to the Giants. The frustration of not being a Super Bowl champion was clearly disrupting this families livelihood. Turns out it was affecting a lot of Patriots fans this year, many of whom attacked Ravens WR Torrey Smith over the death of his brother. It was Wes Welker’s wife who made the biggest news this year after she went to Facebook to vent like oh so many in this day of age does.
Clearly she was upset by the loss but it was her disgust with Ray Lewis that showed up on her status update. She started off positive saying she was proud of her husband and the Pats but wanted to give anyone that was bored some advice. “Please go to Ray Lewis’ Wikipedia page. 6 kids 4 wives. Acquitted for murder. Paid a family off. Yay. What a hall of fame player! A true role model!” First off, I don’t get why the significant others of famous people, athlete’s included, think we should give a damn about their opinion. Secondly, this is just a bunch of racist banter built upon a foundation of Wikipedia information. That being said most of it is true, you should never start an argument, “Wikipedia says” because to anyone with a brain you sound cognitively delayed.
She apologized but the quote was out there and now she can just regret it, just like those people who paid for the countdown to Ray Lewis’ last game billboards. If I had the money and was a Ravens fan I would pay to keep those babies up and make the Pats fans deal with it for the next two weeks. Baltimore and head coach John Harbaugh will be traveling to New Orleans to face Jim Harbaugh and the Niners in Super Bowl XLVII. Now you get to live with reading about the Harbaugh Bowl for the next few weeks and the rest of your life for that matter. Enjoy!