I started this game taking notes. I took notes on every one of the Baltimore Ravens possessions, down by down and then I did the same with New England Patriots. I had players ready to be called out and plays ready to be scrutinized. I was ready to throw Cary Williams under the bus and had full intention to start screaming for Dean Pees' head. All that changed however, in the fourth quarter with about 10 minutes left and the Ravens had been stopped on fourth down and I was ready to go on my rant about the replacement officials similar to last week, something happened. I stopped taking notes and decided to watch this game as a fan and not an analyst.
Suddenly we got a huge stop and the Ravens offense started to come back together again. Joe Flacco started to stand tall in the pocket, easily avoiding the pressure with a side step here and there and he started to lead this team again. I threw my notes to the side and decided that some things can't be described in play by play notes and putting the blame on certain players or coaches for trying things that didn't work. These guys want to win just as much as we want them to. The next thing I knew Joe Flacco rolled out of some pressure and threw a beautiful TD pass to Torrey Smith and we were within two.
The game was not over though. We still needed to stop a New England offense that had been shredding our secondary all night...ehhem... Cary Williams. But something seemed different Ray Lewis had his boys pumped up and although Tom Brady still did what he does and moved his team within striking distance for a moment the men in purple and black started to make the big plays at the biggest times. The Ravens stopped them just out of range to make them punt and punt they did.
So, there we were in the same position as last season in the AFC Championship game, in which we all know we should have won. Only this time the Referees let the boys play and when you can get physical with the Ravens and they can do the same with you, the Ravens win every time and even though the refs tried to give it to cry baby... sorry, I mean Brady and the Pats, this one was not going to be taken and the Ravens were going to make sure of that. For all of the down field holding and hand fighting going on for them to take the interception away from Lardarius Webb was straight bush league and everyone knows it. If you think otherwise then you don't know football.
Then the refs set the Patriots up to win once again but it just wasn't their time. Haloti Ngata and Danelle Ellerbe Sack Brady, showing that no matter who wants who to win the pure physical power of these men cannot be stopped, and this is where the Ravens made their mark. Paul Kruger applied pressure on the next play and caused Brady to throw short to Rob Gronkowski. Now it was time for the Ravens to get the ball back and to give Joe one more chance at redemption.
Joe said not this time. He started with a big throw to Jacoby Jones for 24 yards, then an out route to Dennis Pitta to stop the clock. Then one more big outside pass to Pitta for 20 yards and another first down. Then from the 35 he ran Ray Rice for a short gain to run down the clock and went back to work throwing deep to Anquan Boldin to stop the clock again. Then on third and nine he threw it up to Jones who drew the obvious pass interference play. Go Joe, you've done it again. The game was then in the hands of rookie Justin Tucker. Tucker kicked it right down the middle only to find out that Mr. mind-game Bill Belichick had called time out. It didn't matter.
There is no billy Cundiff on the team this year. These Ravens will not choke. They lost a game that they had clearly won last week and they weren't going to let that happen again. Tucker was good from 27 and the Ravens go to 2-1. Yeah they should be 3-0 but whatever it's the NFL and stuff happens. The Eagles got exposed yet again this week and the Ravens proved once again that they are the better team. Guess all the Philly fans can look forward to many more of my posts. Glad people cared about the spelling of Brent Celek's name for about one week. The name to remember here is Dennis Pitta.
Let's give it up for Torrey Smith who was fighting through so many tough emotions but helped put this great team on his back and make them greater. The defense may not be what it used to be but the offense can more than pick up the slack and by the end of the season I think the D will have it all together. Great win Ravens now let's start on down the road to the Super Bowl, where maybe Mr. Flacco can finally get the last monkey off his back with the name of Matt Ryan. That is if the Falcons don't implode before then.