Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from PAT-from-India. Show PAT-from-India's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Texpat - Is it fashionable to pick against patriots...

    I understand an analyst has to be impartial and should give the impartial view.  But to pick against Pats on most crucial junctures everytime is not good.

    To the best of my understand the superbowl venue is dome .. and Tom terrific is deadly on dome venues.

    So please my friend carry on with your good works .. and pats will carry on thiers :)
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    Texpat - Is it fashionable to pick against patriots... I understand an analyst has to be impartial and should give the impartial view.  But to pick against Pats on most crucial junctures everytime is not good. To the best of my understand the superbowl venue is dome .. and Tom terrific is deadly on dome venues. So please my friend carry on with your good works .. and pats will carry on thiers :)
    Posted by PAT-from-India


         I really don't know what you're talking about, my friend. I picked the Patriots to beat the Ravens...but, by less than the ridiculous 7.5 point spread. 

         Whenever I pick games. I pick against the spread. It's more challenging.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from EastTraveler. Show EastTraveler's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:

    I agree with the majority of your rating but what I think was the stupidest play of the game was the deep throw into the end zone in the 4th quarter...  What was Billy O' thinking for it was a call for self destruction... This call was the worst play of the game and hopefully they will learn from it...

    OK, Brady was marginal at best and he was the first to admit it so now they need to focus on the job ahead and play the game of their lives come the Superbowl...

    Kudos to Vince as he was outstanding!
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD : I agree with the majority of your rating but what I think was the stupidest play of the game was the deep throw into the end zone in the 4th quarter...  What was Billy O' thinking for it was a call for self destruction...
     
    RESPONSE: Here we go again...blaming things on O"Brien. That call has been a staple of the Patriots' offenses for years...long before Billy O'Brien was around. The Pats' love taking shots deep when their around midfield, especially right after a turnover. For example, right after picking off Ben Roethlisberger in the 2004 AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh, the Pats had the ball at the 50 yard line. On the next play, Tom Brady went deep to Deion Branch down the middle for a TD. In more recent times with Randy Moss around, the Pats did this often. 
         Please...stop blaming O'Brien everytime something goes wrong. That play could have come from BB, Josh, or Tom himself. But, even if OB made the call, it's up to Tom to execute it. It seems to me that a future hall of famer, veteran QB like Tom, would know better than to try to force a throw into double coverage.   


    This call was the worst play of the game and hopefully they will learn from it...
     
    RESPONSE: I agree. It was an awful call, because it made no sense to try to force the ball downfield to Matthew Slater, when the Pats have weapons like Gronk, Hernandez, and Welker at their disposal. But, as bad as the call was, the execution of it was even worse.

    OK, Brady was marginal at best and he was the first to admit it so now they need to focus on the job ahead and play the game of their lives come the Superbowl... Kudos to Vince as he was outstanding!

    RESPONSE: Agreed. The Pats and, especially, Tom, must play far better, if they hope to have a shot at beating the Giants.
    Posted by Smokenshot

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat. Show TexasPat's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

         For those of you who insist on blaming Bill O'Brien for the 4th quarter pick thrown by Tom Brady, there's this:

    After New England linebacker Brandon Spikes intercepted a Joe Flacco pass on the Ravens’ ensuing possession and returned it 19 yards to midfield, Brady decided to try to ice the game on one, big play.

    Had he been throwing to, say, former star receiver Randy Moss, he might have gotten away with it. One of the NFL’s all-time great deep threats, the 6-foot-4 Moss might have gone up between the two Baltimore defenders converging on the ball and made the catch.

    But Slater is a 6-footer who plays mostly on special teams. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in that role, but caught only one pass all season — a 46-yarder in the opener at Miami.

    Brady’s long throw to him was deflected by strong safety Bernard Pollard and then caught by cornerback Jimmy Smith in the end zone.

    “As a quarterback, you never want to turn the ball over,” Brady said. “You want to hit the open guys. You want to capitalize when you have open receivers. I wish I had done a better job of that.”

    “I sucked pretty bad,” he told the fans in the stands and a national TV audience. http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/patriots/content/sp_fbn_side_three_22_01-23-12_AESQL5T_v3.282ee4b.html

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey TP:  Another Superbowl to look forward to in the Brady/Belichick era - how sweet it is! It will be a long two weeks ahead, where the grudge match with the G-Man will be front and center.
    The game the Pats won yesterday to earn their trip to the superbowl was a heart stopper of smash mouth football. Both ugly and good.
    I agree with your grades. Really encouraging to see the D evolve as a unit, and Vince have his best game ever.
    Yeah, Tom's game was off, and given his talent, skill, and leadership abilities that was a D game for him. No excuses, and he proved once again that he is a class act at the trophy presentation. We all know the team would not be AFC Champs without TB at the helm this year.
    Simple fact is it's the team that wins games- all 3 phases of the game as  we have heard BB say time after time.
    Ghost was great- brought back memories of  Adam's clutch kicks.
    Lawfirm looked really good.
    The dynamic duo of Gronk and Herendez were impacted by Tom being off, but still managed to light up the field. Gronk continues to be one of the most entertaining players in a Pats uniform. He was feeling no pain after the game, I really hope there are no broken bones in that ankle.
    Wes had an off game as well I think in part to TB being off, but again contributed moving the chains forward at critical times.
    Hope Sterling Moore continues to evolve as a stand out.
    Shout out to the OL who did give TB the protection he needed for most of the game.
    There were a few questionable decisions and play calls by coaches- mostly on the offensive side- which makes it easy to point a finger at OB. Maybe there are too many cooks in the kitchen right now?
    Agree- Vince is player of the game.
    Good guys won- great to send the Ravens home. A pack of thugs.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from terminator-x. Show terminator-x's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Yesterday's game reminded me of the "Tuck Rule" game in 2002. The Pats pulled it out with grit and good fortune. Unlike in SB XLII 2008, when everyone expected them to win, the Pats are now playing with house money.

    In this vein, Tom needs to play more relaxed. I'm hopeful that the expectations placed upon this Pats team, which won't be as high as in years past, will allow him to do so. This is a Giants team that lost 7 games in the regular season, including a loss to the Skins in NY. They are beatable.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD : QB rating is a   meaningless stat as  are your grades.
    Posted by Patsfansince1966



    So, what should we go by as a measure of a QB's performance, opinion?
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from agcsbill. Show agcsbill's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    TP, when all is said and done, and I am repeating something heard all around this board since yesterday..  the Pats Offense was surprisingly conservative yesterday.  They ran the ball 31 times..  and many times on occasions in which we would see a pass.  Add the fact both TDs were scored off of designed RUN plays with not a pass attempt?!  The effective running of the Pats was setting up some opportunity to pass in the middle and the Pats didn't.

    Secondly, the longest Ravens plays were on the outside down the sidelines plus some horrible tackling again!  What we saw the Ravens D do, which is tackle the ball just about immediately when hit we did not see with the Pats D-backs.  It was like pin ball out there sometimes! 
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from mighty2012. Show mighty2012's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    They won the game and are going to the Super Bowl you moron. The only grade you get for that is A+
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from mighty2012. Show mighty2012's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    So if they win the Super Bowl ugly we will have to endure another whiny report card from Texas Troll screaching about how it wasn't pretty?  What a joke.
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from mighty2012. Show mighty2012's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    You're the only person pathetic enough to pose as a Pats fan and not be overjoyed that they are going to the Super Bowl.  TROLL
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from UD6. Show UD6's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD :  So you are now claiming that you never stated Brady lost his will to win after the 2007 super bowl. If I knew how to pull up 3 year old posts I would. You claimed this as recently as last year. When he had a great QBR rating against the Jets earlier this year he got a B. So QBR rating is now important but then it was not.
    Posted by ccnsd


    CC - be careful.  Texas Pat catalouges posters comments and I would imagine his own when he is not actually posting.  He takes his image on this board VERY seriously.  If you don't have chapter and verse, even if he said it, he won't cop to it. 
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Good grades.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from BabeParilli. Show BabeParilli's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    You're the only person pathetic enough to pose as a Pats fan and not be overjoyed that they are going to the Super Bowl.  TROLL
    Posted by mighty2012



    You had better get in touch with that guy Tom Brady. I hear he was being a negative nancy about the Patriots' QB performance yesterday. He's such a TROLL.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatFanInBA2. Show PatFanInBA2's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    This was a hard fought and exciting win against the #2 team in AFC. A+ for the team overall.

    Individually, need to see who played well and who did not and see what corrections need to be made.

    BB will obvioulsy do that - but none of us will ever get to find that out. TP is trying to give his individual grades - that is what passionate fans do.

    I happen to agree with his grades. Did Vince play welll yesterday - absolutley. 

    Did Brady well in the Broncos game - absolutely! Did Brady play well in yesterday's game - NO. 

    Thanks for putting these grades up TP - irrespective of the knocks from some.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from Pats-bilbo. Show Pats-bilbo's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    I think you saw Brady pressing too hard yesterday. Trying to be perfect and do things the Ravens did not expect, rather than do it the way he wanted to. I believe it was similar during the 3 prior losses in the playoffs in prior years. Brady feels the weight on his shoulders and tries to be perfect, so he forces things and does not let it flow.

    I think some of this is because he lost faith in the defense and felt if he was not perfect the Pats would lose.

    He found out yesterday, he does not have to be perfect he needs to be good and this team can win games without him being perfect. This has not happened since their last superbowl win. Even in the 18-1 season he got to the point that he felt he needed to outscore the opponent. This causes him to press and try to "outsmart" the defense instead of dictating and beating the defense.

    I think this game will relax him a bit due to the fact that "he sucked" (his words) and the team still won. Now he knows he can play his game without the added pressure of having to be perfect.

    I think that if Gronk is healed for the superbowl and is around 95% or better... Brady does his thing and he gets some protection so he has a little time, then Brady will be at his best and the completions will flow and so will the points. If they can get 2 scores ahead early then they have a chance to make this a blow-out. But I believe that the game will be close and that Brady will win it at the end of the game and make sure Eli does not beat him again.....

    MHK is with this team. The media does not believe in them. The crowd in Indy will be cheering for Eli and booing the Pats. All of this is setup beautifully for the return of underdog the super team and winner of the Superbowl.

    Go Pats!!!!!
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from darwk. Show darwk's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Great analysis of Brady. The pressure factor cannot be underestimated. As he said it is not easy to go our week after week and win against the opposition. Professional football is not for the faint of heart, and Brady has carried the weight of the team on his shoulders many many times. He comes across as cool calm and collected in interviews, but we know how competitive and passionate he is about HIS game. He is also very very hard on himself, sometimes that does backfire. Here's to Brady finding his center. His talent and skill are never in doubt.
    GO PATS!







    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    I think you saw Brady pressing too hard yesterday. Trying to be perfect and do things the Ravens did not expect, rather than do it the way he wanted to. I believe it was similar during the 3 prior losses in the playoffs in prior years. Brady feels the weight on his shoulders and tries to be perfect, so he forces things and does not let it flow. I think some of this is because he lost faith in the defense and felt if he was not perfect the Pats would lose. He found out yesterday, he does not have to be perfect he needs to be good and this team can win games without him being perfect. This has not happened since their last superbowl win. Even in the 18-1 season he got to the point that he felt he needed to outscore the opponent. This causes him to press and try to "outsmart" the defense instead of dictating and beating the defense. I think this game will relax him a bit due to the fact that "he sucked" (his words) and the team still won. Now he knows he can play his game without the added pressure of having to be perfect. I think that if Gronk is healed for the superbowl and is around 95% or better... Brady does his thing and he gets some protection so he has a little time, then Brady will be at his best and the completions will flow and so will the points. If they can get 2 scores ahead early then they have a chance to make this a blow-out. But I believe that the game will be close and that Brady will win it at the end of the game and make sure Eli does not beat him again..... MHK is with this team. The media does not believe in them. The crowd in Indy will be cheering for Eli and booing the Pats. All of this is setup beautifully for the return of underdog the super team and winner of the Superbowl. Go Pats!!!!!
    Posted by Pats-bilbo
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from LJB064. Show LJB064's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Hey "mighty," you're kinda new here to be calling names like that.

    TP calls it like he sees it, and he does it all season long - initiating some of the best threads on this board for people who actually know something about football (or not) and want to discuss/debate the games and the team in general.

    Some fans are pie in the sky, A+ every week, Pats can do no wrong types.  Others realize (as the Patriots do, and say every week) that there's always something that can be done better.

    These REPORT CARD threads are for people who realize the gift we have in the Patriots, and especially Tom Brady, and who want to crow about the many good things and kvetch about the bad - always with an eye toward doing better next week (or in this case, two weeks from now!).

    So - lay off, noob.

    And GO PATS!

     
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  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from TexasPat3. Show TexasPat3's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD : So, what should we go by as a measure of a QB's performance, opinion?
    Posted by BabeParilli


         Go ahead. Make the argument that Brady played well. I dare you. I double dare you...LOL!!!
     
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from trouts. Show trouts's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

      To TPat3: Thanks for another fine report. I also didn't understand why BB didn't challenge the Gronkowski catch that was ruled an incompletion. At the very least he could have called a time out (the Pats had 3 at that point) and gained some time to review it more thoroughly. I only watch the games and haven't heard what the general consensus of the "talking heads" is regarding that play.
     As for Solder I saw him get beaten twice but only one of those leading to a sack. I think you gave the OLine a high grade and I would agree with that. I thought the LBs played well as a whole, but on the 1st Raven TD when the Pats rushed three, Mayo took Pitta and strangely just let him go at the goal line, where he caught that TD pass.
     Although some folks have touted Arrington for All-Pro, I'm not one of them. He's usually a good tackler but even that wasn't in evidence yesterday. In coverage downfield he is absolutely clueless, usually with his back to the quarterback.
     You didn't mention Edelman's tentativeness in returning punts. Usually he flies right up the gut but not yesterday. And how about Hernandez and his reluctance to slide and make catches. On balls at or below the knees a receiver often has to do that in order to make the grab. Brady threw him one in the first half that really wasn't well thrown, but I thought he still should have made the catch. As for the throw to Slater, I thought that was bizarre. Not only was he double covered, he hasn't shown that he can actually catch a pass.
     That Brady had to go over the top at the goal line should say something about BB's confidence in the running game. Finally, we dodged a bullet with the Ravens. Evans beats Moore for the winning TD grab, who whiffed earlier on Smith's TD catch and run, but Moore strips the ball away and we survive to play in another SB game. By his own admission, Brady didn't play well. I love Welker, but when have you seen him muff a punt in a big game? He seemed out of sorts as well. I'm glad we got this one out of our system and I expect the Pats to be hitting on all cylinders against the Giants. I'm hoping that we don't leave the outcome of the game up to Eli with time on the clock as we did in 07. He's shown that he's up to that task. In that regard I'm also hoping for a less conservative approach where we go for TDs rather than settling for field goals. Thanks again for your terrific work! 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from UD6. Show UD6's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
         For those of you who insist on blaming Bill O'Brien for the 4th quarter pick thrown by Tom Brady, there's this: After New England linebacker Brandon Spikes intercepted a Joe Flacco pass on the Ravens’ ensuing possession and returned it 19 yards to midfield, Brady decided to try to ice the game on one, big play. Had he been throwing to, say, former star receiver Randy Moss, he might have gotten away with it. One of the NFL’s all-time great deep threats, the 6-foot-4 Moss might have gone up between the two Baltimore defenders converging on the ball and made the catch. But Slater is a 6-footer who plays mostly on special teams. He was selected for the Pro Bowl in that role, but caught only one pass all season — a 46-yarder in the opener at Miami. Brady’s long throw to him was deflected by strong safety Bernard Pollard and then caught by cornerback Jimmy Smith in the end zone. “As a quarterback, you never want to turn the ball over,” Brady said. “You want to hit the open guys. You want to capitalize when you have open receivers. I wish I had done a better job of that.” “I sucked pretty bad,” he told the fans in the stands and a national TV audience. http://www.providencejournal.com/sports/patriots/content/sp_fbn_side_three_22_01-23-12_AESQL5T_v3.282ee4b.html
    Posted by TexasPat


    TP - gotta call it like I see it, and in this case you are spot on. 

    I've frequently wondered about all of the pundits or fans who criticize play calling.  Where QB's like Manning or Brady are concerned, that goes out the door. 

    The very accomplished QB's in the league are given multiple plays AND the authority to audible at the line based on what they see.  Beyond that, even if they stick with the play called, these QB's are accomplished enough to read the defense post snap and there are multiple targets on every route. 

    It becomes the QB's decision to find the right receiver.  This is not even to say the receiver on this play was the wrong one.  the ball was short enough for the defender to get a hand on it. 

    That play (and most others with elite QB's) had nothing to do with the play call from the sidelines.

    A play caller cannot read double coverage from the defense at the time the play is communicated to QB.  That's the QB's job.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from seawolfxs. Show seawolfxs's posts

    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    Lets see-

    Flacco had better numbers than Brady
    Lost turnover battle
    Lost time of Possession
    Lost in yds
    Won on Points

    Thank you Wilfork & Front 7
    and great play in end zone
    thank you Gostkowski - perfect on Kick Offs
    PATs, FG's

    It should have been put away in fist half
    TB Missed Gronk
    Why wasn't GronK Inc called for a review
      he looked in on replay
    Didn't like 2 Int play pr execution
    Then Flacco looked like Henne

    How Las Vegas favors us I do not know
     
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    Re: Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD

    In Response to Ravens @ Patriots REPORT CARD:
         SUPER BOWL, BABY!!!! In the end, the Ravens made one mistake too many, costing them the game. This was not your typical Patriots win, where Tom Brady and the offense shines. This was a gritty, determined, 2001 style win. It wasn't pretty. But, it was enough to send the Patriots to Indianapolis.      Here are my grades: I. OFFENSE: Some questionable play calling, an uncharacteristically poor Brady performance, and poor red zone offense nearly cost the Patriots this one. 1.) QB: I'm going to be kind. This definitely was not one of Tom Brady's memorable performances. Despite, for the most part, being given ample time to throw, and getting good field position throughout the game to operate, his accuracy was at times Curtis Painter-like. He missed a wide open Rob Gronkowski with 6:06 left in the second quarter, which cost the Pats 4 points, as the Pats had to settle for a FG, rather than a TD.      Brady also missed an open Aaron Hernandez of a couple of more throws, and threw two poorly thrown, bad decision interceptions. The deep one into the end zone with 7:22 left in the 4th quarter, right after the Spikes pick, was a terrible call...and a terrible throw into double coverage.      For the game, Tom completed 22 of 36 passes for 239 yards, no TDs, and the aforementioned two picks. He finished with a horrid 57.5 QB rating.       In Brady's defense, he did lead the Patriots on an 11 play, 64 yard drive, to put his team ahead to stay, early in the fourth quarter...and scored the winning TD himself on a QB sneak. But, Tom couldn't close the show in the final two minutes, by picking up a clock killing first down.      Let's face it. Brady was awful today. He said it best, "I sucked": GRADE: D; 2.) RBs: BJGE had his best game in weeks...and, the way Brady threw the ball, it's a good thing he did. Bennie rushed for 68 yards in 15 carries, and a TD. Danny Woodhead had just 18 yards on 6 carries, as he wasn't much of a factor. Thank goodness that the Pats rarely used Aaron Hernandez as a RB today: GRADE: C+; 3.) OL:  Rookie RT Nate Solder got beat for two sacks. The one he gave up to  DE Paul Kruger on the Pats' initial drive, cost his team a TD. But, that aside, the Big Uglies played plenty tough. They saw to it that "Sizzle" (Terrell Suggs) fizzled. They kept the huge Haloti Ngata out of the backfield, and even did a reasonable job of opening up some running room for BJGE. For a change, their trigger man betrayed them. Great trap block by Logan Mankins paved the way for Bennie's second quarter, 7 yard TD run: GRADE: B+; 4.) TEs: Solid, if unspectacular performance by the Dynamic Duo. Gronk and Hernandez combined for 12 catches for 153 yards. Their stats would have been considerably better, had their QB been more accurate. There was also a left sideline pass that Gronk hauled in, which was ruled out of bounds. However, replay appeared to show that Gronk had hauled it in, in bounds. But, BB didn't challenge it.       If only the Pats had some sort of a deep threat to help out their incredible TEs. How would Ravens' rookie Torrie Smith, the 58th player taken in the 2011 draft (RB Shane Vereen yaken at #56), look in a Patriots' uniform? GRADE: B+ 5.) WRs: This group was of little consequence. Wes Welker had just six (6) receptions for 53 yards...while Deion Branch and Julian Edelman combined for just three (3) catches, for a paltry 26 yards: GRADE: D. II. DEFENSE: Who would have thought that the unit that had been the ugly step-sister of this team throughout the year would bail out Brady and his boys? 1.) DL:   Vince Wilfolk was immense. The big guy played his finest game as a Patriot, as he continually collapsed the pass pocket on Joe Flacco. No telling what greater stats Flacco would have posted, if not for Vince. Wilfolk finished with six (6) tackles, including three (3) solos, a sack, with three (3) of his tackles for resulting in a loss of yardage. He, and his comrades up front, held Ravens' star RB Ray Rice to just 67 yards on 21 carries (3.2 yards per carry). Hats off to Vince, Gerard Warren, Mark Anderson, Kyle Love, and Brandon Deaderick for containing, if not shutting down, the Baltimore running game today.      The only negatives were that they did a poor job of containing Flacco in the pocket. When he was able to get outside the pocket, he had a couple of big pass plays...one of which was the 42 yarder to Torrie Smith, which set up the Buzzards' first TD. They also allowed him to scramble for 27 yards, on four (4) carries: GRADE: A-; 2.) LBs: The boys up front made it easy on the LBs to make plays, particularly against the running game. ILB Brandon Spikes had a big game, leading the team with nine (9) tackles (two solos), and made a dynamite interception of a Flacco pass over the middle. It snuffed out a promising 4th quarter Ravens' drive.      Jerod Mayo chipped in with eight (8) tackles, two of which were solos. Rob Ninkovich did his part for this active LB corp with seven (7) tackles (one solo).       In coverage, although the Ravens' TEs combined for seven (7) catches for 74 yards, Ray Rice was held to just one catch, for 11 yards: GRADE: B+; 3.) SECONDARY: By and large, the tackling was awful. Kyle Arrington's whiff on Anquan Boldin resulted in a 37 yard play, and lead to the second Buzzard TD. Boldin finished with six (6) catches for 101 yards, most of those yards coming on YAC (yards after catch).      The backline boys were extremely lucky on a couple of occasions, when Torrie Smith had them badly beaten deep. Fortunately for them, pressure from the DL forced Joe Flacco to hurry his throws. That said, Smith still did his damage, mostly on YAC plays. He finished with 82 yards on just three(3) receptions...an average of over 27 yards per catch. One of his plays, a 29 yard TD reception, was another YAC disaster for the Pats, as Sterling Moore whiffed on a tackle on Smith in the right flat.       Unfortunately, this group was back to it's old tricks, as they made Joe Flacco look like Joe Montana. Flacco completed 22 of 36 passes for 306 yards, two (2) TDs, and had a QB rating of 95.4.       That said, the aforementioned Moore saved the day by knocking what would have been the game winning TD pass out of the hands of Ravens' veteran WR, Lee Evans...and breaking up another pass play to TE Dennis Pitta, on the very next play: GRADE: C-; III. SPECIAL TEAMS: Kudos to Stephen Gostkowski for his 3 for 3 FG performance, and his deep kick-offs. Good job of covering kicks...particularly in the 4th quarter, when Sergio Brown was Johnny on the spot to make a stop, after a rare Zoltan Mesko line-drive kick.      Folks, other than a "pick-6", there's no greater sin than fumbling on a punt or kickoff return. The Texans lost their game last week against the Ravens, due to a muffed punt. Danny Woodhead committed such as sin...immediately after the Buzzards had forged ahead, 17-16, late in the 3rd quarter. His fumble gave the Ravens the ball at the NE 28. Fortunately for Danny and his team, the defense bailed him out, and held the Buzzards to just a FG. This terrible mistake aside, Danny did a reasonably good job returning kick-offs.      With mistakes like these, the Pats were fortunate indeed to still come out on top: GRADE: C-; IV. COACHING:  Great job on shutting down Ray Rice. But, the escapability of Joe Flacco in the pocket, and the YAC by Ravens' WRs Boldin and Smith nearly did the Patriots in. As mentioned above, the staff missed an opportunity late in the second quarter to challenge an incomplete call on a Brady sideline pass to Gronk. Had the play been challenged, the Pats might have scored a TD on that drive, rather than a FG.      Can somebody please tell me what the Pats were thinking when, during the Pats' initial drive in the second half, facing a 3rd and 2 on the Ravens' six, they called a run up the middle with BJGE? Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker anybody? Much too conservative a call. Instead on going up, 16-10, the Pats had an opportunity to really put pressure on the Ravens' offense, had they jumped out to a 20-10 lead.       Can somebody please tell me why the Pats decided to heave it deep to a double covered Matthew Slater (yes-Matthew Slater!!!)?? This "brilliant" call was made immediately after Brandon Spikes had just snuffed out a Ravens' drive with an interception. The Pats had a first and ten at midfield, leading 23-20, and just 7:22 to play. Why throw deep, to of all people...Slater? For the second time in a row, the "we'll outsmart them" call backfired. With guys like Gronk, Hernandez, Branch, and Welker at your disposal, why call a play like that for Slater??       Finally, after the "D" holds the Ravens on downs, the Pats get the ball back with just 2:46 remaining, leading, 23-20, at their own 33 yard line. On the first play, Brady completes to Welker for seven (7) yards. It's now 2nd and 3, at the NE 40. Instead on employing a play-action pass to pick up the nails in the coffin first down, or run off tackle, where the Pats had had some success earlier in  the game, they call a run wide play with the not so nimble BJGE. The result was predictable...a one yard loss. Next, on 3rd and 4, the Pats appeared to dust off a play similar to the one that failed so miserably in Indy in 2009, on the famous BB 4th and two call. But, instead of going to Kevin Faulk, they run a similar type pattern with Hernandez. Of course, the play fails, Hernandez is well covered...Brady throws the ball to his wrong shoulder...and, even if he had caught the ball, like Faulk before him in 2009, Hernandez would have been a foot short of the first down. Why not go with the old bread and butter, and throw it to Gronk or Welker over the middle? The failure to pick up this first down nearly cost the Pats this game.           Though I'm glad that the Pats' one, they nearly gave this one away. At the end, they appeared to be playing not to lose, rather than playing aggressively to win. I'd much prefer to have seen the later.      Folks, the Ravens played well, and are a good team. But, the Pats could have, and should have won this game rather easily. They wasted a ton of opportunities on offense, especially in the red zone. They must play far better than this if they wish to have a prayer of beating the white-hot Giants in the SB.      Speaking of the G-men, brace yourself for the endless replays and rehashes of SB 42.        GRADE: C+; V. PLAY OF THE GAME: The Sterling Moore break-up of what should have been a game deciding TD pass from Flacco to Lee Evans; VI. PLAYER OF THE GAME: Vince Wilfolk.      Here are the game stats: http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=320122017 .      As always, your comments and opinions are welcome.                                         
    Posted by TexasPat


    Texas pat, you cranked your game up for the playoffs...well done, spot on!
     
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