Did it really matter to the Ravens, Scott was later asked, that their playoff trip coincided with playoff-less season in New England?
"Yeah," Scott said. "Nobody ever feels sorry for us. Yeah, they lost their quarterback. Last year, we lost ours. That happens to a lot of people. They didn't feel sorry for us.
“We went into this year like, 'Payback for everybody who tried to kick us while we were down.' We got to kick them while they're down. It's always good to put a good opponent home. Nobody wants to go up there and play in a rainstorm, a snowstorm, whatever that thing is. So, yeah, it's a little cherry on top.”
So obviously, that 2007 game stuck with the Ravens. But so much has changed for both teams, more time has passed. Scott, the NFL’s biggest agitator this side of Joey Porter and Chad Ochocinco, now stirs it up wearing green in New York, so maybe it won’t matter Sunday.
“No,” Ray Lewis said. “Not at all. If that is part of the rivalry, then you’ve forgot why you’re playing the game. This game is next week, next week, next week. Right now it’s 0-0. That game don’t matter, this past game don’t matter, the score don’t matter. None of that matters. The bottom line is who is the better team on this Sunday that’s coming up.”
Lewis also said the bad feelings from this year’s Patriots game wouldn’t mean a thing, either. In Week 4, the Patriots won, 27-21, and the Ravens believed two dubious roughing-the-passer penalties were a primary reason. Several players said Tom Brady received preferential treatment from the officials, and Lewis called it “an embarrassment to the game.”
And all of that only takes into account what happened on the field. Before any of those games, there was the verbal warring between Adalius Thomas, then in his first season with the Patriots, and Lewis. Lewis did not like something Thomas had said to Sports Illustrated. Lewis called Thomas a coward. Thomas did not like that. Both are proud men, and they had no trouble sharing their feelings.
“That was years ago,” Lewis said. “We got our dogs from the same people. He introduced me to the people I got my dogs through. The relationship and the friendship we’ll always have, bottom line. It’s just we’re not teammates any more.”
They will face each other for the third time Sunday, and just imagine what might happen next.