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Old 01-17-2012, 11:51 AM    (permalink
BradysKnee
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I won't necessarily disagree with that but when you look back over the season...see the Ravens at 4-4 on the road...the lousy game they had last week...

And I keep breaking it down to this. Who do you take if pressed? A Bill Belichick coached team with Tom Brady at QB or a team with Joe Flacco at QB and Cam Cameron calling the shots?

I just don't like the Ravens in this matchup.
I agree with what you are saying. I do think the Pats win this one cleanly, but you never know if a team is gonna come out flat for whatever reason.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:51 AM    (permalink
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Another random side thought:

You know how people were pissing and moaning that Eli made the pro bowl?

Out of him, Rodgers, Brees and Stafford....who is the only one still going?
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:52 AM    (permalink
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I think gpngc has it right. Houston has been under the radar and continues to get zero credit for the way they played. It's all about the Ravens playing poorly, and we all should know it's very rarely that simple. I think the Texans D is far better than the Patriots and their Oline (and philosophy) is probably the better unit, too.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:22 PM    (permalink
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I think gpngc has it right. Houston has been under the radar and continues to get zero credit for the way they played. It's all about the Ravens playing poorly, and we all should know it's very rarely that simple. I think the Texans D is far better than the Patriots and their Oline (and philosophy) is probably the better unit, too.
Yeah, that's where I'm at. Don't underestimate the fact that the Texans were able to run the ball, which always keep the pressure back. People didn't give Houston enough credit going into the playoffs. They showed that against the Bengals and they certainly showed that against Baltimore, even in a loss. If Schaub was healthy, they might have had the best shot out of anyone to win the Super Bowl.

This game has me very nervous, I'm not going to lie. Really a toss up, strength on strength kind of game. We've had very mixed results against teams that run this style of defense in the past, usually going from one extreme to the other. I think that trend probably continues on Sunday. Our offensive line played their best game of the season against some very good Denver pass rushers, but the Ravens front is an entirely different animal, with multiple players who can take the game over.

I think this is one of those games where the tone will be set one way or the other early, even if the score stays close. It will be an interesting battle early on to determine who gets to decide what type of game it is. I think one of the real things we've got going for us in this one is that even if the Ravens win that battle, we've still got enough to hang around. With the type of offense we have, scoring can come at anytime. So even if they hold us to to say, 13 points through the first three, we well could explode and just score on every possession at the end. A lot of pressure will be on Flacco and their offense to convert scoring opportunities and to possess the ball as much as possible.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:25 PM    (permalink
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We'll see EE. I'm starting to question myself for having more faith in the Patriots in this one than actual Patriots fans.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:27 PM    (permalink
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We'll see EE. I'm starting to question myself for having more faith in the Patriots in this one than actual Patriots fans.
EE's always nervous lol.

But he's right on a lot of topics.

I think if NE gets up early say 14 then we win. Camcam will want to pass all the time and the Pats can play it instead of focusing on the run. That's what the gamechanger will be, if the pats can get up early on them.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:30 PM    (permalink
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I'm gonna pre-face this post by saying I'm admittedly a patriots hater (obviously) but I see some serious flaws with this team.

1. No defense, physical element: For lack of a better word, this is a soft team. They simply do not have the horses to play hard-hitting, physical, playoff football. They dont stop the run, they cant stop the pass, and they cant run the ball. Their O-line and D-line, while still good, have regressed from where they used to be. Wilfork and Gronk are the only physically imposing/intimidating players on this team. They have shown in the past that when they get hit in the mouth they simply cannot hit back. They are soft, bottom line.

2. Little known fact but the Pats have played TWO teams with a winning record this year. TWO freakin teams. Oh, and they lost to both of them. They are not battled tested like the other 3 teams remaining. They have been coasting the past 2 months and haven't even shared the field with a legitimate team since November.

3. One man show: This is not a championship caliber TEAM. You look at the Giants, Ravens and Niners and you see good/great players in all 3 levels of offense and defense. You look at the Pats, and they are just Tom Brady and friends. You get pressure on Brady and keep him from killing you, and you win. That simple. They have no other ways to beat you. No defense that can get stops or create turnovers, no running game to take the pressure off Brady and slow down the pass rush. Nothin. If Brady isn't perfect, the Pats lose.

I just dont see how this group is gonna win this weekend. Its gonna take Flacco straight ******** the bed and throwing 2-3 picks so Rice stops getting touches and the Ravens have to play catch-up. While possible, it certainly isn't likely (especially given the defense he's playing)

Am I the only one who see's this?
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:31 PM    (permalink
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EE's always nervous lol.

But he's right on a lot of topics.

I think if NE gets up early say 14 then we win. Camcam will want to pass all the time and the Pats can play it instead of focusing on the run. That's what the gamechanger will be, if the pats can get up early on them.
Hence the scenario I've been touting. If the Pats can get ahead early, Cam will go pass wacky. That is his forte.

And regardless of the defense, I like any team against the Ravens if Joe Flacco is flinging the ball around wildly the whole game.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:35 PM    (permalink
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Tough game this week. I respect the hell out of the 49ers. They play football the way I wanted the Giants to play football. That team reminds me of the Parcells Giants.

And oddly, we've taken on the old 49er style of play. It's like a role reversal from the old rivalry days of the 80s.

The game is going to come down to turnovers and redzone offense. I know most games come down to those 2 things, but my point in saying that is that these 2 teams are so evenly matched that I think whoever scores more TDs in the redzone and makes less mistakes wins it.

Tuck called the first meeting btw them a "4 yards and a cloud of dust game." This will be no different.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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We'll see EE. I'm starting to question myself for having more faith in the Patriots in this one than actual Patriots fans.
The one thing I can really say for this team is that they're peaking at the right time. Even though the score with the Broncos didn't mean or prove much at the end, we still played our best football on the year. Especially along the front seven and the offensive line. I'm just not sure that we'll be able to repeat that type of performance. Until that game, a full 60 minutes of consistent football had eluded us.

I just don't think this team has had a test quite like the Ravens yet. We played three playoff teams(including a weak Denver one) and two of them were able to completely knock us off our game. The Ravens are the type of team that's capable of doing that. Everyone seems to think that our tight ends are unstoppable. That's mostly true, but there have been teams that are able to limit the damage. If you can get a pass rush and force Gronk to stay in to protect and play solid zone on top of it, it just knocks everything off. Hernandez is a different player without Gronk demanding the lions share of the coverage. Still a useful one, but he's not capable of dominating a game on his own. We're able to mix up coverage schemes on those two by going to the no huddle, but again, if you can rush the passer it kind of forces us away from doing that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:36 PM    (permalink
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I think gpngc has it right. Houston has been under the radar and continues to get zero credit for the way they played. It's all about the Ravens playing poorly, and we all should know it's very rarely that simple. I think the Texans D is far better than the Patriots and their Oline (and philosophy) is probably the better unit, too.
I'm gunna make a third motion for this.

Even you BB have stated that this team with Schaub may have been the best team in the playoffs.

I still think this is a closer game than anyone thinks.

The Pats SHOULD have thumped the Broncos, a lot of teams should have. This shows that the pats definitely have their **** together.

On the other hand the Ravens beat a very good team in a close game in which the Texans team could not overcome a rookie QB. This shows the Ravens can indeed hang with good teams.

Yes the Pats have a better QB... they also lack the same caliber run game, OL and most importantly Defense
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:44 PM    (permalink
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I'm gunna make a third motion for this.

Even you BB have stated that this team with Schaub may have been the best team in the playoffs.

I still think this is a closer game than anyone thinks.

The Pats SHOULD have thumped the Broncos, a lot of teams should have. This shows that the pats definitely have their **** together.

On the other hand the Ravens beat a very good team in a close game in which the Texans team could not overcome a rookie QB. This shows the Ravens can indeed hang with good teams.

Yes the Pats have a better QB... they also lack the same caliber run game, OL and most importantly Defense
If they had Schaub you may have gotten blown out. A red zone possession handed to you on a muffed punt and 3 picks against a rookie QB...and you escaped with a one score victory. That was FUGLY. Even the ugliest win is better than the grandest loss, but it doesn't bode well for the future.

Maybe it will be a wakeup call for your team and they'll come out hot. Based on past road...mediocrity to say it nicely...I have my doubts.

And I just hate Cam Cameron. Tell me you feel comfortable with him as your playcaller in the AFC Championship game. Make that case if you can because I can't fathom it.

I always say that if I need to win one game, I want Bill Belichick as my head coach. Belichick's defensive mind >>>^∞ Cam Cameron's offensive mind.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:45 PM    (permalink
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I'm gonna pre-face this post by saying I'm admittedly a patriots hater (obviously) but I see some serious flaws with this team.

1. No defense, physical element: For lack of a better word, this is a soft team. They simply do not have the horses to play hard-hitting, physical, playoff football. They dont stop the run, they cant stop the pass, and they cant run the ball. Their O-line and D-line, while still good, have regressed from where they used to be. Wilfork and Gronk are the only physically imposing/intimidating players on this team. They have shown in the past that when they get hit in the mouth they simply cannot hit back. They are soft, bottom line.

2. Little known fact but the Pats have played TWO teams with a winning record this year. TWO freakin teams. Oh, and they lost to both of them. They are not battled tested like the other 3 teams remaining. They have been coasting the past 2 months and haven't even shared the field with a legitimate team since November.

3. One man show: This is not a championship caliber TEAM. You look at the Giants, Ravens and Niners and you see good/great players in all 3 levels of offense and defense. You look at the Pats, and they are just Tom Brady and friends. You get pressure on Brady and keep him from killing you, and you win. That simple. They have no other ways to beat you. No defense that can get stops or create turnovers, no running game to take the pressure off Brady and slow down the pass rush. Nothin. If Brady isn't perfect, the Pats lose.

I just dont see how this group is gonna win this weekend. Its gonna take Flacco straight ******** the bed and throwing 2-3 picks so Rice stops getting touches and the Ravens have to play catch-up. While possible, it certainly isn't likely (especially given the defense he's playing)

Am I the only one who see's this?
No, you're not the only one. The problem isn't recognizing this. The problem is stopping Brady. If the oline keeps him clean I don't think the Ravens can win. If the oline gives up the middle pressure that turns Brady into a scared, long-haired, water slide queen, it's the Ravens game.

I honestly don't see a middle ground in this game. It's one or the other. If they get to Brady it's easy, if they don't it's the Cam/Flacco aerial flop in an ugly game of catchup. The Pats D can cause turnovers. It's just a matter of how many points they give up prior to the big play.

Then again, it could be shootout and Flacco could look like a god. If Dan Orvlovsky can do it, anyone can.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:47 PM    (permalink
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I think most of the perspective I've heard from Ravens fans on our offensive line is flawed. It's not a group that's much more than average to a tick above, but they're extremely capable of playing good football for long stretches. The problem has been consistency. In early game situations where we aren't in no-huddle attack mode, they've been exposed for having issues picking up extra pressure. They've had issues generally settling in even...but when they have, they've done a great job of keeping Brady clean and have done it against some pretty decent pass rushers. They haven't been bad for an entire game once on the year, except maybe against Pittsburgh. That game had some extenuating circumstances though. Most of the pressure came from the right side, where Vollmer was trying to come back for the first time in like a month.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:49 PM    (permalink
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There's really 1 reason and 1 reason only why I think the Patriots will win this game fairly convincingly:

Joe Flacco.

If the Ravens had a qb with any sort of pocket presence, ability to read defenses, or consistent accuracy and anticipation skills, they'd win. But they don't. They have Joe Flacco.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:50 PM    (permalink
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There's really 1 reason and 1 reason only why I think the Patriots will win this game fairly convincingly:

Joe Flacco.

If the Ravens had a qb with any sort of pocket presence, ability to read defenses, or consistent accuracy and anticipation skills, they'd win. But they don't. They have Joe Flacco.
That's something I'm comfortable with. I could see Flacco getting a lot of yards on us, but as long as we contain the big play we'll be fine against the pass. We've been better and better about that lately. McCourty playing safety has been a big part of that.

I actually think our pass rush gets to him a bit too. That's been an area we've done well with lately, with Mark Anderson playing as well after losing Andre Carter. Shaun Ellis has even come on a little bit.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:54 PM    (permalink
Sloopy
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If they had Schaub you may have gotten blown out. A red zone possession handed to you on a muffed punt and 3 picks against a rookie QB...and you escaped with a one score victory. That was FUGLY. Even the ugliest win is better than the grandest loss, but it doesn't bode well for the future.

Maybe it will be a wakeup call for your team and they'll come out hot. Based on past road...mediocrity to say it nicely...I have my doubts.

And I just hate Cam Cameron. Tell me you feel comfortable with him as your playcaller in the AFC Championship game. Make that case if you can because I can't fathom it.

I always say that if I need to win one game, I want Bill Belichick as my head coach. Belichick's defensive mind >>>^∞ Cam Cameron's offensive mind.
Me too friend but we have been overcoming him all year.

I will never feel comfortable with him as a play caller.

My only point is that this idea that they will come out and beat us "soundly" is ridiculous.

The Pats certainly have their own deficiencies to deal with, mainly the fact that they are 0-2 against teams with winning records this season.

I will take a 4-4 record on the road with some let down losses to bad teams over an 0-2 record against teams who are better than .500

Baltimore's record against teams with winning records: 6-0 i'll take my chances
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Miller is visual sex on the field.

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Old 01-17-2012, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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There's really 1 reason and 1 reason only why I think the Patriots will win this game fairly convincingly:

Joe Flacco.

If the Ravens had a qb with any sort of pocket presence, ability to read defenses, or consistent accuracy and anticipation skills, they'd win. But they don't. They have Joe Flacco.
LEAVE JOE FLACCO ALONE! YOU ARE ALL TOO HARD ON HIM! HE'S SENSITIVE!
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:58 PM    (permalink
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Me too friend but we have been overcoming him all year.

I will never feel comfortable with him as a play caller.

My only point is that this idea that they will come out and beat us "soundly" is ridiculous.

The Pats certainly have their own deficiencies to deal with, mainly the fact that they are 0-2 against teams with winning records this season.
Except for...yanno...in the losses where Rice disappears and Flacco chucks the ball 900 times.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:59 PM    (permalink
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To be fair to Joe, Boldin doesn't get open. Joe made some super tight throws this past week in the completion he made.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:03 PM    (permalink
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To be fair to Joe, Boldin doesn't get open. Joe made some super tight throws this past week in the completion he made.
Boldin isn't the type of receiver who "gets open" really. He plays a physical game and makes tough catches then batters his way for some YAC.

Why Cam Cameron will send him 40 yards down the field when he can't get separation I have no idea...
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:04 PM    (permalink
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Except for...yanno...in the losses where Rice disappears and Flacco chucks the ball 900 times.
I understand that man, and I hate him too.

I still feel like you are overlooking the Pats deficiencies as well.

We may be able to get away with Cam's play calling (passes) against the 31st worst passing defense in the league.
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Miller is visual sex on the field.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:05 PM    (permalink
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I understand that man, and I hate him too.

I still feel like you are overlooking the Pats deficiencies as well.

We may be able to get away with Cam's play calling (passes) against the 31st worst passing defense in the league.
Flacco will probably throw for 300+ yards. However I think 2-3 turnovers (picks/fumbles) will seal it IMO.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:10 PM    (permalink
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I understand that man, and I hate him too.

I still feel like you are overlooking the Pats deficiencies as well.

We may be able to get away with Cam's play calling (passes) against the 31st worst passing defense in the league.
I realize this, but Belichick isn't just going to let it happen in a playoff game. He's going to come up with something. Remember, this is the guy who took down young Peyton Manning in epic fashion multiple times in the playoffs.

And if the something he comes up with works even slightly, it could be a bad day for the Ravens. Having McCourty play more safety is a nifty trick to start.

Perhaps I have too much faith in Belichick.
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Old 01-17-2012, 01:14 PM    (permalink
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I understand that man, and I hate him too.

I still feel like you are overlooking the Pats deficiencies as well.

We may be able to get away with Cam's play calling (passes) against the 31st worst passing defense in the league.
This is definitely being lost in the mix, I think.

I realize it was a while ago but this D was lit up in consecutive weeks by Vince Young (400 yards!) and Dan Orvlovsky (353) - nobody can convince me those two are better QBs than Flacco.
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