Patriots-Ravens Round 2

The Patriots may have caught a break with the Ravens beating the Broncos in Denver Saturday, meaning the Patriots will now host Baltimore in Sunday’s AFC Championship. Don’t think it will be an easy win, despite the early line set at -9.5. The Ravens are one of the few teams who have given the Patriots fits in the past and don’t give an inch when going toe to toe with Brady and New England.

In fact, Brady’s two worst playoff games have come against the Baltimore defense. In the teams’ 2010 season playoff matchup Brady was 23-42 for 153 yards, two touchdowns, but three interceptions for a QB rating of 49. in the Ravens’ 33-14 beat down. Brady did not play particularly well in last year’s AFC Championship game where the Patriots pulled put a 23-20 win. He finished 22-36 for 239 yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions for a rating of 57.5.

For those keeping track of media member predictions, Michael Felger already gave his, saying the Ravens would upset the Patriots on Sunday. This despite being all over Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco all season long.

For full Patriots coverage visit Patriotslinks.com.

They were nothing special covering kicks- Shalise Manza Young looks back at Sunday’s game and how poor the Patriots special teams played, especially the kick off team.

Patriots report card- Ron Borges hands out his grades from Sunday’s win. For the most part they were very good.

No introductions needed for AFC title game- Tony Massarotti says these teams know each other so well and it always is a one possession game, so the opening line of -9.5 is way too high.

Refresher on Patriots-Ravens- Mike Reiss looks back at the two teams’ matchup from Week 3, but notes a lot has changed for both teams since the game.

Patriots quietly take out any trash talk- Jeff Howe has the Patriots, as expected, not giving in to any trash talk despite what a few Ravens have said.

Why Patriots could beat Ravens- Kirk Minihane says unlike the Houston game, there is a chance Baltimore could pull off an upset Sunday.

Curran: I don’t see Ravens as a threat- Tom E. Curran doesn’t think the Ravens will pose much of a threat on Sunday.

  • GStill45

    Notice how Tom E. Curran says he thinks the Pats should win easily without sounding a smarmy as Shank?

    Massarotti’s column is a must read if you just started following football in the last 3 weeks.

  • Winning_Again

    We shouldn’t be surprised by Felger picking the Ravens. He admitted on the CSNNE video (as TEC pointed out, kudos to him) that “his job is to stir the pot.” What better way to irk Patriots fans, generate buzz, calls, and columns then to pick the Ravens after he has said Joe Flacco is a bottom 5 quarterback. I’ll give Felger this, he’s smart because his “takes” do generate buzz, and that seems to be all he desires at this point in his career.

    Nice to also see the “Yes Man” hardly challenge his Boss on this, other than a quick Fraud comment. I won’t criticize anyone for picking against the Pats if they can provide reason. Felger simply provides “destiny” as his reason.

    • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

      I think you’re right on the first paragraph.

      If I’m remembering the time correctly, he picked it right at the top of the 3PM hour, leaving 19 hours of F+M for this to be “fodder” for callers/etc. This does not include the folks who listen to F+M but wind up calling into/listening to the rest of the shows to gauge a reaction.

      No reasonable person cares who a person picks. I think we’re all going to agree there. What a reasonable person also asks is some type of rationale, so you’re not seen as a bomb thrower. Unfortunately, in this day and age, you’re seen as a “fraud” and heretic for doing so in a team’s home market, with sports talk being ground zero for it. Almost immediately after, the first 2-3 calls I heard were people so irate, they wanted to euthanize Skip Felger.

      Skip Felger 1 | Good, intelligent talk 0.

      As you said, I think this was done at 3PM on Monday instead of at 5:55PM on Friday to “generate buzz”.

      To be fair, can we blame him for doing it in order to placate those above him (management)? He’ll take some heat here and other forums but… I’m just not sure what we can do about it. I see it as the dichotomy with all media these days. You don’t generate buzz/ratings without an “unintelligent” move like this.

      • Winning_Again

        I don’t have a problem with Felger doing this, just more of a note as to why he does it. He knows it will elicit a response.

        In other news, leave it to Jermaine Wiggins to call out Felger on his bogus Ravens pick. Albeit very incoherently, Wiggy is (as I write this) pointing out that Felger is picking the Ravens, just to pick them. He’s not picking them based on any logical analysis. He then cited Mazz for at least providing a reason why he’s picking the Pats to win. Then proceeded to attack Felger again, and Mazz is of course, defending his BOSS, saying that Wiggy is just not listening to him. Someone should call National Geographic or Guiness Book of Records to go to 98.5 studios for the worlds first living Parrot born without a spine.

        • John

          Dude.. what are you talking about?? Felger gave reasons… the Ravens seem to be getting on a roll going into this game (which is the trend with recent superbowl winners), Flacco’s been playing well lately and will most likely put up 20+ pts, they have slightly better big play receivers going into this game, etc. You guys are brutal. What is Wiggins’ ‘logical’ analysis in picking the Pats?

        • Winning_Again

          See to me, those don’t qualify as reasons.

          1) “The Ravens seem to be getting on a roll” – This doesn’t make sense to me not matter how you justify it. Felger wants to say starting with the Ravens win over the Giants. Since 12/23, the Ravens are 3-1 (they played an extra game due to wildcard) and the Pats are 3-0. How is one considered a “roll” and not the other? If you want to go back even further, since 10/21 the Pats went 10-1 and the Ravens went 7-5.

          2) “Flacco’s been playing well lately and will most likely put up 20+ pts” – Flacco has played well, but it’s not like Brady has been a slouch. Flacco can put up 24 and lose 38-24.

          3) “They have slightly better big play receivers going into this game” – They definitely have faster guys, but they drop plenty. So if Talib goes against Boldin, their biggest and most physical received, that means they will likely put safety help over the top with Torrie Smith. Granted, you may have a Jacoby Jones sighting, but that is just as tough to predict as another big game out of Shane Vereen.

  • http://www.bostonsportsmediawatch.com/ bsmfan

    I didn’t see this on the links but the cover of SI this week mentions the article by Tito on the Sox.

    @SINow Demise of the #RedSox Empire… by Terry Francona? Looks like Sports Illustrated is a must read this week http://pic.twitter.com/FI20RYjO

    SI used to publish the articles in Tuesdays in the vault for non-subscribers but they wait a week now so you have to buy the magazine.

    Obviously, Shaughnessy is talking about it now, given who the author is. I’m sure more excerpts will come out as the book comes out a week from now:

    http://www.amazon.com/Francona-The-Red-Sox-Years/dp/0547928173

  • dan

    Felger has sounded genuinely miffed the last two days. I am serious when I say the Tom E. Curran hurt his feelings. Felger is such a baby that he’s picking the Ravens just because he’s fighting with Curran. So if the Ravens do win then he’s going to rub Tom’s nose in it. Trust me,he took it personal when Tom basically called his show a joke.

  • http://twitter.com/Quiddity99 Brian Shea

    In Felger’s defense, his earlier bashing of Flacco does not make him a hypocrite here, he’s said that Flacco doesn’t need to have a good game for the Ravens to win, and that has been the case in the past, the 2009 playoff game being the best example.

    I do agree that overall though, he’s picking the Ravens to get a reaction and doesn’t have much logical thought behind it, at least when I’ve been able to listen to him. People forget how much he and YARM hyped up the potential of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed retiring last year as reason for the Ravens to win, and at the end of the day they still lost to the Pats. Back when the Pats appeared to not be in position to get a bye, Felger and YARM would gleefully look back at a year like 2006 where the Pats had to play wild card weekend then on the road in San Diego as to why they had low chances of winning the Super Bowl, but completely ignore that Baltimore has not only done that for all intents and purposes this year, but also played an extra quarter on Saturday. I think that will be a factor in the Pats winning this and is something that they almost certainly will ignore this week.