Game Balls and Goats
Patriots 14 - Ravens 33
The New England Patriots lost to the Baltimore Ravens to end their home playoff steak of being undefeated at home at 8 victories. Things went south early as New England fell behind 24 - 0. The lead proved to be too much overcome
Here are our game balls and goats for the game.
Wes Welker - Without Wes, this team has no offense.
Julian Edelman - Despite the hype, Edelman has lived up to the pressure. Amazing punt return, and a great run late (negated by penalty) were indicative of his determination to win. Patriots lucky to have a young playmaker on the roster. He actually got the crowd to roar when they were down by 3 scores.
Junior Seau - Seau's last game may have been this one. The team completely folded, but not Seau. His blast of LaRon McClain in the Balt 22 on a screen play was pure experience. Seau finished with 2 tackles, 3 assist.
Darius Butler -- Rookie played well when Shawn Spring went down. his 42 yard KO return gave NE hope when they were down 27-7.
Where do we start?
Coaching = Epic fail: The Ravens knew what was coming, and the Patriots tried to run it anyway in the fist half. The bubble screens - relied on far too long - were obvious even to those in the TV audience. The lack of draw plays, or passes to Moss in the first half, contribute to the debacle. This team misses Josh McDaniels.
Tom Brady - You cannot give the game away with a poorly thrown, throw away ball. Brady had Moss wide open for a crucial 3rd down in the third and he never looked his direction. 2 TDs and 3 INTs
even with tipped passes, were a bad day. What is amazing to us, Brady was 8/17 38 yards 1 TD, 2 INT and fumble at the half. No team can recover from that level of ineptitude.
Run defense - Blown play to start the game, caused a setback for the team. Inability to tackle a guy at first contact doomed them. Crucial plays came at point of contact. Patriots failed to stop the ball carrier.
OC Bill O'Brien: Lack of creativity and ability to adjust doomed the offense. Key, when we know the play just by watching, you think the Ravens have it figured out?
Injury Bug: It's no one's fault, but the injury bug killed this team. Losing Wes Welker was huge.
Front office: Sam Aiken and Matt Slater are not WRs you should be relying on. Not enough was done to get #3 and #4 WRs for this team. Horrible depth at the position. Finally came back to bit them.
Special teams: Despite some good returns by Darius Butler and Julian Edelman... this unit has underperformed since ST coach Scott O'Brien showed up.
Tacking: Inability to tackle a player upon contact contributed to the loss. Key first down conversions were because Patriots defenders couldn't wrap up.
O-Line: Again Matt Light lets Terrell Suggs strip sack Brady. Again Stephen Neal lets Ray Lewis blow up a play after blocking him initially. Lack of consistency doomed the offense early. By the time they corrected, the game was over.
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