by Kennedy Ross (@FNscribeny)
Cold, Hard Football Facts AFC East Overlord
They say playing sports is more mental than it is physical. Even the collision fest we call pro football a lot of times comes down to a matter of will. Baltimore Ravens future Hall Of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis personifies the will that goes into playing football.
With every tear he has shed in the post season, it seems to water the fertile growth of indomitable will that grew in his team. Tonight that will manifested itself into pure aggression and physicality in the second half of this AFC Championship game.
The Ravens defense were hitting, and they were hitting hard. They were making the Patriot receivers pay for every quick slant and short out pass that Tom Brady threw to them. By games end, Wes Welker could be seen clearly wincing with every limping step he took to the line of scrimmage.
The Ravens were going home, but only to pick up a few things on their way to New Orleans and the Super Bowl.
The highest scoring team in the league was shut out in the second half of tonight's game. New England managed only one touchdown in four quarters. Normally it's one touchdown every four minutes, or so it seemed before tonight.
Tom Brady threw a lot (29-of-54). He threw for a lot (320 YDS). But that is where the good times ended. Brady threw two interceptions including the game clincher in the end zone. It was a poorly under thrown ball, that was easily picked off.
Speaking of end zone, the Patriots were 1-4 in the red zone in this game. The Ravens tightened, clamped down, and strangled the Patriots when they came close to the end zone.
They even knocked Patriots running back Steven Ridley completely unconscious for several seconds while the ball slipped out of his limp hands and into the Ravens clutches for one of their three turnovers.
On the other hand, Joe Flacco used the second half of the game to justify his confusion of why he gets no respect in this league. Flacco was 21-36 for 240 YDS and three touchdowns. It was definitely a coming out party for Flacco.
And as if things weren't bad enough for the Patriots, who haven't won a Super Bowl since SpyGate, head coach Bill Belichick snubbed the CBS post game interview, again. Pre-game show co-host Shannon Sharpe blasted Belichick for continuing to be a bad sport when the Patriots lose.
No doubt Belichick's poor sportsmanship will be morphed into competitive fire or some other euphemism that softens his Sith Lord persona.
Now Ray Lewis gets another two weeks to stock up on Kleenex if they manage to defeat the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in a coupe of weeks. He should send a box to Belichick who probably just didn't want to cry on camera.
The "Dark Side" abhors a cry baby.