Saturday morning I was waiting on line to get a bagel and the guy in back of me recognized me from my picture here on the site. To say the guy was annoying is an understatement. “Bagel Guy”, was more annoying than the cheesehead stalker guy on the Discount Double Choke commercials. For whatever reason he would not leave me alone. It was early in the morning and I hadn’t had my coffee yet and I really didn’t feel like being sociable; I just wanted a bagel and coffee. Bagel Guy just wouldn’t shut up however and insisted that I justify my logic about why I think the Baltimore Ravens can’t beat the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game.
I’m going to have to paraphrase this here because I can’t honestly say I can remember the exact wording to quote him, but this is pretty close to what he actually said.
“Mike they have they have Ray Lewis. He’s one bad dude. And they have Ed Reed, the guy is like Willie Mays in pads, he catches everything. That’s two Hall of Famers plus Terrell Suggs who had 14 sacks and Haloti freakin’ Ngata. That guy’s is a beast!”
The funny thing is that I’ve taken more flack for suggesting that this game will be a blowout than any prediction I’ve made this season. It’s like the world is anti-Patriots all of a sudden. Let me first tell you that as a huge New York Jets fan, I can’t stand Belichick, I hate Brady, hell I can’t even get into Gisele; but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let logic stand in the way of reason.
In the world of the NFL, Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are old men now. They are starting to break down and can’t do the things they physically used to be able to do. Lewis doesn’t intimidate anyone any more. He tries, but no one takes him seriously because he can’t back it up. Lewis spent more time on his ass last week watching Arian Foster run by him after the Houston Texans’ offensive linemen mauled him then he did making tackles. And how many times during the game did Reed go to the ground and then look like a punch-drunk boxer trying to get up, dazed and confused? While Reed did make an interception to seal the game, he looked like an aging Mickey Mantle hopping around the field the whole day. You or I could have figured out where T.J. Yates was going with that ball. That’s not going to work against Tom Brady.
Let’s forget about the damage I think that Brady and Co. will do to the Ravens defense; I don’t think the Ravens will be able to score on offense with any regularity either. As I said when looking at this matchup earlier in the week……
I know everyone talks about how suspect the Patriots defense has been and that they ranked 31st in the league giving up 411.1 yards per game, but that’s pretty deceiving. The 15-1 Green Bay Packers, who just last week were the favorite to win the Super Bowl, was the sole team behind the Patriots giving up 411.6 yards per game. When you’re a team routinely up by 20 points in the 4thquarter and exchanging yards for time off the clock, the yards against you tend to pile up on the stat sheet. It’s meaningless. The reality is that the Patriots were smack in the middle of the pack. They were 15th in scoring defense. And with their offense, that’s good enough to win more often than not.
Baltimore’s defense has been a dominant force in this league for more than a decade now, but I think that all ends on Sunday at 3pm ET in Foxborough. Forget the playoff game that these two teams played two years ago at Gillette Stadium, this time will be different. This Ravens defense trying to match-up against the 2011-12 offensive machine New England is running out there will be much like Def Leppard’s Joe Elliot and Phil Collen still trying to sing Hysteria…
It ain’t pretty…
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- The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.