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NFL Championship Sunday (and post-season awards too)

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It's funny, Joe Flacco is either going to be Eli Manning the rest of his career (a guy who can play well in big games, but be bafflingly inconsistent) or become one of the truly elite, a guy who is terrific almost every single week. The latter seemed like a pipe dream for Flacco not so long ago, but clearly it's no longer far-fatched.

As for BB and Brady, both parties deserve to take hits for this loss, though it's not Brady's fault that Welker had a huge drop, and that Ridley was Lindrossed into losing a costly fumble. But for both guys, it's more of the same: The Genius' D gets carved up in key spots, and the Pats' "unstoppable" offense gets, well, stopped. Last night was the 4th time in their last 8 playoff games that the NE offense was held to 17 points or less...in a fifth game, against the Jets, only a very late 4th-quarter touchdown where NE was losing 28-14 prevented that from happening a fifth time. And in their last 10, for a team that averages well over 30 PPG in the regular season, they have managed to score 30+ just three times in those 10 games. They are 3-0 in those games, and 2-5 in the other 7, which shows how The Genius' D rarely props up the offense when it's not putting up big numbers.

Letting Welker go might sound crazy, but all things being equal: the guy is 32 years old at the start of next season, he's going to be looking for a big mega-year deal, and he's taken some big hits through the years. He hasn't shown any real signs of decline yet, but a signing an older receiver to huge dollars seems risky. The Pats may always be in the mix for Super Bowl contention, but status quo (starting with 2007) has been "Have a great regular season, bully-up during some of the regular season victories, then come up small during the playoffs." The Pats are now 3-5 in their last 8 playoff games, and three of those losses came at home. Brady's TD-to-INT ratio is a very pedestrian 17-to-10 in those 8 games...take out the win against the Broncos, and it's a very mediocre 11-to-9 in the other seven. Clearly status quo is running its course...it's time to shake things up.

The defense showed some signs of improvement, but it's still not nearly good enough. That should be the offseason focus again.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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In fairness CR: Prior to the Talib injury, I didn't think our offense would be able to move. Your cover guys did a fantastic job of not letting our guys off the line of scrimmage and just shadowed them. Once Chung went down that is when we just turned it on. The one thing that did surprise me is that even though your coverage was stellar, I didn't really see Flacco getting pressured much.

Now that Caldwell is in charge of the Offense, Flacco has more command at the line of scrimmage to read the defense and adjust. He was not allowed to change the play under Cameron. Ray has already annointed Flacco to be "the new leader" on the Ravens and he has come through. I will continue to wear my

"5" jersey with pride.

P.S. Loved Suggs accosting the media in the post game.

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Really happy to see Brady and the Pats sent home but I'm getting sick of seeing Ray Lewis and his whining and crying about jesus and god every single week.

Let's go niners.

This!

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Really happy to see Brady and the Pats sent home but I'm getting sick of seeing Ray Lewis and his whining and crying about jesus and god every single week.

I admit it. I cringe A LOT when Ray goes into preacher mode. I am very happy when CBS cuts from the bullS@#t, to get back to some relevant insights about the game.

And yes, GO NINERS!!!! I want yet another 10 point spread against us to prove the doubters yet again on the big stage.

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In fairness CR: Prior to the Talib injury, I didn't think our offense would be able to move. Your cover guys did a fantastic job of not letting our guys off the line of scrimmage and just shadowed them. Once Chung went down that is when we just turned it on. The one thing that did surprise me is that even though your coverage was stellar, I didn't really see Flacco getting pressured much.

Now that Caldwell is in charge of the Offense, Flacco has more command at the line of scrimmage to read the defense and adjust. He was not allowed to change the play under Cameron. Ray has already annointed Flacco to be "the new leader" on the Ravens and he has come through. I will continue to wear my

"5" jersey with pride.

P.S. Loved Suggs accosting the media in the post game.

"Tell them to have fun at the Pro Bowl,” Suggs said after the game, via Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports.  “Arrogant f–kers.” Lmfao, love it.

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I'm surprised I didn't hear anyone (Simms, Nantz, Berman, Jackson, etc.) bring up the possibility the Pollard hit on Ridley might've been worthy of a penalty for helmet-to-helmet. I'm not saying it should've been called because it might've been caused partially by Ridley himself. But still, that was a big moment in the game. And it was obviously why he got crumpled.

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"None of y'all picked us last week," Suggs grumbled to reporters. "And nobody picked up this week."

"There is no room left on the bandwagon," Terrell Suggs, the boisterous linebacker, declared in the middle of the festive visitor's locker room after the 28-13 statement.

I'm surprised I didn't hear anyone (Simms, Nantz, Berman, Jackson, etc.) bring up the possibility the Pollard hit on Ridley might've been worthy of a penalty for helmet-to-helmet. I'm not saying it should've been called because it might've been caused partially by Ridley himself. But still, that was a big moment in the game. And it was obviously why he got crumpled.

Could have said that on the Pitta hit as well. That call is far too subjective. Most of the ones I have seen have been more shoulder than helmet to helmet.

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"None of y'all picked us last week," Suggs grumbled to reporters. "And nobody picked up this week."

"There is no room left on the bandwagon," Terrell Suggs, the boisterous linebacker, declared in the middle of the festive visitor's locker room after the 28-13 statement.

Could have said that on the Pitta hit as well. That call is far too subjective. Most of the ones I have seen have been more shoulder than helmet to helmet.

Manta,

All I can say is.....THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

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Manta,

All I can say is.....THANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

LOTCB, I will leave you with this:

The first thing Terrell Suggs did after leaving the Gillette Stadium field and entering the hallways after the Ravens’ 28-13 beating of the Patriots was shout, all the way to the locker room, “Tell them to have fun in the Pro Bowl! Arrogant f***ers.” Suggs was overheard taking verbal shots at the Patriots, and was captured by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel on his Twitter feed, calling them “the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with [bill] Belichick on down.”

Wetzel also tweeted that Suggs said, “That’s funny, ever since Spygate they haven’t been able to win.”

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It's not helmet to helmet penalty when a player is a runner, which Ridley was. Just a defenseless receiver.

I am so tired of any coverage of Ray Lewis. He shouldn't even be part of the narrative. You could stick any starting MLB in the league n this Ravens team, and in most cases they would be better off, but probably not in many cases are they really worse off. He just isn't very good anymore. Simple as that. And his shtick is getting pretty old now.

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I am so tired of any coverage of Ray Lewis. He shouldn't even be part of the narrative. You could stick any starting MLB in the league n this Ravens team, and in most cases they would be better off, but probably not in many cases are they really worse off. He just isn't very good anymore. Simple as that. And his shtick is getting pretty old now.

SO WRONG.

Lewis will always lead the game in tackles, and he sets up our defenses. He makes teams notice when he is on the field.

It is night and day, when he isn't in the line-up.

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It's not helmet to helmet penalty when a player is a runner, which Ridley was. Just a defenseless receiver.

I am so tired of any coverage of Ray Lewis. He shouldn't even be part of the narrative. You could stick any starting MLB in the league n this Ravens team, and in most cases they would be better off, but probably not in many cases are they really worse off. He just isn't very good anymore. Simple as that. And his shtick is getting pretty old now.

Interesting, I did not know that!

This article I just found backs you up:

http://profootballta...ey-pats-fumble/

"Not mentioned by Leavy was the helmet-to-helmet nature of the hit that knocked the ball loose. That’s because helmet-to-helmet hits against runners aren’t prohibited. Though some believe the rules in this regard are inconsistent or vague, the NFL’s goal is to ensure that players not able to try to avoid a helmet-to-helmet hit shouldn’t be subjected to a helmet-to-helmet hit. That’s why the rule applies only to players in a defenseless posture, like quarterbacks throwing a pass and receivers just after catching one.

"Some may disagree with the reasoning, but that’s the rule — and that’s why Ridley was fair game for a helmet-to-helmet hit. And for the fumble that resulted when the hit knocked him sufficiently loopy to lose control of the ball."

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LOTCB, I will leave you with this:

The first thing Terrell Suggs did after leaving the Gillette Stadium field and entering the hallways after the Ravens’ 28-13 beating of the Patriots was shout, all the way to the locker room, “Tell them to have fun in the Pro Bowl! Arrogant f***ers.” Suggs was overheard taking verbal shots at the Patriots, and was captured by Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel on his Twitter feed, calling them “the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with [bill] Belichick on down.”

Wetzel also tweeted that Suggs said, “That’s funny, ever since Spygate they haven’t been able to win.”

LOL I love it...let's hope this is commences the downslide of the Pats*...they have been great but I've had enough of them!

Also loved when Suggs voted for Ryan Fitzpatrick over Brady for the Pro Bowl a few years back...hilarious

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I would never count out Tom Brady or Belichek.

They have been the most dominant team in the NFL for the past decade and have made some good moves to build towards the future.

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I would never count out Tom Brady or Belichek.

They have been the most dominant team in the NFL for the past decade and have made some good moves to build towards the future.

Brady isn't showing signs of physical decline yet, but he needs to improve his playoff performances as of late. He is still living off the three rings, which buys him A LOT of currency (understandably so), but like I've pointed out, the last several games have been uneven and not great overall.

BB needs to bring in a defensive coordinator and let him run the show. Patricia is a puppethead. BBs Ds haven't gotten it done in a long time. I don't have confidence in him putting together a top-tier defense anymore, and the Pats need one, because after this postseason, I can't count on the offense to carry the Patriots to wins like I can in the regular season. They need a new perspective to make this happen.

But they do have the personnel to keep status quo for a while (make the playoffs, possibly win a game or two before bowing out). A lot of other teams' fans would take what the Patriots have done over the past several seasons (a 16-0 season, two Super Bowl appearances, three AFC title games, and constant relevance), but like the Yankees of the 2000s, or the Braves of the 90s and beyond, when the prosperity doesn't result in titles, or not nearly enough of them, there's no shortage of fans from other teams waiting to let you hear about it.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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Brady isn't showing signs of physical decline yet, but he needs to improve his playoff performances as of late. He is still living off the three rings, which buys him A LOT of currency (understandably so), but like I've pointed out, the last several games have been uneven and not great overall.

BB needs to bring in a defensive coordinator and let him run the show. Patricia is a puppethead. BBs Ds haven't gotten in done in a long time. I don't have confidence in him putting together a top-tier defense anymore, and the Pats need one, because after this postseason, I can't count on the offense to carry the Patriots to carry the team to wins like I can in the regular season. They need a new perspective to make this happen.

But they do have the personnel to keep status quo for a while (make the playoffs, possibly win a game or two before bowing out). A lot of other teams' fans would take what the Patriots have done over the past several seasons (a 16-0 season, two Super Bowl appearances, three AFC title games, and constant relevance), but like the Yankees of the 2000s, or the Braves of the 90s and beyond, when the prosperity doesn't result in titles, or not nearly enough of them, there's no shortage of fans from other teams waiting to let you hear about it.

I don't know if its Brady, or the fact that smart defenesive coordinators (typically in the playoffs) can take away his comfort zone.

I think it calls on the OC to make the half time adjustments, or prepare better agains the better Defenses. Brady' is already asked to win the game himself for the most part.

On the defensive side, I don't think BB has the horses, or has developed the horses to ride deep in the playoffs.

Since Seymour was traded, you have had no dominant pass rusher, which every Superbowl team needs to win.

Your linebacking corp is not as talented as when you had Teddy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel.

And you also haven't had the intimidating secondary without Ty Law and Rodney Harrison

You had a core that is gone on the Defensive side. It is still rebuiliding but you just don't have those dominant players anymore, that BB had the luxury of having to win his championships.

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I don't know if its Brady, or the fact that smart defenesive coordinators (typically in the playoffs) can take away his comfort zone.

I think it calls on the OC to make the half time adjustments, or prepare better agains the better Defenses. Brady' is already asked to win the game himself for the most part.

On the defensive side, I don't think BB has the horses, or has developed the horses to ride deep in the playoffs.

Since Seymour was traded, you have had no dominant pass rusher, which every Superbowl team needs to win.

Your linebacking corp is not as talented as when you had Teddy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel.

And you also haven't had the intimidating secondary without Ty Law and Rodney Harrison

You had a core that is gone on the Defensive side. It is still rebuiliding but you just don't have those dominant players anymore, that BB had the luxury of having to win his championships.

I'm hopeful for this new crop, as far as the D goes. They're not there yet, but they seem to have improved somewhat. Unfortunately, the Ty Law-types are very hard to come by. This offseason is going to be key...Pats have in to go into win now mode more than ever...Brady will be 36 by next season's start. Re-building the D (which seems to be taking forever) needs to be fast-tracked.

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I'm hopeful for this new crop, as far as the D goes. They're not there yet, but they seem to have improved somewhat. Unfortunately, the Ty Law-types are very hard to come by. This offseason is going to be key...Pats have in to go into win now mode more than ever...Brady will be 36 by next season's start. Re-building the D (which seems to be taking forever) needs to be fast-tracked.

I agree 100%.

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Cr, how about this for a comparison. Those devils teams post lockout until last year where they would be a consistent top four seed and have a great looking regular season and then became greatly exposed in the playoffs. That's how I feel about the Pats now. I don't think anyone has that great fear of them anymore.

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The Pats DID get to a couple of Super Bowls though, and were a hair away from winning either. They're just not invincible at home anymore, they really don't have the 'type' of team built to win in January cold, though they took a step towards that this year by establishing Ridley and the other RB's as a threat. Still need the D for that, and like someone else said not having a deep threat at WR hurts too (not to mention not having Gronk yesterday).

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Cr, how about this for a comparison. Those devils teams post lockout until last year where they would be a consistent top four seed and have a great looking regular season and then became greatly exposed in the playoffs. That's how I feel about the Pats now. I don't think anyone has that great fear of them anymore.

The difference is a lot of those Devils teams you're talking about put up nice records, but poor goal differentials (for their record), and weren't terribly flashy in most years...they seemed to have to battle for a lot of their wins. The Patriots win a lot of games in dynamic, exciting style, as offensively strong teams tend to, and a lot of the wins come easy. Maybe too much so. But that's why the expectations persist, though as I've pointed out on multiple occasions, I've seen this team stumble enough come playoff time that a result like yesterday's no longer comes as a shock...I almost half-expect it at this point.

But yeah, they've now dropped three out of their last five home playoff games, and it was very nearly four. With this loss, the mystique is now 100% gone. There's no fear about going into Gillette anymore.

NJDevs4978, you are right, but when you've won three SBs, and the big guys who made their names in winning the first three are still there (with Brady still being a great player), they're going to hear about it from a number of sources when they don't get it done...the bar has been set that high. In time, people will step back and realize that 5 SB appearances and 7 AFC Championship games was pretty impressive, but because the three SB wins came first, the rest won't be good enough in many fans' eyes.

Edited by Colorado Rockies 1976

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