Tuesday Moring Running Back Wild Card Edition: Ravens Run Over Pats

Dan PieroniCorrespondent IJanuary 11, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots takes off his helmet as he walks to the sideline against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

To put it simply, to be a Patriots fan while watching the debacle that was yesterday's playoff loss to the Ravens was like walking into a PETA rally with a fur coat on.

In short, it wasn't a pretty picture.

One of the NFL's marquee teams looked old, over-matched, out of sync, and just plain horrible.

We should have known when Ray Rice scampered 83 yards for a touchdown to cap off the game first drive that this was not to be our day.

But excuse us for standing firm in our beliefs that Tom Brady would save the day and that Bill Belichick would produce a brilliant scheme to slow down the Ravens defense.

After all, The Patriots had not lost a playoff game at home in 32 years.

But when Terrell Suggs stripped Brady on the Patriots first offensive drive, leading to another Baltimore touchdown, it was clear the Patriots weren't themselves.

In the end, the Ravens were just too quick, hungrier, and they just flat out wanted it more.

Now comes the aftermath after the wreckage.

As sad as it is to admit, Tom Brady may have lost his status as an elite quarterback in the NFL.

You see, elite quarterbacks find ways to win in the most improbable circumstances.

While Brady was a master at doing that in the earlier part of his career, yesterday he and his offense had no answers for the tenacious Ravens pass rush.

Plus, the Ravens ran the ball freely against the  Patriots porous run defense, and the Patriots  secondary could not catch up to the Baltimore receivers.

If I'm the Patriots I have two priorities in the off-season.

1. Sign Wes Welker to a contract extension, he's too valuable to the offense.

2. Draft a good secondary player with speed, or a linebacker that can blitz at will.

As for the Ravens their game plan against the Colts is simple.

Keep creating turnovers.

Other idle thoughts about the playoffs and the NFL in general

  • I feel for Aaron Rodgers, to have a great comeback spoiled by a fumble return for a touchdown that ends your season is unfortunate.
  • The passing duel between Rodgers and Kurt Warner was a wonder to behold.
  • Lost in the shuffle of the offensive fireworks of the Cardinals/Packers game is the outstanding defensive effort of Karlos Dansby. He caused a fumble, and deflected a pass that led to an interception in addition to his game-winning score.
  • Early Doucet and Steve Breaston did a great job in compensating for the loss of Anquan Boldin.
  • Here's one from the irony department: The last team to win a playoff game on a defensive touchdown was the Packers when Al Harris took one to the house against the Seahawks in 2004.
  • You got to hand it to Tony Romo, leading five straight scoring drives in the second quarter broke the game wide open.
  • The Cowboys as a team went back to the formula that brought them success in the 70's and 90's. Score early, and do not turn the ball over on offense, and let the defense do the rest.
  • I guess the highlight of Michael Vick's return to the NFL so far was throwing a touchdown pass in a playoff game to Jeremy Maclin.
  • In his post-gamre press conference, Eagles coach Andy Reid said "When you get your tail kicked, it's not a great feeling." This has been another pearl of wisdom from the people who brought you "duh."
  • So much for DeSean Jackson saying that the Eagles were going to "sting" the Cowboys on his Twitter page.
  • I still don't think Mark Sanchez is that great of a quarterback, but he was efficient and did not turn the ball over.
  • Jets RB Shonn Greene showed the world why the Jets will continue to flourish when Thomas Jones leaves.
  • For the Bengals, it's 19 years and counting for a playoff victory. For me, it's 19 years and counting since I played with finger paint.
  • I certainly agree with a lot of game accounts I've been reading on the Jets/Bengals. Cincinnati needs another top-flight reciever to take the pressure off both Chad whatever is name is and Cedric Benson.
  • The key to the Jets having any chance against the Chargers is to stop the run, as there run defense is good but not great.
  • Mike Shanahan's presence will make the Redskins better, but there's still a lot of work to be done until they return to elite status.
  • I think Pete Carroll is making a mistake jumping to the Seahawks since he is on cloud nine at USC, but I wish him nothing but the best. He personally wrote me a letter on coaching when I was in eighth grade, and I've always thought highly of him since.
  • I think we got some good games to watch this weekend, see you next week for all the analysis.


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