The threat of the vacants put the Ravens on notice that their time in the 2009-2010 season was coming to an end. The Ravens made other plans, flipped the script and put the Patriots in the vacants with a statement, winning 33-14.
Greg Mattison and Cam Cameron channeled their inner Michael and layed out a game plan to stop Tom Brady. Michael learned from Chris Partlow that getting early to the spot to scope out the landscape of a forthcoming execution was essential. Well the Ravens managed to strike early and often in the first quarter. With the first play of their first possession, Cameron called “Slow-2, Fast Through” for Ray Rice. He busted through his Tubbies on the Line for a 83-yd touchdown run. This would be the energy and fuel that the defense would need to get at the Patriots.
On their first defensive possession, “Organized Chaos” made its presence felt. Terrell “where have you been lately” Suggs made a strip of Brady that later resulted in a 14-0 lead. By the end of the first quarter, the Ravens had Brady mowing the lawn at Gillette Stadium, forcing him into three turnovers and a 24-0 deficit. The Ravens brought the blitzes and the hard hits, while the Patriots looked a shadow of their decade of dominating performances and three Super Bowl rings.
Listening to the hits on the tube, one had to think that it was only going to be a matter of time before the Ravens started catching the penalty fever. However, the Ravens kept their penalties to 3 for 15 yards in an unbelievable reversal of their regular season antics. Even more surprising was the single coverage of Domonique Foxowoth on Randy Moss. Foxworth played Linus's blanket better than he has done all season.
Joe Flacco pretty much kept an eye on the corner, handing off packages to Rice, Willis McGahee and Le'Ron McClain. His stats were a paltry 4-10 for 34 yards but he made sure to keep the rock out of the Patriots hands. The hip that is ailing Flacco was noticed in warm-ups, but it did not seem to hinder him in the game. Cameron kept his QB safe and limited his throws, but kept in him rhythm enough to keep that arm in shape.
Just like Michael, the Ravens have the keys to go as far as they want this postseason. And in their first test, when Snoop (Brady) asked “How my hair look, Mike?” The Ravens responded “You look good, Girl” before sending the Patriots packing.
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Written by Lea Anderson