It used to be said that success comes by a good running game and a strong defense. All the experts said that if a team has these two attributes they will win a championship. This saying is dead and is only used by old timers and Mike Ditka.
While, of course, these attributes will help to win a championship, points are the new name of the game. It has been like this for quite a while. Tom Brady’s Patriots, Peyton Manning’s Colts, Kurt Warner’s Cardinals, Drew Bress’s Saints, all of these teams relied on their quarterback to win championships. They proved that ball control doesn’t matter much if a team scores every time they have the ball. So, with this new standard in place, one must look at Flacco and Brady to see who will win the AFC Championship.
Brady has been there before and will be there again. Everyone know he can win in the playoffs, have big game in the playoffs, and make the best defenses look subpar. Welker, Hernendaz, Grankowski, all of them have been making great plays, but will it continue.
Brady has relatively young receivers with little to no experience. It would be naive to think that there hands won’t be a little shaky and mind a little foggy. A few drop balls may come early, but can the wide receiver core get past it and make the catches they have been all year.
Flacco has never tasted Super Bowl Gatorade, but he has been in the AFC Championship game before. He is solid and hard to take down, has a good deep ball, and seems to be an average player in most big games. If the Ravens want to win this game Flacco will need an above average performance.
A great wide receiving performance can make a quarterback look like a genius. Flacco has receivers that can give him this performace, but will any of them step up? The Ravens wide receivers have not had these performances often throughout the season.
Torrey Smith is not catching game winning TDs and not living up to his second round pick. The Ravens also actively went out and picked up Lee Evans from the Buffalo Bills. The Ravens received Evans in exchange for a fourth round draft pick. Even with these low expectations, he still has not lived up to his potential. His injuries are over and it is time for him to be more than just a decoy. He has only recorded four catches during the regular season, but, in previous seasons, he has been a 1,000 yard receiver. So, we know he can make the catches.
Anquain Boldin has not played like a champion. He was brought to the Ravens to help Flacco be a champion, but finished out of the top thirty in total yards this season. Boldin was the fastest player ever to 300 and 400 receptions, is a multiple-time pro-bowler, and has came up big before in the playoffs. He had a long TD in his first playoff appearance and he also had 8 catches in the Super Bowl. The Ravens will need the Evans of old, a Torrey Smith who will make big catches, and a Boldin playing up to his potential if they want to keep up with the Patriots
Flacco has to remember two things when facing the Patriots secondary. First, Flacco must consider that the Patriots secondary was second from last in the regular season. Second, Flacco must be aware that the Patriots have the best secondary defense in the postseason this year. The Patriots defense is coming off the high of a dominating performance. This domination may propel them right over the Ravens. We all know Tebow was not the best quarterback, but one must wonder which Patriots defense will show up on Sunday.
We live in a new technological world, a new economical world, and we must realize that we are living in a new NFL. The quarterbacks are the “goalies, the “pitchers,” they are the people with the most power and potential. So will Flacco life up to his potential or will Brady continue his dominance?
About the Author
Written by Adam Sharp
I have always loved The Pats and I have always loved writing.