Best word to describe the Patriots’ 41-7 thrashing of the Ravens? Orgasmic.
Now, it’s only fair to point out that the game wasn’t that lopsided, and, if the Ravens had scored any points on either of the two drives when they were stopped on fourth down, or if Justin Tucker hadn’t missed his first kick since Obama took office (seemingly), we could have been looking at a 24-14 type game.
Either way… the Patriots just went into Baltimore to play their biggest rival of the past five seasons (the Jets are easily hated more, but at least the Ravens are a respectable franchise), and literally bitchslapped the entire team. Logan Ryan had the game of his life, with two interceptions and a huge knock-down on fourth down that, if he was a little bit more selfish, could have been his third pick.
Julian Edelman is now 4 rec and 9 yards from 100 and 1000. Read that again.
Brady didn’t even have to play that well because of how great the rest of the team did, in particular, his offensive line. They probably deserve the biggest spotlight from Sunday’s game, because every expert and his mother was predicting the Ravens’ fierce D-line to beat up the Pats’ hobbled O-line. And yet, they held up at a near miraculous level. Brady was sacked only twice, and the Pats RBs ran for 142 yards on 34 carries for an average of 4.2 YPC. Logan Mankins played ridiculously well on the outside, and Marcus Cannon did a great job in his return to the lineup. An important side note about Mankins is to remember how catastrophic it would’ve been if the Pats and Kraft had taken the negotiations with him personally a few years ago. He’s crucial, and, while it should never have taken the franchise that long to sign him in the first place, it’s great that they came to their senses at some point.
If the Pats win next week, they have a first round bye. If Denver also loses, they have the 1 seed. The problem is that the Pats really can’t lose, because they could easily fall all the way to the 4 seed behind Cincy and Indy. Cincy would beat out the Pats because of head-to-head record, and Indy would beat out the Pats by conference record, assuming both teams win. Cincy plays at home vs. the Ravens, who still control their own destiny thanks to a Dolphins loss, and Indy plays the Jags at home.
But the most important thing about the current seedings is that the Pats are in the driver’s seat for a bye, which they need. First of all, at this rate, about 4 guys get injured every week, so not playing one weekend allows them not to add to that total. Second, Devin McCourty went down with a concussion this week, and it looked bad enough that he definitely won’t play in Week 17. Shane Vereen, now a huge option for Brady, sustained a groin injury that is really unclear in terms of how serious it is. Beyond those two, Solder, Thompkins, and Dennard would all love to rest their bodies in an extra week in January.
It’s also important to remember that, even though the Pats just beat a potential playoff team by 34 in December in their second straight game on the road, they’re still just 4-4 away from Foxboro and 7-0 at home. Take care of business and guarantee only having to leave Gilette for one game in the AFC Playoffs.
This is where I love rooting for a team coached by In Bill We Trust. We can rejoice over a beat down and have just about zero worries of a trap game/lack of mental toughness next week.
PS: Check this out and try not to laugh.