I think the pre-game humility is all an act. There is no whinier player in the NFL (look at how many times he begs for a flag on incidental contact). He acts spoiled/entitled, etc. But you can't take away the fact that he is one of the top 10 QBs ever to play the game. His resume alone should get him included on that list (5 AFC Championships, 3 NFL Championships, the most postseason wins by any QB in the history of the league).
I have no love for the guy, but give him his due. We may not like him, Baltimore, but we have to respect his abilities and his career.
Since 2009, the Patriots and Ravens have played 5 games, twice in the playoffs. The Patriots have won 3 games, the Ravens 2. NOTE: 4/5 have been in NE.
1 passing TD
0.4 rushing TD
24.2/39 for 62%
1.8 passing TD
0 rushing TD
21.6/33.4 for 64.7%
5 passing TD
2 rushing TD
9 passing TD
0 rushing TD
33-14 (playoff W)
20-23 (playoff L)
On a whole, Flacco has outplayed Brady. Of course Brady has played a tougher overall Ravens defense. I think Brady probably has his worst career numbers against the Ravens, of all teams. Plus we have the anomaly of the blowout playoff win where Flacco attempted just 10 passes for 34 yards.
The last 3 games have been decided by 3 points or less, both in NE and BAL. Take out the blowout and the loss margin only grows to 6 points (thank you Mark Clayton!).
Imagine if more of these games had been in BAL...
I can't be bothered to dislike the Patriots.
It's always been easy to hate the Steelers; their team has been populated with assholes, creeps, and cheap shot artists for *years*.
I just can't be bothered to hate the Patriots. They've had a few real toolbags over the years, such as cheap shot artist Rodney Harrison and that other safety, whose name I forget, who headbutted Todd Heap, but for the most part they're just football players.
Belichik appears to be a real deal asshole, but that's not really enough to get my blood boiling.
I still hope we kick their asses. I'm just not persuaded to think of them as the bad guys of the league.
(a) That's Belichik, not the players on the field, and
(b) The "cheating" was not exactly Ethan Hunt and his team of super spies stealing playbooks. They were stealing signals, which is bad, but when it happens in baseball nobody gets very excited. It wasn't slipping barbituates in the Jets' Gatorade cooler or anything. *That* would have been cool.
When I see Hines Ward, Joey Porter, James Harrison, Ben Roethlissberger, Knowshon Moreno, or most of the other so-called "stars" for the Steelers for the past fifteen years, I'm pissed all over again because they are various degrees of worthless human beings.
There have been precious few Patriots who bring that out in me.
Sure, Belihcik qualifies as a worthless human being. I hold him responsible for the cheating and he pops up in the news every now & then as a philandering asshole, but he's on the sideline, and really he's the only guy on that whole team who I feel that way about.
There have been some estimates that Brady knew well over half the opposition's defensive audibles because of it. Unless Brady is Manti Te'o levels of stupid, he would have known it wasn't normal for him to have that information.
398/578 68.9% 4806 50TD 8INT
327/516 63.4% 3693 21TD 11INT
Theyre really not that comparable, imo, certainly not similar enough to say its all system and ANY QB would be as good as Brady. Cassel used a much more "game manager" offense that year and rode a good defense. Brady broke records that were thought to never be broken. I dont think youre completely off base with saying that their system is very QB friendly but that doesnt take away that Brady in that system is just that much better than another QB. i think Cassels stats after leaving certainly help suggest that is QB friendly. Brady is every bit of the Elite QB hes earned.
When you lineup and you hear the calls which gives you the play they are running, how differently do all 11 on defense react??? For those who have played at the high school level or higher, it is a no brainer.
Have the offense run a play...then say out loud to both sides, "run that play again" and tell me what happens.
So, to make it more realistic, tell the offense what to run and then walk over to the defense and secretly tell them what the offense is about to run. Now tell me what happens.
In the last scenario, the defense shuts the play down completely because the offense is NOT aware that the defense knows.
How else does one explain the Pats using wideouts to play defense when the DBs were all hurt AND yet, they were successful??? even against Manning who could change the play at the line to take advantage of what he sees.
It was enough of an edge that made all the difference and calls into question all of their championships, period.
And it would have been the worst scandal any pro sports would have ever been through.
IMO, that is why the tapes/evidence was burned because it would have seriously damaged the reputation of the NFL.
And it is sad because they were and still are a very good team, and didn't need it to compete.
But it is obvious that some people in that organization will stop at nothing to get an edge whether it is inside the rules (paying other players/coaches within same season) or not (filming other teams closed practices).
The only thing illegal about spygate was that they used video tapes. teams always tried to get the other teams signals to gain that advantage. i thought it was blown out of proportion since day 1. most QBs and MLB diagnose the other teams plays and adjust accordingly, and today we dont use signals at all yet the same thing happens. thats odd, must be stealing radio signals now.
When teams dominate an era fans tend to think they must have an unfair advantage. Patriots spying the other teams signals or the Steelers taking steroids in the 70s. both are documented but both tend to leave out the part where other teams were doing the same or similar.
Greeny - the Jets fan? UGH
You guys hate Brady like we have Derek Jeter. I get it.
jeter a cool dude, he dont be whining
I'm not saying it was ok. I'm not saying I want the Ravens to do it. I'm just saying I can't be bothered to hate the team for years over it.
I was much more bothered by Bountygate, FWIW. I'm sure many would put them the other way around, but these relative valuations are idle chitchat among fans.
Back when Brady was a constant thorn in the side of Pitt, I rooted hard for him and his Pats. They've caused more misery in Pittsburgh than just about any other team I can think of. Hard to hate 'em for that!
Brady is a bit of a whiner, but it's impossible to play as long as he has and miss as few games as he has, and be a "wimp" at any level. I'll be rooting hard with every fiber of my being against him this weekend, but to say he's not one of the 10 best NFL QBs of all time seems silly. That's why Sunday's win will be so sweet - nothing like beating The Best to get where you want to go!