Blog Entry

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Posted on: January 22, 2012 6:40 pm
Edited on: January 22, 2012 7:18 pm
Brady owes his teammates a big hug after the AFC Championship Game. (AP)
By Will Brinson

In the weirdest twist of events imaginable, Joe Flacco was great against the Patriots, Tom Brady was terrible against the Ravens, and New England still found a way to win the AFC Championship Game 23-20 on Sunday.

Brady's final statline -- 22 of 36 for 239 yards, zero touchdowns and two interceptions -- is the opposite of what you'd expect in a Pats victory, and that New England still won despite Brady should be terrifying for the Ravens.

"Well, I sucked pretty bad today but our defense saved us," Brady told CBS Sports Jim Nantz after the game. "I'm going to try and go out and do a better job in a couple weeks."

Both the Giants and the 49ers represent a similar issue for the Patriots as the Ravens: talented, pass-rushing defenses that can stymie any offense.

But Brady's got two weeks to prepare, Rob Gronkowski's got two weeks to heal, and Bill Belichick's got two weeks to gameplan. That's why New England will be the favorite regardless of who comes to Indianapolis from the NFC end of things.

It's also a testament to what the Patriots do best, which is -- somehow -- find unlikely, creative ways to win. Sterling Moore, who was cut from the Raiders practice squad in September, made two of the biggest plays of the game, knocking a would-be, go-ahead touchdown pass from Lee Evans hands and swatting a pass on the next play that forced the missed Billy Cundiff field goal with 15 seconds left.

Vince Wilfork was a monster all day and Brandon Spikes, rounding into form after dealing with injuries all season, made a critical interception of Joe Flacco just when the Ravens were starting to roll.

No, the Patriots defense wasn't "great" or even "good," but they found a way to limit the Ravens rushing attack (Ray Rice had just 67 yards on 21 carries) and make plays when they needed to.

Sixty more minutes of that, and they could find themselves holding another Lombardi Trophy. And the next time around, there's a pretty good chance that they don't end up having to save bad Brady's bacon.

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Since: Jan 23, 2012
Posted on: January 30, 2012 1:26 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

That it will,The Pats D are stepping up and brady and his arsenal of weapons will make it difficult for Eli to achieve his 4th quarter magic.

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: January 28, 2012 12:50 am

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Montana won 2 Super Bowls before Rice was drafted. Belichick is one of the all-time greats. Montana also was 4-0 in Super Bowls with 3 MVP's. He also had 11 TD's - 0 picks. That's unmatched in SB history. Brady may be great, but Joe is, was and will always be the greatest.

@ starblazer

Well said. Saying brady is better than montana is like saying kobe is better than jordan. No way in hell is brady better than montana. Joe was the greatest quarterback ever in what i have witness. People tend to forget montana did not have jerry rice his whole career and that he did win two super bowls prior to rice and taylor. If it wasn't for those great giant defenses in the 80's, montana might have 5-6 rings.

Since: Jan 9, 2008
Posted on: January 23, 2012 3:05 am

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Brady was the one who said he "sucked".

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 1:16 am

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

brady did not play that bad. on  one of thos interceptions the ball hit the guy in the helmet and bounced off. ifit hit hom in the helmet. thereceivershouldhave caught the ball. if flacco had not played so good. the pats would have won by a bunch, and everybody would have said brady played great. you win some, you lose some. sometimes the kicker misses an easy kick. life in the nfl. 

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:09 am

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

It will be interesting to see how Eli Manning and the Giants pick the NE defense apart, regardless of what Tom Brady does (or doesn't do).

Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 12:08 am

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort


Not disputing that Montana is the Greatest (at the present time...may change in the coming years), however, to say that Brady doesn't deserve to be mentioned among the elite group of Quarterbacks the league has seen, is ludicrous.

Since: Oct 21, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 11:08 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort


Since: Dec 24, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 10:06 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

LMAO bring it on Brady and Patriot haters, I understand you can't say anything that makes any sense and your all just jealous you don't have Brady and your teams are not as good as ours.

3 superbowls, going to his 5th in 11 years, one of the highest all time winning percentages of all time.

Enough said, no matter what you say it won't change the above fact.

Tom Brady is a winner and theres nothing you can say       

Since: Nov 7, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:51 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Instead of giving the Ravens defense (only the best defense in the NFL) a little credit for stopping brady, the story is "Brady sucks" it is sad, and Flacco is playing a defense no better than the Yale Bulldogs defense. I hate when writers act like the QBs are playing each other vice the teams defenses,  go back to writing about who Cutler and Brady sleep with, you are a hack.

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 22, 2012 9:43 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Tripod 22 couldnt of said it any better. Well done.

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