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: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:19 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Why is everyone so enamored with Tom Brady? Even when he has a terrible game he still is seen as being the best QB in the universe. THe guy is a product of the system. Take the system away and he's a loser! 

Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 8:02 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

brady will have to play better in the superbowl.  and i think that he will. the ravens are an nfc type team. this was good practice for them. wilforlk sure played good for the pats. he was a difference maker in the first half. the ravens could not do anythingwith him. he blew up almost every play there for a while. the decision to throw long seemed likeit was a good one but wasnt. bellychickthinks that he is smarter than anyone else, so he thought he ha outsmarted the ravens, when in fact he played into their hands.

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:47 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

Manning????   Please, manning has had every intangible Brady has had and continuously didn't get it done.  Elway was borederline terrible his first 10 years as a passer, and no I'm not exagerating.  He was good with his feet and had a good defense and played in an era of very week teams in the afc.  Unitas is before my time, can't comment.  Montana had better stats in his 4 SB's than Brady, other than that, he's had better teams and talent around him than Brady. along with the greatest offensive mind in NFL history as his head coach.  Brady basically has been better in every other category except SB, and that includes other playoff games.

Bottomline, If Brady wins this SB. plays well, then he will go down as the best.  Montana never lead a team with a defense this bad anywhere, infact no QB ever has............... 

Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:38 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

As opposed to Montana did not have the luxury of a great head coach and the greatest Wide Receiver of all-time??
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.

Since: Jun 13, 2011
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:19 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

As opposed to Montana did not have the luxury of a great head coach and the greatest Wide Receiver of all-time??

Saying that Manning and Brady are not in the same class kills any semblance of your argument.  By any guideline, stats, wins, importance to team, they are the #1A and #1B quarterbacks of this generation.  Oh, and if he wins in two weeks, he'll have four times as many Super Bowl victories as Peyton.

Since: Nov 20, 2006
Posted on: January 22, 2012 7:10 pm

Patriots find way to win despite bad Brady effort

I like Brady but he is one blessed QB.  He is great but not quite in the Elway, Montana, Manning, Unitas class.  He has always had the benefit of a great head coach, good defense for the most part, and quite a bit of luck, i.e., tuck game against the Raiders and now the dropped TD pass by Evans.  And he has Gisele.

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