NFL Championship Game Sunday - - Patriots Are The Team To Beat
AFC Championship Game Baltimore Ravens New England Patriots 3:00 PM ET CBS
In the AFC the Baltimore Ravens will go into Massachusetts to take on the New England Patriots. The key to this game is to outscore Tom Brady and company.
Brady can do things at the QB position that most can only dream about and when he goes no huddle it could really take the Ravens defense out of sync.
“I think just about every team in this league runs it, at least in a two-minute situation. We work on it every week, I know defensively we look at other teams; every team we play, they mix it in during the game or you certainly see it when time is at a premium. Tom does a good job with it, he has, we’ve done that for years,” said Pats coach, Bill Belichick. “He has a good presence on the field. It’s really all 11 guys being able to do it, it’s not just the quarterback. He can call something but everybody else has to make their adjustments, make their calls, recognize what the defense is in, they’re scrambling around to get lined up, you’re scrambling around to get lined up. A lot of times it isn’t a real clean look. It’s incumbent on everybody, not just the quarterback but all 11 guys to be able to get the play and execute it based on whatever the look is. A lot of times those looks aren’t static. People are moving into position and they’re adjusting and you’re trying to play fast and they’re trying to play fast. It’s not as clean as it sometimes when you go up there and stand at the line for 10 seconds.”
The Patriots X-factor is their double tight end situation with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
“They’re obviously a huge part of what we do. They are on the field quite a bit and they’ve been healthy so it’s been good to have them both out there. Between them and what the receivers are able to do and the running backs it’s a good group of skilled players and we try to get guys into a position where they’re doing things they’re very good at,” said Pats QB Tom Brady. “They’re pretty good with the ball in their hands and break a lot of tackles so that’s definitely a plus for us also. We have a lot of yards after catch this year and those two guys certainly do a great job with the ball in their hands.”
The Ravens defense has to slow down the Patriots offense since they aren’t a high scoring team.
“You know they’re going to give you certain… There’s going to be opportunities to do that. But then there [are] times where they’re going to speed things up, and play speed ball. The tempo is going to dictate that you get lined up and you get in position,” said Ravens defensive coordinator, Chuck Pagano. “There’s a ton of tape that we’ve seen that they’re on the ball, they’re snapping the ball, and guys are still running around trying to get lined up; not only front guys, but guys in the backend trying to find their coverage. They steal a ton of plays that way. There’s going to be, certainly, opportunities for us. You just can’t sit… He’s going to know, just like [Peyton] Manning knows, and you try to do everything you can to try to disguise and hide what you’re doing. At the end of the day, if we just sit and play one or two things, and let the tempo of the thing dictate what we do, then he’ll shred us, he’ll pick us apart. They’re just too good. So, we’ve got to do as good a job as we possibly can, and at the same time be able to get lined up and play our responsibility, too.”