We’re going to try something new this week. I’m stealing an idea from a writer I like (or…used to like until his homer-ism became absolutely insufferable) who shall remain nameless, and writing an in-game blog during the Ravens-Pats game. Enjoy.
It wasnt originally supposed to be this long, but how was I to know it was to be one of the greatest games in Ravens history?! I’m glad I decided to do it because I think it captures the raw emotion pretty well.
8:15 I’m really nervous as this game approaches. Usually I get a bit apprehensive before a Ravens game because it has playoff implications, or it’s against a hated rival I really want them to beat…but today I think I am just afraid of getting embarrassed on Monday Night Football. The Ravens are wearing all black, which historically means their play will be much less ferocious than they look. It’s a windy, windy night in B-More, with gusts up to 40-50 mph. This could help us keep the Pats passing game in check, but I may be grasping at straws.
8:20 Holy crap! The cameras caught a shot of Bill Belichick smiling!! It was as he was shaking hands with the referee. That camera man should be up for a Pulitzer. (Note: Belichick smiling with the refs….coincidence?)
8:26 All 7 ESPN analysts pick New England. Throw in guest ‘72 Dolphins Bob Griese and Mercury Morris, and its a solid 9/9. Awesome.
8:32 Chris Mortenson tells us that Rex Ryan is Buddy Ryan’s son. Is this news to anybody in America? Seriously?
8:33 Tony Kornheiser just called Tom Brady “too cute to hate.” Expect many more homosexual innuendos from “Kornholer.” He gave his lame weekly 2 minute monologue intro, and did not utter a word about Baltimore or the Ravens. Let the Patriots broadcast begin.
8:35 Shot of Ed Reed getting ready. His face is wrapped up and he looks like a ninja. Here’s hoping he plays like one.
8:36 Ray Lewis shown fighting back tears during the moment of silence for Sean Taylor. Ray is the consummate professional, but its tough to think that his head could be 100% in this game tonight.
8:43 With the Patriots driving, Tom Brady has had all day to go through his reads. The Ravens just committed their 3rd penalty in as many plays, an offsides on Suggs after having too many men on the field and a 15 yard facemask on Samari Rolle. A bunch of mental errors is no way to beat an undefeated team. The Pats set up with 1st-and-goal from the 1. Super.
8:50 Ray Lewis made an outstanding play to break up a touchdown pass on 1st down, we stuffed Heath Evans on 2nd down, and now Brady looks to throw on 3rd…Hes got Watson, but he dropped it!!! THANK YOU BEN WATSON!. And here comes the field goal unit for the Pats. Mike Tirico informs us that its the first time in 21 straight 1st-and-goal from the 1 opportunities for the Pats that they have failed to score a TD. A good moral victory for the D, but the Pats lead anyway, 3-0.
8:55 Shot of Todd Heap on the sidelines in street clothes. Big Baby. GET IN THERE!
8:58 The Ravens couldn’t overcome a false start penalty and are forced to punt. Boller has dropped back to pass twice, and was pressured both times.
9:08 Great play by Kyle Boller!! Escaped the pressure and actually kept his eyes downfield while scrambling! Delivered a strike to Devard Darling who turned it into a 53 yard gain! The Ravens are in business now on the NE 18.
9:13 3rd-and-goal from the NE 5. It would be great to take the lead here…Boller back to throw, and he hits Mason! TOUCHDOWN RAVENS!! Boller threaded it right past the outstretched arms of 2 Pats into Mason’s gut. A great throw under pressure and the Ravens lead the mighty Pats 7-3. I just got 4 text messages at the same time. The air is electric in B-More.
9:16 Corey Ivy sacks Tom Brady on 1st down! Ivy came unblocked from Brady’s front side and took him down for a 6 yard loss. Pats are now facing a 3rd-and-11 from their own 26. We got pressure up the middle, and Brady heaved a jump-pass off his back foot, Jabar Gaffney dropped what would have been a first down. Nice. The Pats held on the play anyway. Good things.
9:20 Just caught a shot of Buddy “The Eskimo” Ryan bundled up like the Michelin Man. Good to see Buddy here. Hey, Buddy, did you know that Rex Ryan is your son?!
9:24 The O-Line isn’t getting it done. Boller is under constant pressure. As soon as I write that, McGahee busts one for 15. He now has 49 yards on 11 carries. Hmmm…maybe we should keep running?
9:26 The cameras catch Billick and you can read his lips: “Its too windy.” So the Ravens will go for it on 4th-and-6 from the NE 28. Boller is DRILLED by AD, but hangs in and makes a GREAT throw to Mason at the 15- FIRST DOWN!!
9:29 Ellis Hobbs tackles Wilcox short of the first down. Hobbs injured himself on the tackle. HA! P*ssy! Stover comes on to try to put the Ravens up by 7….ew! ugly, ugly field goal, almost blocked, but Auto-Matt-ic comes through. 10-3 Ravens!!
9:36 The Pats finally come out in the no huddle. Crap. We all knew this was coming, so lets hope Rex (Buddy’s Son!) has the D prepared.
9:40 Moss juggles what would have been a touchdown. C-Mac has been doing a great job on him though. A defensive holding call makes it 1st-and-goal from the 10. NO! C-Mac just tackled Randy Moss on the slant in the end zone. 1st-and-goal from the 1. Ed Reed seen covering…Mike Vrabel?! HA!! Well, at least we didn’t fall for it. Heath Evans takes it in, tie game 10-10. The Penalties are killing the Ravens. Again. We have 7 for 50 yards, the Pats have none.
9:49 Boller throws too low for Mason on 3rd-and-3. Someone please inform Kyle that he has other receivers. For the love of Pete, I swear he has Mason on his fantasy team. So now we’ll punt it back to them.
9:52 Amazing tackle by Jamaine Winborne on Ben Watson!! It looked like Watson broke it, but Winborne stuck with it and kept him from getting the first, forcing the Pats to punt.
9:56 Trying to avoid a 2nd straight 3-and-out, the Ravens ran the ball up the gut 3 consecutive times. The predictable play calling is starting to hurt us. 95 year old Junior (shouldn’t we start calling him Senior? Lets.) Seau took his rascal into the backfield for the stop on 3rd down.
9:58 Lets go defense, get a turnover here. A pick 6 would be the bees knees…2nd down…INTERCEPTED BY ED REED…REED HAS ROOM ….come on Eddie….looks like hes gonna be wrapped up at the Pats 30…NOOOO!!! He Fumbled it back to New England! UGHHHHHHHHH.
10:10 Halftime in B-More, game tied at 10. The ESPN crew is pretty much speechless. They have all this praise they want to heap on the Pats, and the Ravens have forced them to keep it in their pants. I love it.
10:15 Don Shula commercial, talking all about the ‘72 Dolphins. This is funny to me because its obvious they planned to show all the great Patriots highlights from the 1st half interspersed throughout him talking, but because there were SOOO MANY, we are left with shots staring into Randy Moss’ eyes, and watching Tom Brady take a snap. Again, the Ravens are raining all over the Pats love-fest. Glorious.
10:16 Ravens start with the ball here in the 2nd half. They actually outgained the Patriots in the first 30 minutes. I’m as shocked as the rest of the country. Willis starts off with a 12 yard run. Willis for 8 more. He is averaging 4.5 yards per carry. If we can pound this old Pats D into submission in the 2nd half, we just might have a chance.
10:21 Boller is shaken after taking another hit, but he completed it to Mason for 21 to set the Ravens up in the Dead Zone.
10:22 Willis McGahee rumbles left, breaking tackles…hes at the 3…2…TOUCHDOWN WILLIS MCGAHEE!!!! A great 17 yard run. Ravens lead 17-10. Holy Crap!!
10:36 The Pats went right down the field. Moss only has 1 catch on the night, Welker 3. No problem for Brady, who goes to Maroney for 35 yards. The Pats converted on a 4th-and-1 and now have 3rd-and-1 on the Ravens 3. *$^%*! Moss got away from McAlister at the line. 17-17 ballgame.
10:39 Great return on the kickoff by Figurs to the BAL 44. McGahee left again….BREAKS IT FOR 18!! A nice block on the play by Kyle Boller on his old buddy AD. Follows it up with a 12 yard reception, then back to Musa Smith for 9 more! WE OWN THE GROUND!! Mike Flynn and Jonathan Ogden seem to be summoning their younger selves, and the young linemen are following suit. Its like watching the Ravens of old. Smash-mouth football. Its great to see.
10:46 The Ravens have 1st-and-goal from the 2 at the start of the 4th here. I’d like to see them continue to pound this defense, but the Pats would probably be totally caught off guard by a pass. McGahee stuffed on 1st down. If you’re going to pass, this is the time. 2nd down, Boller drops back…under pressure….hes hit but got it off…TOUCHDOWN!!!! CAUGHT BY DAN WILCOX IN THE BACK OF THE END ZONE!!!! RAVENS LEAD 24-17!!!
10:52 DE-FENSE!! Haloti Ngata with the bull rush on 2nd down to sack Brady! Antwan Barnes came off the edge on 3rd and the Ravens sacked Brady with a 3 man rush! A great 3-and-out by the D.
10:53 A good return by Figurs could help us put this one away. Hes got room down the sideline! Crap, theres a flag. He got all the way down to the NE 31, pending the flag. And…its on the Pats!! Finally, a call on them. Tack 5 yards on the end of the return, and the Ravens are set up in GREAT field position to put this one away. This HUUUUGE upset looks more and more likely!
10:55 Ughhhhh. Willis Stuffed for 1 yard on 2 carries. False start on Wilcox. THE MENTAL MISTAKES!!! We’re beating ourselves again. So now 3rd-and-14 from outside field goal range due to the wind. Lets get at least half of it here…Boller back to throw, pressured….Picked Off! Intercepted by Sanders who returned it all the way back to the NE 43. Really a poor decision by Boller, and its a shame because he has played out of his mind thus far. You could easily make the case that hes outplayed Tom Brady. Yes…Kyle Boller is outplaying Tom Brady. Its not going to matter unless we get the W though, so lets hope the D can hold him up.
11:01 Got them backed up, 1st-and-20…nice. Brady play-fakes and throws to Maroney….who busts it for 43 yards. UGHHHHHH. Where was the block in the back!?!? I swear I saw Bart Scott get butt-raped by Welker and thrown to the turf. Terrible no-call, and it could be huge.
11:03 The Ravens held on 3rd and Gostkowski comes out to try the 37 yarder….come onnnn wind!!! Crap! Its good. 24-20 Ravens still lead with 8:41 to go.
11:05 That should have been our field goal. Boller screwed up, but he’ll have a chance to redeem himself. A big return would help…..Figurs gets too close to the wedge and trips over his blockers’ feet. Great.
11:08 Here we go! The game-clinching, clock-eating drive will start at our own 28. Lets see the o-line keep plowing.
11:10 The Pats found an answer with the run blitzes. We need to get less predictable again to sustain something. Boller to throw on 3rd…..incomplete. Crap! Brady and the Pats will get the ball back with the chance to take the lead…first time thats happened since the 1st quarter (without 2 pt conversions). It was a bad punt and the Pats have great field position at their own 44. DE-FENSE!
11:13 Nice to see the Pats shooting themselves in the foot with a couple penalties, and theyll be forced to punt from our 41. Hopefully Hanson puts it in the end zone. I don’t have the stats in front of me, but this has to be the most work Hanson has got in a game all season. He kicks it…terrible kick! Out of bounds at the BAL 28! Better than a touchback!
11:19 Another 3-and-out from the offense on the way unless they can get 2 yards here. Boller to throw, out to McGahee….NO! Hes wrapped up behind the marker. DAMN IT!! IF YOU’RE GOING TO THROW ON 3RD DOWN, THROW PAST THE STICKS!!! Another punt coming, and I just threw an empty beer can across the room.
11:21 All rests on the defense. Nothing new in B-More. DE-FENSE! DE-FENSE!! OHH!! SAMARI ROLLE JUST LAID THE WOOD ON STALLWORTH TO CAUSE THE INCOMPLETE! HUGE HIT! Rolle is playing like a man possessed.
11:26 Brady has all day to throw. Rex is just not going to give up the big play, dropping 8 into coverage. This is going to come down to the wire. I’m really glad I decided not to have more than that one beer tonight….2 minute warning! Pats ball on the Ravens 40. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
11:28 Brady hit Winborne in the back with his last pass. Lets hope he hits a Raven in the chest here soon. Isn’t he due for a mistake? He can’t really be THIS good ALL the time can he?
11:30 Brady to throw on 3rd-and-10…complete…but he went out before the marker!! It will be 4th-and-1. AHHHHHH!!!! Seriously, Im freaking out. Brady quick to the line….sneak…STOPPED! WE STOPPED HIM! Wait…NO!!! The Ravens had called timeout!! NOOOOOOO!!
11:31 So the Pats will get another shot at 4th-and-1. I feel my ulcer forming. DE-FENSE!! DE-FENSE!! Brady hands off…STOPPED HIM FOR A LOSS!! BALLGAME!!….wait…a flag….NOO! FALSE START! THE PLAY NEVER HAPPENED!! I’m going to go vomit, Ill be right back…..
So the Pats have a THIRD shot at 4th down….Brady back…NOOOOOO he scrambled for the first down…..UGHHHHHHH.
11:33 Pats first down on the Ravens 18. Faulk gets 5. Second down now…1:06 to go…Brady drops back, its TIPPED BY RAY….20 FEET IN THE AIR RIGHT BEHIND THE LINE….SOMEONE GET IT, GET IT, GET IT!!!!! NOOOO It fell to the earth incomplete. I cannot remember EVER seeing a ball get tipped that high and not picked off by the Ravens. It looked on the replay like Antwan Barnes stared at the ball the whole time it was in the air, but he never made a move toward it. I really hope he just didn’t see it.
11:34 The Pats took a timeout. I’m shaking like a leaf. The Ravens could have been the toast of the NFL, David taking down Goliath….and they stopped the Patriots…3 TIMES ON 4th DOWN! This game should be ours.
11:36 4th-and-5 now from the Ravens 13. FOR THE GAME! COME ON D!! DEEE-FENSE!!!! This is it right here…can’t give Brady 4 more downs. He throws…..TOO HIGH! INCOMPLETE!! RAVENS WILL WI…..NOOOOOOO A FLAG! DEFENSIVE HOLDING! NO NO NO NO NOOOOOO…..I can’t believe it. A ticky tack call if ever there was one. You gotta let them play in that situation. A terrible call and another example of the refs “controlling” the game. UNBELIEVABLE!
11:38 Touchdown Gaffney. They are reviewing it, but it looks good to me. Yup, the TD will stand. Pats lead 27-24 with 44 seconds to go. Bart Scott just exploded. He did something unseen by the cameras and got a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, then threw that flag into the stands, earning another. Ed Reed offsides on the PAT. 35 yards worth of penalties to be enforced on the kickoff. Just stupid. Now we have even less chance to get into Stover’s range.
11:41 That timeout the Ravens took on the 4th down is going to bite them again. They just used their last, and are not near field goal range…on their own 45. 13 seconds left and no time to use the middle of the field. Boller throws….should have been picked. Now 8 seconds and here comes the Hail Mary. It’s all up to lady luck now.
11:42 Boller heaves it……CAUGHT BY CLAYTON ON THE 2!! TACKLED SHORT OF THE GOALLINE NOOOOOO. UGHHHHHOLY CRAP. Mark Clayton brought it in on the 2 yard line and was swarmed by 3 Patriots. He looked to be trying to pitch to Derrick Mason, who pass interfered like a mofo, but to no avail. The Pats are going to escape B-More undefeated. Ohhh, the agony of what could/should have been.