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Connelly’s Top Ten: Brady Legacy Buster, Welker Drop, Wilfork Invisible

Bill Belichick, Tom Brady (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

1. Overview:

* Our team is no longer special giving us less reason to feel different than others
* The biggest play of the year was the medical staff letting Gronk playing last week in a game which turned out to be a blow out (crazy that he had played two weeks prior)
* Injury to Talib was monstrous – changed the entire game (Baltimore started passing right away)
* Welker drop in third quarter biggest play of the game
* Ray Lewis celebrating is painful to watch
* McDaniels game plan – no imagination (Vereen not put into game plan to run patterns against linebackers?)
* Get ready for Harbaugh overdose for two weeks (Questions to parents “where are you going to sit / who are you rooting for / etc”)
* Last year was like the Celtics losing to Lakers in 1987 / this year was the Big Three losing to the Pistons – Dynasty is over

2. Tom Brady:

* I hate to admit it but Brady’s legacy has to be questioned
* He falls into one of five QB’s now – Unitas, Manning, Elway, Montana and him – instead of the best
* Another postseason disaster for Brady – QB Rating 62.3 (second game of playoffs since 2005: QB rating: 2011 – 57.5 / 2007 – 64.4 / 2006 – 57.6 / 2005 – 74.0)
* If you are the greatest in the game (never mind greatest ever) – you take games over and literally carry teams on your back – ie. Magic Johnson, Bob Gibson, etc
* Brady the fourth best QB out of four on Sunday – F-ing FOURTH!
* That many deflections would have been a story if it was Flutie
* Brady 6 times inside the 25 and one TD
* He is so bad with four or more seconds in the pocket
* Either scramble with conviction or throw the ball away
* Joe Montana and the Mannings celebrating the Patriots loss and Brady loss
* Last eight playoff games: 3-5

3. OFFENSE:

FIRST HALF:

* Brady missed Welker deep early
* Brady 88.7 QB rating at halftime
* His lack of timeout at end of his run was insane bad (I’ve talked about his end of the half time management all year) he could have got two plays off – throw it out of the back of the end zone
* 45 plays to 27 and ONLY up by six at halftime (time of possession Pats 18:12 to 11:48)
* Brady went too fast for his own good on play before the first field goal running right into Ravens line
* Great half by Wendell getting to the second level
* Brandon Lloyd: 4 catches, 3 yards after catch
* Gotta love Welker scoring and just handing official the ball

SECOND HALF:

* Welker drop biggest play of the game – then they punted from Ravens 34
* Shut out in second half
* Time of Possession second half: Ravens 19:18 / Patriots 10:42
* Three turnovers to 0
* Early in the second half I saw Lloyd step out of bounds instead of putting his head down for an extra yard

4. DEFENSE:

FIRST HALF

* Good to see Ray Rice go for two yards on his first carry versus two playoff games ago
* Mayo whiff on Ray Rice for TD – is him in a nutshell – he is a B linebacker who makes 8 tackles a game downfield but very few of impact
* Defense did their part in first half – not offense
* Wilfork one tackle in first half – non factor

SECOND HALF

* Denard superb game
* Arrington had an interception in his hands that he dropped, allowing Ravens to take the lead
* Wilfork invisible no tackles in second half (does that mean I don’t have to watch stories on Bianca texting?)
* Why was Cole on Boldin in the red zone and not bigger McCourty (outcoached)
* Nickovich a step late the whole game
* Sad watching Spikes in coverage against Dennis Pitta
* Worst tackling I’ve seen – Patriots dropping their heads prior to contact

5. SPECIAL TEAMS

* Nice wrinkle on 4th down having Mallet on the field wasting a timeout on Ravens, but that play would have been more valuable in second half
* Kick off return game is a waste of time – where’s Bethel Johnson? Complete waste of time returning kicks (4 for an average of 22.4 yards)
* Retrospect – conservative coaching playing not to lose – punted from Ravens 34 / Ravens 35 / Ravens 45

6. RAVENS

* Ravens average starting spot in first half on drives was 11-yard line and Patriots were only up six
* Pollard around an injury again (although Ridley lowered head also)
* Tougher and harder hitting

7. BROADCAST

* Pregame – Marino was a mess – said that Brady hasn’t been to the Super Bowl in eight years (last year) / Then said Belichick has never lost to a team twice in a year (that’s lack of research and effort)
* Kraft pregame – kiss from Brady
* Pregame – Boomer Esiason called Brady the best QB ever
* Pregame – Shannon Sharpe surprisingly agreed saying that Brady will end up playing with just one offensive Hall of Famer – Randy Moss
* Zolak’s voice is toast
* Every person who sings the National Anthem is award winning – Glorina who?
* Ray Lewis cried during National Anthem – hasn’t cried since the witness stand
* Mercedes spending a lot of money on commercials

* Commercial after Chung’s injury on TD by Ray Rice, then commercials after extra point
* Sideline reporters must hate having to interview the Harbaughs
* CBS – Patriots 67-0 when leading at halftime at home with Brady (now 67-1)
* Gil Santos done

8. REFS

* Two 15-yard penalties on Ravens questionable in first half
* Brady could have got a penalty for the stiff arm with his leg
* Great tackle by ref on Brady
* Huge miss by refs on the pushing off on Arrington down the sideline (Although McCourty could have caught that ball)

9. MISC

* Bob Kraft shown tailgating and in the box
* Poor Gronk stuck in the Kraft box with a bunch of old guys – he would have been pounding in the stands
* When I spell Talib on my iPhone it spell corrects to Taliban
* Welker’s brain will be studied upon his passing
* How did 5,000 – 10,000 Ravens fans get tickets in Foxboro?
* Patriots injuries: Gronk, Woodhead, Talib, Chung
* Again the regular season is meaningless (Ravens were 10-6)

10. NFC CHAMPIONSHIP:

* Matt Ryan keeps the bad stigma of choking going with bad fumble / interception / predetermined read on last play to go over the middle with no pressure on him
* If Matt Ryan found a way to win – his left shoulder is done
* If that was a regular season game – the 49ers would have been flagged for four penalties on final drive but instead none – Harbaugh tantrum on replay / Late hit on Ryan / Interference on last play / hitting a defensiveless player by safety
* With 49ers up by four and favored by four – I was curious if they would take a safety on purpose instead of risky punt at the end
* Falcons up 20-0 last week / Falcons up 17-0 this week

About Michael

Lifelong Boston resident who finds equal enjoyment in celebrating the local team's success as I do complaining about their failures. I have been writing the Top Ten for the last decade as well as five sports books: 26 Miles to Boston, Rebound, The President's Team, The Great Book of Boston Sports Lists and NBA List Jam.

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