Thank you Baltimore Ravens. Last season, you were tougher than our boys. You came into Gillette stadium and took the AFC crown away from New England. And went on to win the Super Bowl. By no means was I happy with that outcome. I could not watch the Super Bowl in fact. The first time in some time that I tuned out the biggest football game of the year.
After watching the Patriots win Sunday with a 41-7 effort. And after Phil Simms quoted Tom Brady as saying that the Ravens were mentally tougher last season. I can't help but see there is a renewed toughness to this Patriots team. One that has been absent for the past few seasons. One that was sorely needed.
Midway through the fourth quarter Sunday, the New England Patriots put together a Vince Lombardi drive that took the life out of the Ravens. It was text book. It was beautiful. It was powerful. Leggarrette Blount and Stevan Ridley powered a drive that sealed the win. But it also proved that for one Sunday, New England can play power football consistently.
It was man on man blocking. And life or death for the ball carrier. I haven't seen that kind of drive by New England in some time. A patch work offensive line versus a tough Raven defense who knew it was coming. I was impressed by Ridley pushing and carrying Raven defenders. NOT something you see every day. Blount did too.
When Blount rumbled into the end zone for his second rushing touchdown of the game, there was a feeling of joy for me. It got worst for the Ravens. A fumble and interception were returned for touchdowns in a short span of time. But the statement drive for me was the all run drive that allowed NE to go out and seize final control of the game.
The coaching staff acted like they wanted it. The players acted like they wanted it. The team found a way to go and get it. This Patriots team has been something to watch. Never truly out of a ball game. It was great to see them take control and finish this game. They dug down when they needed to and came away with a victory.