The AFC Championship is Set: Patriots Take On Rival Baltimore

By Ryan Whitfield

   Well, as everyone has been saying around here the three year drought is finally over, I say this with an overload of sarcasm, and the pats are finally back in the Conference Championship. For the 6th time in 11 years the Patriots will play for a chance to punch their ticket to the Super Bowl, they are 4-1 until now. However the more important thing from the Pats victory this past weekend is that our 3 game post-season losing streak is finally over. The Pats dismantled the Broncos on Saturday night in Gillette with a decisive 45-10 victory. With all of the hype around Tebow, and the talk of the recent play off woes for the Patriots, they seemed to play with a chip on their shoulder which we haven’t seen them do in a long time. In particular, Brady had a pissed off demeanor where this game seemed personal, the result was 6 TD passes and 5 in the first half. The defense played their best game of the year, a fact that a lot of people are discounting due to our opponent. To that I say the point you have to take is the way we won up front. The Patriots front 7 dominated, this has nothing to do with the quarterback we faced, but has to do with the attitude and energy we brought up front. On top of that McCourty has played better at safety where he can keep the ball in front of him. And Sterling Moore has played great and I have been saying this for weeks. He plays the ball well and he was able to blanket any one of the Broncos receivers that came his way.

     So the matchup is set. The Ravens will be in Foxborough on Sunday at 3pm. The Pats are playing for a chance to head to the superbowl for the 5th time in 11 years. I know some people are looking past this game for the chance to seek revenge on the Giants, but I will save that for next week if we can get past Baltimore. I like the Patriots in this game with the points (7 1/2). It comes down to matchups and mental toughness. Between the mental lapses as a team and the comments made by Flacco lately its apparent that they too “need their tires pumped” too. What I said before the playoffs holds true today, you load the box play cover 2 and make Flacco drive down the field mistake free, and they wont be able to put up more than 20. On the other side of the ball you take advantage of whatever tight end isn’t doubled. Our losses earlier this year and to the Jets in the post season last year have a huge common factor, Hernandez wasn’t healthy. When you have both of them healthy it is next to impossible to stop them. The pats have to exploit this, use Hernandez out of the back field, use the screen game, and take advantage when Branch is covered one on one by their second or third Corner. Suggs is cause for concern which is why I wouldn’t go empty very much. I’d keep Green-Ellis or Faulk back there to block. When you have Woodhead in there you use him on flats and out routes> The key though is to have him lined up Suggs side and make sure he can chip him on the way out. On top of that we have another distinct advantage. With Brian Waters at guard this year he his a major upgrade from last year. What this means between him and Mankins Brady has a good middle there. The tackles need to take Nata and Suggs wide so Brady can step up to gain a few more seconds in the pocket. I think our defense will bring the intensity again this week and Flacco will make mistakes. And I believe that the Pats will be able to put up 30 points in this game. My prediction is the Pats take this 31-17. And for the record I took San Francisco and the Giants with no points last week.

Follow on Twitter @rescuemusicent @ryanwhitfieldrme

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