Patriots vs. Ravens: 3 things to watch

James Ihedigbo could be a surprise star for the Pats Sunday.

Metro gives you three things to look for this Sunday as the Baltimore Ravens invade Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Patriots for the AFC championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLVI (3 p.m., CBS):

1. Bump ’n grind

The over/under for Sunday’s Patriots-Ravens game is 50.5, and if I were a betting man, I might be leaning towards the under.

Why?

Well, for one, the Ravens defense is the real deal. While they won’t shut down the Patriots offense, reaching 30 points will be an extremely tough task. In fact, the Ravens have touched 30 points just once since Week 8.

This game will be a grind on both sides, with big defensive stands occurring more often than not. The Pats offense should prevail over Baltimore’s defense, but don’t expect another six-touchdown day.

On the other side, Joe Flacco should see some openings here and there, but in the end his numbers will be pedestrian.

2. Who am I?

You’ll never hear a Patriots defensive back calling out Tom Brady.

But in Baltimore — where the roles seem to be flipped — that’s exactly what happened with Ed Reed and Joe Flacco this past week.

Reed essentially said Flacco seemed rattled out on the field by the Texans defense last Sunday. Obviously, that didn’t go over well.

So what happens if Flacco throws a pick on the first drive? Do Reed’s comments creep into his head?
Reed’s a first ballot Hall-of-Famer, but he may be helping out the Patriots defense with his comments this week. On the other hand, maybe it lights a bigger fire under Flacco.

3. Young and hungry
On Sunday, the Patriots will honor four postseason heroes, including Tedy Bruschi, Ty Law, and Troy Brown. You know their stories. Now, it’s time for the 2011 Pats team to create its own legacy. How will this team be remembered?

“I think that is something that everybody kind of wants, to make your own little niche in the organization and kind of be remembered,” second-year linebacker and undrafted free agent Dane Fletcher said. “One of my coaches always said, ‘do not be soon forgotten, and long remembered,’ and I kind of live by that.”

There aren’t many holdovers from the glory years. Now is this new crop’s time to shine.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

International

North Korean leader's money manager defects in Russia:…

A senior North Korean banking official who managed money for leader Kim Jong Un has defected in Russia and was seeking asylum in a third country, a South Korean newspaper…

Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 29,…

The Department of Transportation and NYPD said there may be residual delays near all of the street closures on August 29, 31 and 31. Several streets and avenues will be…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…