The good and bad for the Super Bowl-bound Patriots
What went right for the Patriots …
Red zone defense
The Pats were nowhere near perfect on defense,
but when it came to the red zone, they were tough as nails. And in
actuality, that’s pretty much been the case all season. The Pats held
the Ravens to just 1-for-4 in the red zone, and that made all the
No one player had a bigger affect
on the Patriots win than nose tackle Vince Wilfork. Big Vince was a man
amongst boys Sunday, getting to Joe Flacco on a number of occasions.
Wilfork had six tackles, including a sack and three tackles for losses.
last TD drive
You’ve got to hand it to Danny Woodhead. After
fumbling on the previous kick return that eventually led to a Ravens
field goal, he took the next one out of the end zone to the Pats’ 37.
Brady took over from there, and 11 plays later rushed in for the TD.
What went wrong for the Pats …
Third Down defense
The Pats defense certainly didn’t do itself
any favors yesterday, allowing the Ravens to convert 9-of-17 third down
plays and extend drives throughout the game. The Ravens converted on
three third downs, one of which was a 3rd-and-11, during their third
quarter touchdown drive that gave them a 17-16 lead.
Just when you were saying, “Now it’s up to Brady to
re-take the lead,” Danny Woodhead fumbles a kick return. That put the
Patriots in a bad position, with the chance that the Ravens could go up
by eight points. The defense held strong though and allowed just a field
goal. Woodhead and the Pats would recover on the next drive.
Tom Brady was held to 22-of-36 passing for 239
yards, zero touchdowns, and two interceptions. Um, earth to Tom . . .
wake up! Brady showed flashes of his usual self, but throwing a deep
pick into double coverage after the Patriots defense had just
intercepted a ball was not his best moment. They’ll need much more from
him in the Super Bowl.