Big boy battle with Pats TEs vs Ravens

Rob Gronkowski will look to spike the Ravens defense this Sunday.

When you think Baltimore Ravens, two players typically jump to mind: Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.

You can bet they’re on the minds of Patriots coaches and every player on offense. The Ravens’ tandem on defense has wreaked havoc on the NFL for years, and has done more than enough to earn the respect of Bill Belichick.

“[Reed] probably covers more field back there as a single safety than most teams can cover with two,” Belichick said. “He’s got great instincts, he’s a tremendous player. Ray Lewis, everything he brings to the game, his playmaking ability, his leadership, his experience, his ability to get people around him to play better, both by his communication and anticipation and leadership and football savvy on the field.

“Those two guys, it would be really hard, I think, to put anybody even in their class, let alone above them. They’re tremendous players with tremendous careers. Can’t say I’ve ever coached against anybody better than Ed Reed in the secondary.”

When it’s all said and done, coaches could be saying similar things regarding the Patriots tight end tandem of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.

“The Boston TE Party” — a nickname Gronkowski likes for the two second-year tight ends — has had a huge season for the Pats, combining for 169 receptions, 2,237 reception yards, and 24 touchdowns in the regular season.

In one game against the Ravens last season, Hernandez and Gronkowski were kept quiet. Hernandez made four catches for 61 yards while Gronk had just one catch.

Lewis made nine tackles in that game — one on Hernandez. Reed missed the game due to injury.

So which tandem will prevail? The proven, savvy, hard-hitting defensive duo that Belichick calls perhaps the best to ever play, or the young, powerful, multifaceted tight end duo that seem to be revolutionizing the position?

Obviously, it’s not that simple. The Ravens defense goes much deeper than those two — with Tom Brady’s favorite, linebacker Terrell Suggs, coming off a monster season with a career-high 14.0 sacks.
Nose tackle Haloti Ngata is another player Brady must beware of.

But that staunch Ravens ‘D’ will have its hands full. If it isn’t the tight ends, it’s Wes Welker — the NFL leader in receptions this season — or Deion Branch on the outside.

“[The Ravens] have to pick and choose,” Branch said. “I think with our offense, the things that we do: We do a lot of different things. The defense has to figure out what is their game plan, what are they planning on going in and focusing on.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

PHOTOS: Who is Alix Tichelman?

Who is Alix Tichelman, the high end call girl who allegedly murdered a Google executive?

National

Washington state approves first producer of pot edibles

  A Seattle-based company that makes marijuana-infused drinks and candies has become the first business in Washington approved to make edible pot products for the…

National

Florida cat owners call 911 after Russian blue…

By Barbara ListonORLANDO Florida (Reuters) - Kush the cat was quarantined in central Florida after her owner called 911 over the weekend for help, saying…

Local

Times Square costumed characters under scrutiny

Costumed characters in Times Square are under scrutiny after a string of incidents involving Elmo, Woody, Mario and Spider-Man.

Books

What to eat while you read

A smudge of chocolate on a page never hurt anyone.

Television

TV watch list, Wednesday, July 9: 'The Bridge,'…

See Diane Kruger solve some mysteries in the second season premiere of "The Bridge."

Music

Springsteen 'Hunter of Invisible Game' film debuts, shows…

Bruce Springsteen can do whatever the hell he wants. He's at the point in his career where he doesn't need to prove anything to anybody,…

Movies

Interview: Ethan Hawke can finally talk about 'Boyhood'

"Boyhood" star Ethan Hawke talks about having to keep quiet about the film's 12 year making, and how director Richard Linklater likes to show minutiae.

World Cup

Argentina prevails in penalties, advances to final

The drama never seems to subside as the World Cup finally has its final two.

MLB

A Joffrey Ballet dancer threw the most beautiful…

http://youtu.be/Hg61JOZJrYM?t=29s While asked to throw a first pitch at a baseball game can be a treacherous and/or embarrassing experience (see Cent, 50), sometimes everything can…

World Cup

World Cup semifinals preview: Holland vs. Argentina

The second semifinal pits another South American soccer power against a European one.

MLB

MLB power rankings: Athletics cement spot on top,…

The Athletics cement spot on top of our MLB power rankings with a huge trade, while L.A. teams follow.

Style

Give it up for French fashion: Bastille Day

In honor of Bastille Day we round up some French-inspired wardrobe essentials.

Tech

Potato salad Kickstarter reaches over $70,000

All Zack Danger Brown wanted to do was make potato salad and find a few dollars for ingredients, as Metro mentioned earlier this week when…

Education

American teenagers are lagging behind when it comes…

American high schoolers have a hard time answering basic questions about bank accounts, saving money and credit cards. That's according to a new study by…

Style

Where lotion and art mingle: Kiehl's new Nolita…

Kiehl's celebrates its new Nolita boutique.