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
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…

NFL

3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…