Yes, Metro bashed Joe Flacco a bit yesterday.

We said he’s nothing more than an average-at-best quarterback in this league, and we stand by that.

But at the same time, the Pats would be foolish to overlook what the Ravens offense can do as a whole when given the opportunity.

And as any Patriots fan knows, this season’s Pats defense allows a lot of opportunities.

So while Flacco isn’t the next Tom Brady (who is?), he’s got weapons at his disposal that the Patriots would love to have — and a top-ranked running back in Ray Rice.

 

“The receivers are productive, their tight ends are very productive and, of course, (Ray) Rice is their leading receiver,” Bill Belichick said. “I think it’s a little bit like the passing that we’re familiar with.

You take one guy away and they can beat you with, whether it’s Torrey Smith or (Anquan) Boldin or last week (Lee) Evans made a big play for them. They have a lot of different guys.”

It hasn’t taken an All-Pro wideout to beat up on the Patriots secondary, ranked 31st in passing yardage allowed, this season so they’ll need to be on high alert for Baltimore’s attack.

“Their receivers, Torrey Smith, he is very explosive, very fast and can get down the field in a hurry,” Patriots defensive backs coach Josh Boyer said. “Anquan Boldin, a veteran player who can go up and get the ball as good as anybody.”

With all that talent, the Pats can’t be caught sleeping.

“Ray Rice and Ricky Williams out of the backfield, those guys do an excellent job,” Boyer said.

“They have two tight ends, Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta that they will throw the ball to, they will run routes just like receivers.”

Crawford will need surgery

If Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford is going to rebound from his lousy first year in Boston, he might have to wait a bit.

General manager Ben Cherington announced yesterday that Crawford underwent surgery on his left wrist to remove damaged tissue.

It is possible Crawford could be ready for the season opener, but Cherington made no promises.

“We’re not ruling out Opening Day,” Cherington said, “but we’re not going to put a timeline on it. Carl will be ready exactly when he’s ready. There’s nobody who works harder than Carl, so I’m confident he’ll be back and playing soon.”

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