There is only one team Tom Brady hasn’t thrown more touchdowns than interceptions against. Can you take a guess? Ok, that was easy, right?
In Brady’s 7 games against the Ravens (postseason included), he has thrown 7 touchdowns and 8 interceptions (he still leads his team to victory though, going 5-2, which in the end is all that matters). His completion percentage of 58.4 is also lower against the Ravens than compared to his career percentage of 63.7. Something very un-Brady like, indeed.
On the flip side we have Joe Flacco, an above average quarterback who plays some of his best football against the Patriots. Flacco has outperformed Brady in the past two match ups between these teams, and we all know how the Ravens were a Lee Evans catch away from the Super Bowl and a Billy Cundiff chip shot away from overtime in the AFC Championship game last year.
To all those who say “but the Patriots defense is so much worse than the Ravens! Give Brady some credit,” I say it doesn’t matter. When you are one of if not the best quarterback of all time (Brady), you have to play well when it matters, no matter who it is. Brady plays well against other great defenses in the past like the Steelers and Jets. His numbers in the AFC Championship game last season were beyond ordinary, throwing for 239 yards, two interceptions, and zero touchdowns. Brady has to be better than that, and he knows it.
The Pats defense has also improved extraordinarily, and is almost on par with the old, banged up Ravens defense. Flacco has never played against Talib at corner and McCourty at safety at the same time, and I’m hoping McCourty will redeem himself after that abysmal performance week three (got burned multiple times and made the pass interference that led to a Ravens game winning field goal). I’m also excited to see what Dennard can do against the Ravens. Early reports are saying that Talib will try to shut down Anquan Boldin, which leaves Dennard with the hefty task of covering Ravens deep threat Torrey Smith. I’m not sure if I agree with that, but ‘In Bill I Trust’.
I think this game comes down to Brady vs. Flacco. The Patriots and Ravens will get their rushing yards, but I think the team that’s able to make plays down the field wins this game. The one thing I am certain of is that Tom Brady will be focused and ready to go. But will he finally consistently find success through the air against the Ravens for four quarters? That will unfold on Sunday.
“All our focus is on this week,” said Brady on Wednesday.
I think he’s ready.