If Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo was looking to get a rise out of the Patriots’ locker room, he failed miserably.
Ayanbadejo sent out a series of critical tweets during Sunday’s Patriots-Texans divisional round playoff game that took aim at Spygate, the Patriots’ infamous 18-1 season and New England’s decision to cut wide receiver Tiquan Underwood a day before the Super Bowl last season. The 10-year veteran also criticized the Patriots’ offense, calling it a “gimmick” for its up-tempo, hurry-up nature.
Ayanbadejo has since apologized for his Twitter antics, but the comments definitely add to an already intriguing AFC Championship matchup. Still, the Pats aren’t too concerned with what’s being said on social media.
“I can’t speak for everybody but me personally I’m not on the social network, Facebook, none of that,” Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib said after Sunday’s win over the Teaxans. “So that’s in one ear and out the other.”
Tight end Michael Hoomanawanui, who could see an increased role on Sunday in the wake of Rob Gronkowski‘s season-ending injury, insists that New England’s focus is elsewhere.
“We’ve got other things to worry about, like who to block, how to run a route, what routes we’re running,” Hoomanawanui said. “Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. We’ll keep doing what’s working for us and what’s going to get us a victory.”
Sunday’s showdown will mark the second straight year that the Patriots and Ravens will battle with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line. Last season, of course, the Pats walked away with a victory after Billy Cundiff missed a chip-shot field goal in the closing seconds that would have sent the game to overtime. This year’s clash figures to be just as intriguing, with the teams’ regular season showdown, Ray Lewis‘ retirement and, now, Ayanbadejo’s comments adding fuel to the fire.
There is no shortage of storylines leading up to the AFC Championship rematch, but Patriots guard Logan Mankins knows a victory is all that matters at the end of the day.
“It’s always settled on Sundays,” Mankins said.
And this Sunday, plenty will be settled.
Click here to read Ayanbadejo’s comments >>
Click here to read Ayanbadejo’s apology >>
Photo via Facebook/Aqib Talib