The Pats came back from two 14-point deficits to beat the Ravens, 35-31 (first team ever to come back from that much TWICE in one playoff game)! They used some trickeration (contrary to the whiny Ravens' contentions, trick plays have a long history in this game), using wide receiver Julian Edelman to throw a touchdown pass to Danny Amendola (he got off the milk carton). Julian played quarterback at Kent State so he knows his throws! ;) Julian also fumbled and outfought three Ravens to get the ball back. If anyone could come up with it against three Ravens, it's Julian! :)
The four-man line with running back Shane Vereen reporting as ineligible was announced over the stadium loudspeaker and the referee pointed to him and clearly said, "Don't cover him!" So much for not knowing anything, eh, Coach Harbaugh? And he never saw that play before? It's been used not only in the NFL but college and high school ball. Guess he's not very up-to-date. :)
Tom threw his 46th pass in the playoffs, passing Joe Montana for most ever by a quarterback in the postseason. It was his 19th playoff win, most ever in history for a quarterback. Coach Bill Belichick won his 20th playoff game, tying Tom Landry all-time. It was the 100th game played at Gillette Stadium.
Tom also ran for a touchdown! That is a rare sight and always gets the fans going. :) He also showed his fire by protesting getting kneed in the head by a Raven.
Gronk and Brandon LaFell caught TDs, too. The Pats had to overcome their deficits and made their share of mistakes, uncharacteristically messing up the final seconds so instead of just taking a knee, they had to endure a last-minute Hail Mary throw by the Ravens, but they never quit. It was a close thing there, and I admit I wasn't sure if they were going to win this one, but the ol' Brady magic is still there! :)
The Patriots play the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette next Sunday at 6:40 in the AFC Championship Game.
Peyton Manning looked dreadful in his loss to the Colts yesterday. Retirement time? He now has a 11-13 record in the playoffs, the most losses by a quarterback. Former Pats Wes Welker and Aquib Talib looked like shells of their former selves out there.
Rex Ryan just can't quit Brady and Belichick. He took the head coaching position with the Buffalo Bills. He once again has a stout defense and no quarterback. Good luck, Rex! ;)
On January 10, 2014, my brother-in-law and I attended the Divisional Round game against the Tennessee Titans known as the Ice Bowl, where the temperature was 4 degrees, and 10 below zero with the wind chill factor. We were layered and our beer bottles froze in less than five minutes. ;) It was a great game. The Pats won and went through the AFC Championship Game and on to the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers to win! :)