I’m stunned, lost, disappointed, and very angry. I hope I’m speaking for more Patriots fans. What looked to be another return to the Super Bowl was cut short by the Baltimore Ravens, who were running on pure destiny.
I was concerned from the very beginning from the game. It was literally a chess match between both teams on each other’s possessions. In the end, I’m not sure if you can say the Patriots “won” it but they did get a field goal out of it.
Baltimore got the first touchdown of the game after a long drive that culminated with a Ray Rice TD run. From the looks of it, the Patriots defense had him but they just couldn’t tackle him and that was a recurring theme throughout the night. New England responded back 5 minutes later with a 1-yd TD pass from Tom Brady to Wes Welker. With the 10-7 lead and once again having possession deep inside the Ravens’ redzone, the Patriots made a huge clock management blunder. I’m not sure when after Brady slid down with 14 seconds to go, why a timeout wasn’t called. The Pats took nearly 10 seconds to huddle up and then finally, a timeout was called. Sure, Stephen Gostkowski added the Patriot lead to 13-7 at the half, but it’s just devastating to think that maybe new England could have had a 17-7 lead instead.
The second half was a pure disaster. Zero offense from the Patriots and the Ravens got a touchdown from tight end Dennis Pitta. I still had hope because there was still one more quarter to go and the score was still only 14-13 Baltimore. But no, the Patriots defense looked like they took a sedative and performed under par, which led to two Anquan Boldin touchdowns. Granted, Stevan Ridley’s fumble that also gave him a game-ending concussion and the hamstring injury that took out Aqib Talib from the game were huge. But I’m just at a loss for words for how the offense and defense were in complete disarray in the fourth quarter. Brady threw a couple of picks, some of the receivers weren’t even making catches, and most importantly there was no sense of urgency. After 21 unanswered points, the Ravens held on for a 28-13 win in Foxboro and will now play for the Super Bowl in New Orleans against the San Francisco 49ers – oh brother... Congratulations, Baltimore and Ravens fans everywhere, you guys earned it.
The Super Bowl will be a bit dry for me and I don’t know about you guys, but I’ll be cheering on for the 49ers. Not because Baltimore won but because I just want to see our boy, Randy Moss, get that one ring he’s been fighting for his whole life.
Well that about wraps it up. The 2012 New England Patriots season has officially come to an end but keep a look out for some of our players in the Pro Bowl! If you as a Patriots fan stood by this team all season long, you know there several more positives than negatives. Be blessed that you witnessed the 7th AFC Championship appearance by the Patriots in the Belichick/Brady area. We will be back next season Pats Nation, you can count on it!