Over the past three seasons, the matchup between the Patriots and the Ravens has become a fierce battle in the AFC. Baltimore went into New England two seasons ago and blew them out of the playoffs. Then, there is the war of words between the Ravens’ defense and Tom Brady over the calls that Baltimore says they get all the time. Linebacker Terrell Suggs even casted his Pro Bowl vote for Ryan Fitzpatrick of all quarterbacks over Tom Brady just a year ago. Now, over the past week, two Ravens have been in the news involving Tom Brady.
The first one involves veteran WR Derrick Mason. In an interview with a local radio station in Baltimore, Mason gave his opinions on who was the best player in football. This comes at a time where the NFL Network is doing the top 100 players in the league with Brady’s standing being decided this Sunday night (9 ET, NFLN). In the interview, Mason states that Colts’ QB Peyton Manning and Ravens’ safety Ed Reed are more valuable than Brady. Here is a sample of Mason’s comments: "You take Tom Brady off New England they showed that they can go 11-5. Now you take Peyton Manning off the Colts I don’t know where that teams goes offensively."
While what he says is true about the Colts struggling without Manning, the Patriots do not even win three Super Bowls and be in the position to win a fourth without Brady. Ed Reed is an impactful safety, but he can’t lead a team down the field in the final two minutes for a score like Brady can. I fully expect number 12 to be ranked number one in the top 100 when the results come out on Sunday.
Now, the man who will be presenting Brady during the telecast is none other than Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis. Lewis has been critical to the media about the officials’ treatment of the Patriots’ quarterback, particularly after a tough loss in 2009. Back then, Lewis told the media: "It's embarrassing to the game, … Brady is "a man ... they can be hit just like us."
I give Ray Lewis a ton of credit for presenting Brady on Sunday. This shows that he has a ton of respect for Brady’s accomplishments. He knows what kind of player Brady is and he won’t let anger at the officials’ calls or lack of calls ruin his perception of Brady.
Even though the Patriots do not play the Ravens in the regular season this year, these two teams could meet up on a cold January afternoon with everything on the line. Then, we will see all the bad blood spoil over once again. However, regardless of team, now Brady and the Ravens’ defense can agree on one thing: Let’s end this lockout!