With the game less than 3-hours away, there were a few things I found while doing a bit of reading this morning.  So here are a few notes that you may find interesting.

  • Say what you want about Joe Flacco, but so far he’s been a winner.  He’s compiled a 24-13 record as a starter since he’s taken over as Baltimore’s signal caller, and will likely be tough to defend against this afternoon.
     
  • I wrote about this in another post, but New England needs to break the third down funk they’re currently in on defense.  In case you were unaware, the Patriots have only returned four punts all year, ranking them last in the NFL.  That puts them 14 returns behind the league-leading – you guessed it – Baltimore Ravens.  When the two last met earlier this year New England only converted 3 third downs throughout the entire game.  That can’t happen today.
     
  • Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com reported this morning via Twitter that cornerback Terrence Wheatley, who has missed the first four games with a foot injury, is back and was the first player to loosen up on the field this morning.  Having Wheatley back finally gives them some more depth and experience in the secondary, which they could definitely use this afternoon.
     
  • Reiss also reported this morning that tight end Alge Crumpler will be at midfield today for the coin toss, as he was recently named as an additional captain.  He’s done a great job blocking when he’s been on the field and has reportedly been a great presence in the locker room, so as a result he’s been rewarded.
     
  • Today is the start of a new era, and as one of our posters points out – what you see this afternoon offensively is likely what we’ll see from New England over the next several years.  Considering the young players they have along with the mix of veterans Wes Welker and Deion Branch, the core of players they have currently are going to be around for a while.  Needless to say today’s game should give quite a glimpse into the future.