01-23-2012, 11:47 AM
In the Starting Line-up
Join Date: Apr 2006
Consider this when trying to analyize the Super Bowl matchup
...almost every pundit was DEAD WRONG in trying to explain the important factors in the Pats-Ravens game.
1. The team that wins the turnover battle will win this game.
DEAD WRONG. Not only was this incorrect, but there was a TWO turnover differential. The Pats snapped a streak of 22 consecutive losses for teams in that -2 differential. Further, though, the way these turnovers happened, they certainly seemed worse than a normal turnover, particularly Woodhead's fumble.
2. The Patriots will win because Joe Flacco will not be able to match Tom Brady.
DEAD WRONG. Anyone watching the game knows that it was Flacco who was more deserving of a win yesterday, and even though he played an easier secondary, he was absolutely on fire. Flacco stepped up with a championship performance despite being pressured early.
3. If the Ravens keep the game close, they will win. They excel in the grind-em-out games.
DEAD WRONG. Although Brady made a few uncharacteristic errors, the Ravens were the team that couldn't handle the pressure down the stretch. Obviously, the Spikes interception and the two horrendous choke plays in the final seconds don't need much more discussion. The young, "soft" Patriots team showed the mental toughness in the end, particularly Sterling Moore, who might have made one of the most important plays in team history with a split second swipe.
4. Ray Rice will have his way with the New England defense.
DEAD WRONG. On this point, I think most pundits were just not being logical. We knew the Patriots would stop Rice at all costs, at the expense of the pass coverage. Although they pointed to Rice's huge run in '09, they forgot that the Patriots have typically contained running backs in big games throughout Belichick's tenure.
5. Brady needs to have an efficient, mistake-free game for the Pats to win.
DEAD WRONG. Most fans who followed the Pats this year knew the key to this game was establishing the run. When the Patriots ran, they were very successful. It was not surprising to me that they won the game in spite of Brady- the Ravens have a tremendous secondary, and the Pats have two all-pro guards.
6. The team with the better red zone offense will win the game.
DEAD WRONG. The Ravens clearly had the better red zone offense, but it was the frequency in which the Patriots reached the red zone that gave them the advantage. Three points also count on the scoreboard, and the Pats took them when they could. Sound fundamental strategy and a departure from an over-aggressive Belichick who had been taking gambles for years.