Originally Posted by p-funkfan412
Someone made the argument today that the Patriots are like the Tennessee Volunteers in being a once-proud organization that just isn't getting it done anymore or Clemson in that when they make it to a big game, the fall on their face.
On the other hand, he said, the Baltimore Ravens are sort of like the South Carolina Gamecochs -- strong defenses and improving offenses that are close to breaking through.
Kind of hard to argue with.
Alright I'll play along - although I am 99% sure you are a Ravens fan trolling. I'm guessing the someone that made that argument was you.
Actually it's extremely easy to argue with - and that's before reminding him of the final score of last season's AFCCG (Patriots 23, Ravens 20), or the all-time record between the two clubs (Patriots 7, Ravens 1: a .875 winning percentage).
First, let's look at where Tennessee was and where they have been recently. At the height of their success they went 11-1, 10-2, 11-2 and 13-0 from 1995-98, finishing 2nd, 9th, 8th and 1st in the final rankings. The last four years they went 5-7, 7-6, 6-7 and 5-7, unranked (i.e., lower than 25th) each of those years.
Now let's do the same comparison with the Patriots. At the height of their success they went 11-5, 9-7, 14-2, 14-2; 1st, missed playoffs, 1st, 1st. The last four years they went 11-5, 10-6, 14-2, 13-3. If you want to use draft position as a correlation to NCAA rankings they finished 10th, 11th, 5th and 2nd.
I fail to see any connection. Though the 2001-04 Patriots out-preformed the 2008-12 Patriots, there is no comparison to the drop in performance with Tennesee from 1995-98 to 2008-12.
Now let's look at the alleged 'upswing' of the Ravens, starting with the franchise's most successful year ever.
- 2001: 12-4 (Super Bowl)
- 2002: down to 10-6 (lost in division round)
- 2003: again 10-6 (lost in wild card round)
- 2004: down to 9-7 (missed playoffs)
- 2005: down to 6-10 (missed playoffs)
- 2006: up to 13-3 (lost 1st playoff game)
- 2007: down to 5-11 (missed playoffs)
- 2008: up to 11-5 (lost in AFCCG)
- 2009: down to 9-7 (lost in division round)
- 2010: up to 12-4; 1st in AFCN (lost in division round)
- 2011: again 12-4; 1st in AFCN (lost in AFCCG)
I suppose if you consider going from alternating winning season with losing seasons to being able to put together four consecutive winning seasons together being on the upswing then yes, the Ravens are on the upswing.
Now let's compare the two teams head-to-head for the past year, the last two years, etc.
- 2011: Pats 13-3, advanced to SB; Ravens 12-4, lost to Pats
- 2010-11: Pats 27-5; Ravens 24-8
- 2009-11: Pats 37-11; Ravens 33-15
- 2008-11: Pats 48-16; Ravens 44-20
- 2007-11: Pats 64-16; Ravens 49-31
As for the final comment about "when they make it to a big game, the fall on their face", do I really need to remind you about Wide Left?
Every game that is an elimination game is a big game - not just the championship games. You don't get to the final game without winning big games along the way.
The front office of the Ravens has done an excellent job in assembling one of the best rosters in the NFL; I admire and respect Ozzie Newsome for what he has accomplished with this team.
But please, spare me with this passive aggressive trolling act.