The Baltimore Ravens got ‘revenge’ on Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday. It was a tough physical game that ended in dramatic fashion. I have to admit, visions of Billy Cundiff were dancing through my head as Justin Tucker lined up, and then re-lined up for his kick. The first kick, was straight as an arrow, but a Patriot’s time-out was called just before the kick to try and “ice” Tucker. It set up a nail-biting finish that saw Tucker’s next kick barely make it through (and over) the crossbars for a 31-30 victory. I have to admit, I thought it was wide right: but, my emotions changed from shocked to joyful in a split second as I saw both refs’ two arms lift straight in the air!
There is no rest for the weary though. Sunday night’s game, is now followed by Thursday night football four days later against the Cleveland Browns. In the past, the Baltimore Ravens have played an intense game against a major foe, only to “lay an egg” and lose a game to un ‘underdog’ a week or so later. Now I realize this is the NFL, and on any given Sunday, any team can win or lose…but last season they whipped Pittsburgh in the season opener then lost to Tennessee two weeks later on the road. They can’t allow that to happen and still be considered an elite team in the AFC.
The Ravens must remain focused and play through the pain. Player’s bodies get used to the 7 days between games to allow their bumps and bruises to heal. Playing on four days rest is tough for any team; but, more so for the Ravens after a physically and mentally tough game against the Patriots. The Ravens game plan should be to play hard, get the win anyway they can get it, and the reward will be a 10-day break before their next game in Kansas City.