Patriots win in epic style
And this is why America loves football. If you are a Patriots fan, watching this game was a bit like riding a roller coaster with a bad stomach.
If you are a “football fan,” it was one of the best games you could ask for.
“After this weekend, to be one of four teams still standing, it feels good,” said Patriots coach Bill Belichick.” We’re happy to be playing the AFC Championship at home next weekend. We earned it.”
A slug fest was expected, and that’s exactly what we got. This game had more twists and turns than the recent Rob Gronkowski novella.
“We just stuck together as a team,” said Gronkowski. “We knew we couldn’t put up two touchdowns in one play so we just stuck together and executed.”
It was a game with a little of everything, including a 51 yard touchdown pass from Julian Edelman to Danny Amendola to tie it at 28 in the third quarter.
“It’s a play that we’ve been working on all year,” said Amendola. ” Testament to Julian. He has a great arm and is a great athlete. He put it on the money, that’s for sure.”
With both sides piling up points, the game came down to one huge play on defense. Patriots safety Duron Harmon became the man of the hour when he picked off a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone with less than two minutes left.
“That was something we talked about about all week,” said Harmon. ” Joe Flacco has a lot of faith in his receivers, Torrey Smith, and Steve Smith. He’ll throw a shot up there and you just got to be ready to make a play, and at that point I was.”
The Ravens came out swinging early in the game, sending Patriot nation into a stunned, frost bitten shock. As expected, Baltimore showed up with the fearless swag they love to bring to Foxboro.
” I think what I will remember about this game is how good the Ravens are,” said Patriots wide receiver Matthew Slater. “The DNA of their team, the character of their team, you just can’t say enough about it.”
Trailing 14-0 in the first quarter, the Patriots woke up from a long winter’s nap and remembered its the playoffs. Tom Brady got the Patriots party started 46 yard strike to Rob Gronkowski. Brady then completed the drive with a 4 yard gallop into the end zone making it 14-7.
Not once, but twice, the Patriots overcame 14 point deficits, becoming the first NFL team to do so in the post season.
Brady now has 46 post season touchdowns, breaking the record of his childhood idol, Joe Montana.
“After this weekend there will be four teams standing,” said Brady. “It feels good. We have a great opportunity ahead of us to play a championship game at home. We have certainly earned and we’re proud of it, but we have bigger goals ahead.”
TB12 will be the first to tell you that this isn’t the time of year to be talking about individual accolades. It’s about post season wins.
This win was was big, hard fought, and well deserved.
Whatever happens next week, it will be tough to match the drama of this one. It wasn’t just a great game. It was epic.