The Road to Indianapolis

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Some people may say that the New England Patriots lucked out completely, which they did in the end, but this game wasn’t all based on luck. The maligned Patriots defense has been ridiculed all season for being the second worst defese in yards allowed, the defense has stepped up in a major way this post season. The Patriots completely shut down the Denver Broncos in the AFC Divisional Round, allowing only 10 points. The Broncos didn’t have the best offense in the league, though. They rely on a ground and pound offense in a league that likes to air out the ball. The Broncos also didn’t score many points this season, relying on quarterback Tim Tebow’s “miracles” that helped the team come out with a dramatic win in the last few seconds of the game, or overtime. Critics and doubters of the Patriot defense figured that this game was a fluke becasue the Broncos offense was so bad.

Most people figured that the Patriots defense would struggle against an above average Ravens offense, led by Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. This game would be a serious test to see how good the Patriots defense really is. In the 2009 AFC Wild Card round, the Patriots faced the Ravens. On the first play from scrimmage, Ray Rice slipped thorugh a hole in the defense and gashed the secondary with his blistering speed for an 81 yard touchdown. The game finished 33-14. Geuss who won?

Now in 2012, the Patriots faced the Ravens in the AFC Championship game. Winner gets to go to the Super Bowl, and the loser has to go home. Tom Brady and the Patriots potent offense struggled throughout the whole game. Even when Brandon Spikes intercepted Joe Flacco in the fouth quarter, Tom Brady through a pick on the next play. Two interceptions is not a typical Tom Brady day, and let’s pray that that doesn’t happen in the Super Bowl. The maligned defense was the Patriots savior, coming up with huge plays late in the game. One was the Brandon Spikes interception. Another, and probably the most important play of the whole season, was when Sterling Moore stripped Lee Evans of the sure touchdown that would have given the Ravens the lead with less than a minute left. Nobody had ever heard of Sterling Moore before, who started his season on the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders. Then, with about 15 seconds left in the game, the Patriots got a stroke of luck. The Ravens decided to kick the field goal to tie the game with a few seconds left. The ball was snapped to the holder, who quickly turned the ball 140 degrees and placed it on the ground. The Ravens kicker, Billy Cundiff, approached the ball with the intentions to send this game into overtime. His foot accelerated foward and smashed the ball up. For a second, it looked like it would be good, but suddenly it began to spin quickly a was spun wide to the left of the goal post. The stadium errupted with cheers and the Patriots players ran onto the field. The only thing the Ravens legendary linebacker, Ray Lewis, could do was look in utter shock as his team missed out on the opprotunity to go to the Super Bowl. I think that Owner Robert Kraft’s late wife Myra pushed that kick left. The season was dedicated to her, and after Ben Jarvis Green Ellis scored a touchdown earlier in the game, he passionately pointed to the Myra’s initials MHK on his jersey. Now, the Patriots are in Indianapolis, preparing to take on the Giants in the biggest sporting event of the year. The Super Bowl.

*Photo from http://outsports.com/jocktalkblog/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/SB46_Primary_National_RGB.jpg*

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