By Samuel Njoku
With the divisional round of the playoffs a few days away, Baltimore goes to work in preparation for the 1st seed New England Patriots. Though they’ve had success in the past against them, they know it won’t be an easy task. It’s all or nothing as the loser goes home and the winner earns a ticket to the AFC Championship game.
Past postseason success means little
With the playoff history between these two teams, it’s easy to point to the Ravens’ success in the past as reason for optimism. But Ravens fans would be wise not to make the same mistake Steelers fans did last week. Just because you’ve had postseason success against your opponent in the past, doesn’t mean the outcome to the upcoming game is set in stone. Tom Brady put it best when he said “it’s the 2014 New England Patriots against the 2014 Baltimore Ravens.” The current Patriots don’t have quite the same problems they possessed in previous seasons. Their defense has fewer holes for Baltimore to exploit.
From a pure football standpoint, New England doesn’t match up well against the Baltimore Ravens. But, the Patriots are the No. 1 seed for a reason. If Baltimore beats New England, it’ll be because they executed on all three facets of the game and not because they beat them twice before.
Terrell Suggs and Tom Brady feud continues
When two of the best teams in the AFC face off almost annually in the postseason, a feud is bound to surface. In the case of Baltimore and New England, the bad blood between these two teams may have started prior to the postseason series began. Terrell Suggs has never been fond of Tom Brady. The rivalry between the two began in 2009 when Suggs grazed the lower leg of Brady. The Patriots QB pleaded for a flag to be thrown and moments later the referee penalized Suggs for roughing the passer. The penalty extended the drive and led to a touchdown that would decide the game. Since then, the two have traded jabs with each other both on and off the field.
Recently, both players have taken the high road in regards to the feud. But since 2009, Suggs has refused to mention Brady by name. On Tuesday, Brady actually had high praise for Suggs referring to him as “a smart player.” But the 12th year Ravens linebacker found it hard to believe.
“Did they record him,” asked Terrell Suggs with a smirk. “I would have loved to see his face.”
He’ll get plenty of chances to see Brady on Saturday in the Divisional round.
Ravens head of security begins legal battle in sex offense scandal
Darren Sanders, currently the Baltimore Ravens head of security, has been charged with a 4th degree sex offense and is currently on paid leave. The charges stem from an accusation from a stadium employee that he forced himself upon her. The victim recently petitioned a peace order against Sanders, but on Tuesday that petition was dismissed.
Sanders still faces criminal charges that could land him in prison, but his lawyer has made it clear that his client is innocent.
“Mr. Sanders continues to maintain that he did nothing wrong. He is totally innocent and he looks forward to his day in court,” stated Sanders attorney.
Sanders’ legal trouble is the latest in a slew of off-the-field issues that have plagued the Baltimore Ravens this season. Baltimore has had to deal with the Ray Rice domestic violence scandal as well as legal trouble from a number of their players prior to the start of this season.
For more Ravens news and updates, visit Ravens Central.
Samuel Njoku was born and raised in Baltimore, MD and is a graduate of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Samuel has covered the Ravens for Examiner.com since 2010. Prior to 2010, Samuel was an avid blogger and radio personality in Salisbury, MD. Samuel Njoku is a freelance writer covering all things NFL. His work can be found on Examiner.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @Ravens_Examiner.