A 33-13 playoff loss? Nevermore.
The New England Patriots rattled off 13 straight points to knock off the Baltimore Ravens in Foxboro this afternoon. Led by the newly acquired (for the 2nd time) Deion Branch, the offense finally cracked the code of one of the stingiest defenses in the NFL.
Here are our Gameballs and Goats, which you can also find at PatriotsInsider.com — feel free to add yours to the conservation in their forums. You can also check us out during Patriots Insider Radio tonight.
The Defense – It is tough to single out one or two guys on a defense that played so well. Ray Rice was held in check all day by the stout defensive line. Joe Flacco moved the ball at times, but the secondary stepped up when it matters. There were still areas to improve on, but that was easily the best overall performance of the year by a defense that is starting to gel.
Danny Woodhead – I could have given this gameball to Joe McKnight, whose presence in New York led the Jets to release “Mighty Mouse”. Woodhead was the perfect running back for the game, as when the holes are six inches wide, you want a guy that can fit through those holes. Answering one question that has lingered for us, Woodhead was effective in blitz pickup as well.
Deion Branch – What more can you say? Nine catches for 98 yards and a TD in the game, with almost all of them coming in crunch time. The chemistry between Branch and Brady was still evident, even after five years in Seattle for Branch. Welcome home.
Honorable Mentions: Tom Brady, Kick Coverage, Stephen Gostkowski, Zoltan Mesko
We really can’t call anyone a goat in such a great victory for the Patriots, but we will give a few dishonorable mentions.
Aaron Hernandez – Great game in regulation marred by two huge drops in overtime.
Brandon Meriweather – Meriweather needs to use his brain, not his helmet.