Every time the New England Patriots play the Baltimore Ravens, the games are long and intense, and often coming down to one or two critical plays. Fans will remember it was the Ravens that nearly beat the Patriots in their undefeated season in 2007. In 2010 the Patriots and Ravens were in a nail-biter that came down to a Raven’s dropped pass on fourth down in Patriots territory. In the 2012 week three match-up, the Patriots lost 31-30 because of a last second field goal that went over an upright post. The replacement referees bogged down the game with constant penalties, even calling an unsportsmanlike penalty on the Ravens’ sideline, and ultimately ended the game with no explanation of the final controversial field goal.
The playoff games are when the Patriots/Ravens rivalry really heats up, though. In 2009, the Ravens came into Foxborough and stomped the Patriots 33-14. In 2011, the infamous Billy Cundiff wide-left field goal miss sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl after a game in which Brady admitted that he “pretty much sucked.” Finally, the Ravens go their revenge last season when they beat the Patriots 28-13 after knocking Stevan Ridley out of the game with a concussion.
Perhaps the best part of the rivalry aside from the games themselves is the hatred between Tom Brady and Terrell Suggs. While Brady usually keeps his disdain diplomatic and avoids taking shots, Suggs does quite the opposite. After beating the Patriots in the playoffs last season, Suggs left the field saying, “These are the most arrogant pricks in the world, starting with Belichick on down,” via Dan Wetzel of Yahoo Sports. “Tell them to have fun at the Pro Bowl. Arrogant [expletive].” He even brought up the Spygate incident, a favorite subject of Patriots-haters, and said, “That’s funny, ever since Spygate, they can’t seem to get it done. I don’t know what it is.”
Yeah it’s a rivalry between them and us, between me and 12 (Tom Brady). – Terrell Suggs
In this week leading up to the anticipated rematch between the Patriots and Ravens in Baltimore, Tom Brady took some diplomatic shots at Suggs. He said that he would not be sending him a Christmas card this year but said, “maybe one of these years we’ll get together for dinner or something.” He then complimented Suggs as an athletic player by saying, “He’s always been a great player. He presents a lot of problems for an offensive line, for an offense. He’s big, he’s rangy, he’s powerful. He plays the run and the pass. For a guy that’s that size and how athletic he is, to play the way he does is amazing.”
Both teams lost significant players in this past off-season and because of injuries this year, but both have found succes anyway. The Patriots currently hold the #2 seed in the AFC with Baltimore holding #6 with the possibility of rising if they beat New England on Sunday. This will be their first meeting since the Patriots got knocked out of the playoffs last year, so they will be out for revenge while Baltimore will try to ride the momentum of a four game win-streak and a 6-1 record at home for the season.