The Ravens already face the prospect of playing a very good Patriots team on the road on Sunday, with a berth in the Super Bowl on the line. Now thanks to linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo, the Ravens are likely to face an angry Patriots team, too.
Ayanbadejo took to Twitter on Sunday night to take some shots at the Patriots, calling their offense a "gimmick" and recalling the Patriots' spygate controversy of a few years ago.
"New England does some suspect stuff on offense," Ayanbadejo tweeted. "Can't really respect it. Comparable to a cheap shot b4 a fight"
Later, he added, "Are you watching the game pats vs texans? If so you see the hurry snap offense catch em b4 they set up. It's a gimmick. ... Their offense is good enough to be successful with out that."
Ayanbadejo is active on Twitter, with more than 16,000 posts. He has been an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage and routinely debates issues such as free speech in 140 character or less with his roughly 33,000 Twitter followers.
Sunday night, he used his right of free speech to put the Patriots in his crosshairs: "You know the same organization that did spygate and cut a guy the day b4 the Super Bowl."
That was a reference to last season, when the Patriots cut wide receiver Tiquan Underwood the day before they faced the Giants in the Super Bowl.
The timing is curious to say the least.The Patriots are 7-1 all time in the AFC Championship Game, and the Ravens probably didn't need to give the Patriots any added motivation. And you'd think Ayanbadejo would be eating a bit of humble pie this weekend; Ayanbadejo is, after all, the de facto captain of a special teams unit that got torched for two return touchdowns on Saturday by Denver's Trindon Holliday.
Even if every last Raven feels that way about the Patriots, it's hard to believe they would articulate it the week before they have to travel to New England for the AFC Championship Game.