EARLY BIRD: Suggs not on Brady's Christmas card list

EARLY BIRD: Suggs not on Brady's Christmas card list
December 19, 2013, 7:00 am

Are the Ravens good enough offensively for the playoffs?

EARLY BIRD: Thursday’s wakeup call with the Ravens.

Today’s buzz: Terrell Suggs vs. Tom Brady. Two star players who will not be having Christmas dinner together.

Brady was asked during a Wednesday press conference call if he had sent Suggs a Christmas card.

“No, probably not this year,” Brady said. “Maybe one of these years we’ll get together for dinner or something.”

Or maybe they won’t. Suggs has made his dislike for the Patriots’ star quarterback clear, adding an extra edge to the Ravens-Patriots rivalry. Suggs goes out of his way not to mention Brady by name, but when they meet Sunday at M & T Bank Stadium, Suggs is expecting a difficult challenge.

“Let’s not kid ourselves, he’s a fierce competitor,” Suggs said. “Then again, we don’t shy away from anybody. Both teams are going to be playing championship football. It’s a championship for both of us – you can expect that.”

How often Suggs gets close to Brady on Sunday remains to be seen. Suggs is in a sack slump. He has nine for the season, but none the past six games. Suggs did not deny the sack slump has weighed on his mind.

“Definitely, I think about it a lot, but in those six games we’re 5-1,” Suggs said. “It’s definitely in the back of my mind, but I can’t let that be my No. 1 focus. As long as we’re winning, I’ll accept that. It’s bittersweet.”

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Brady took the wise route Wednesday, complimenting Suggs, instead of stirring things up.

“He’s a great player,” Brady said. “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.”

Losing to the Patriots on Sunday would be a serious setback for the Ravens. Losing to Brady would make it even more difficult for Suggs to take. Asked what goes through his mind when he faces the Patriots, Suggs said, “I don’t know. Don’t get lit up – win the game. But, a lot goes through your mind, just not a lot of it is TV-rated.”

But Sunday’s game will be worth watching. When Suggs and Brady are on the same field, it always is.

Morning thought: “It’s all been great, but it’s all history now. This game stands alone, and this is really the only one we are thinking about.” John Harbaugh, talking about the Ravens-Patriots rivalry, and the importance of Sunday’s game.

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