How should the Ravens prepare over the next two weeks?
FOXBOROUGH – Once Terrell Suggs’ adrenaline subsided, the Ravens’ fiery linebacker tried to roll back some of his strong remarks about the New England Patriots -- calling them "arrogant" and using an expletive -- after their 28-13 victory in the AFC championship game.
It was the second year in a row that these teams met for the championship at Gillette Stadium. The Ravens also won a playoff game here 33-14 in 2010.
“You don’t cross paths without a few things in common. I tip my hat to them. That’s one hell of a football team,” said Suggs, 2011 Defensive Player of the Year who will be playing in his first Super Bowl. “It’s a rivalry. We don’t like them. They don’t like us.
“Even enemies can show respect. We have the utmost respect for that team and their leader (Tom Brady). That guy’s a winner. You got to play damn near flawless to beat them. I think we did that in the second half.”
The Ravens’ defense, maligned all season because of injuries to Suggs, linebacker Ray Lewis, linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and a host of others, came up big against the NFL’s most potent offense.
The Patriots’ posted a league-high 557 points during the regular season which is third-most of all-time. Brady was 67-0 when leading games going into halftime as the Patriots had a 13-7 edge.
But Suggs and company rendered those numbers irrelevant. Brady, who has three Super Bowl championships in five appearances, was held scoreless for the last 30 minutes. Their 13 points was their lowest output of the season. They scored 18 in a Week 2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals.
The Patriots won this game 23-20 one season ago, advancing to the Super Bowl before falling to the New York Giants.
“It’s only two stadiums that you can really enjoy this win,” Suggs said. “Foxborough is one and (Pittsburgh’s) Heinz Field is the other.
“We followed up what we did last year. It wouldn't have been the same if two different teams played. Had they played somebody else or we played somebody else, this game would've been less interesting. … These teams had to go through each other.”
Receiver Anquan Boldin agreed with Suggs’ assessment.
“We came here last year, we felt like we had something taken away from us. We wanted to come back here this year and make that right,” he said. “It would've been great to play in front of our fans in Baltimore, but the right way to do it was to come here.”