TWD Sunday Sports Thread #2 For 1/20/13: The Ray Lewis Goodbye Tour Extends Another Two Weeks As Ravens Go To The Super Bowl
Final: Baltimore 28, New England 13
You all know the rest to that story by now.
Jim Caldwell must get Joe Flacco out of the pocket and move him around to make the key throws and avoid the Patriots linebackers playing up the field. Aggression is the major strength of Belichick and Mike Patricia's unit, but when placed in pass coverage situations, it was problems once again.
Dickson and Pitta are vital to Flacco in his second half, as the Patriots safeties of Gregory and McCourty have played deep as expected to prevent the deep ball. Caldwell must let Flacco be unleashed in this half.
On the other side of the ball, Dean Pees must figure out a way to shut down Aaron Hernandez, as josh McDaniels has been superb at using him across the field as usual. A mix of Pollard and Ellerbe has to be used around him instead of just isolated corners, and they must try and get physical with him.
Dannelle Ellerbe will have to be outstanding again today. The unsung hero for Baltimore's defense, Ellerbe will have to assist in confusing Brady, getting pressure on him, and making sure the coverage is strong enough on cross routes from Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez.
If Ellerbe and Courtney Upshaw can help the rest of a banged up Front 7 with elite games, the Ravens will be going to the Super Bowl in two weeks time. Both Ellerbe and Upshaw must beat off pull blocks from the likes of Logan Mankins and Nate Solder.
Of course, Cody, McPhee, and Ngata have got to get some pressure on Brady, while on the Patriots side of defensive, their linebackers have got to be strong in coverage today, their major weakness.