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BOSTON (CBS) – Although Tom Brady is still upset at the Patriots’ performance on Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals, he has moved on to New England’s next opponent.
Because Brady knows Sunday night in Baltimore is not going to be a walk in the park.
“We hate to lose, obviously, but that’s part of football. You don’t win them all,” Brady said on Wednesday. “You have to find ways to be mentally tough — to put it behind you and move forward and try to be better this week because obviously what we did last week wasn’t good enough. We’ve got to try to find ways to execute better and score more points.”
“We’re playing a very good team that challenges us in all three phases, one of the best teams in the league over a long period of time,” Brady said of the Ravens. “It will be a fun game for the players.”
Sunday night will be a rematch of last year’s AFC Championship game, in which the Patriots won 23-20 on a missed last-second field goal by Billy Cundiff. It was par for the course with other Patriots-Ravens games, which tend to come down to the wire or need extra football to define a winner. Brady knows he and the Patriots are in for a very big early season test, on the road, against another AFC powerhouse.
“It always comes down to the end with these guys. I don’t know if we’ve ever had an easy game against these guys. They make you earn every yard you get,” he said. “Certainly, communication is an issue when you go on the road. We’ll be pumping the crowd music in at practice today – you’ll hear that from downtown Foxborough with how loud that is – but we’ll be trying to simulate not being able to hear and still doing a good job of communicating and really being on the same page. That’s part of winning on the road.”
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While a lot of the talk has been about Baltimore’s new-look offense — with Joe Flacco leading the way out of the no-huddle — the Ravens still tout one of the best defensive groups in the NFL.
“They’re very, very talented players, they play well within their scheme, and they complement each other well. They’re very physical, they’re very tough, they’re very smart and they really take advantage of bad offensive plays. I think more so than anything, they really capitalize on mistakes, so we’ve got to try to limit our mistakes.”
The Ravens have six sacks in the first two games of the season, good for second in the AFC. This comes despite not having Terrell Suggs, who could miss all of 2012 with an Achilles injury. But Brady knows the Ravens have plenty of other pass-rushers that will be gunning for him Sunday night.
“It’s interesting because over the years they’ve lost key players and they fill different guys in and different guys play different roles,” he said. “(Suggs is) a phenomenal player and he’s been very durable over his career. We’ve played him multiple times. But they’re still getting a lot of pressure on the quarterback and applying different blitz schemes to get pressure. Haloti Ngata is almost impossible to block at times. They like to get their safeties involved. They like to get Lardarius Webb involved. Everybody is a blitzer and that’s the kind of scheme it is. There’re different playmakers and they know how to use them and they know what they like. I’d like to blitz a lot of those guys, too, if I was how good they are at getting to the quarterback.”
Tune in to the Patriots-Ravens game Sunday night on 98.5 The Sports Hub. Patriots Preview begins at 5pm with full postgame coverage following the game!