AFC Wild-card: Ravens 33, Patriots 14
NT Vince Wilfork offered his reasons to why the Patriots fell yesterday to the Ravens 33-14 at home. "We didn't come to play, point blank," Wilfork said according to the Boston Globe. "We never had a chance from the first play to the last play. We didn't even play like it was a playoff game. More like a preseason game. We got beat up today. For them to come in here and do what they did, they could basically have been playing out there with a JV football team and they probably would have given a better effort than we did." Wilfork led the defense with 13 total tackles, nine on his own.
Will Wilfork return to the Patriots next season? Click here to see what he said to his teammates as Sunday's game came to a close.
When WR Wes Welker went down with a season-ending knee injury against the Houston Texans it was unknown if he could be replaced in the offense with the playoffs around the corner. The Boston Globe suggests he couldn't be replaced and it was evident yesterday and TE Benjamin Watson agreed with that assertion. "A lot of our offense goes through [Welker], a lot of it has gone through him, a lot of it was focused on him the whole year," said Watson. For him not to be out there, it's huge. Does it change the fact that we have good players and we need to score and move the football? It doesn't change that. Watson recorded only one catch for three yards. "But yeah, any time you lose somebody like that, you can't really replace them." The Patriots had just one catch for more than 20 yards
WR Julian Edelmangot the start in place of the injured Welker and had a productive day. He grabbed six passes for 44 yards and scored two touchdowns according to the *Worcester Telegram & Gazette. *
Much speculation swirled around QB Tom Bradysuggesting he was playing hurt. After the game, however, Brady stated that injuries are not an excuse according to the Boston Herald. "We all deal with injuries," Brady said. "We really do. There's not a guy in that locker room who's not banged up, and we just play through it and that's part of playing football." When questioned about broken ribs, Brady replied, "I don't want to get into all that. Whatever it is, we've got to all overcome it."
Was that the last game for LB Adalius Thomaswith the Patriots? He also addressed his contract situation. Click here to read his comments.
ESPN Boston writes 10 defining moments that led up to Sunday's stunning home playoff loss.
The fans at Gillette Stadium did not shy away from the "boo-birds" during Sunday's loss. For a couple players, they were not surprised to hear such a reaction. "I'd have been booing us, too, the way we played," said QB Tom Bradyaccording to ESPN Boston. "That's [the fans'] right. We just didn't play well, but give those guys a lot of credit, they played well in all phases."
ESPN Stats and Info compiled a few important statistics from Sunday's game:
-The Patriots haven't allowed more than 20 points in a home playoff game since their last home playoff loss -- the 1978 AFC divisional, when they fell to the Houston Oilers, 31-14.
-The Ravens are the first team to lead a playoff game 24-0 at the end of the first quarter since the Jaguars led the Dolphins, 24-0, in a 1999 AFC wild card. The final score that day: 62-7.
-The Patriots were 8-0 at home in the regular season and the most points allowed in a game at Gillette Stadium this season was 24 in a Week 1 win over Buffalo.
Click here for additional statistics and a complete list of how the Patriots have performed in the postseason in Foxborough.
QBTom Bradyon the franchise moving forward (Providence Journal): "We have Mr. Kraft, and all he's done for the franchise," he said. "Coach Belichick is probably the greatest coach of all time. We have a corps of leaders, and some good, young players who work hard. This year didn't work out the way we wanted it to. But we'll be a lot better next year."
DLTy Warrenbelieves the offensive scheme from the Ravens [had no reason to change its philosophy](http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Brian MacPherson's Patriots Notebook: Season crashes to a halt&articleId=946c8634-b6bb-44a5-8084-4899af05f7c7), especially after scoring on the opening snap. "When you jump out the way they did, you pretty much stick with what you're doing. The cushion on the scoreboard allows you to do that," said Warren according to The Union Leader. Although the defense held QB Joe Flacco to just 34 yards on 4-of-10 passing, the ground game tallied 234 yards.
*Fox Sports *reports that yesterday's Ravens win signified the end of New England's decade of dominance. The story said, "it's hard not to reach the conclusion Sunday that the era of greatness, represented by those three blue banners, is likely over." Only four players on the current roster remain from the three Super Bowl title teams including Tom Brady, Kevin Faulk, Matt Lightand Stephen Neal.
Would having former Patriot Richard Seymour help prevent Baltimore's rushing attack? One source believes so.