Monday, December 03, 2007

Kyle Boller Finally Acts Like Kyle Boller

The Ravens just had a chance to put the Pats on the ropes, and Boller threw a horrendous pick to James Sanders. Brady has the Pats on the move... and he hits Maroney for another screen and long-gainer. 42 yards to the Ravens 25. Wow, Maroney's showing me something here. I'll have to call out more people publicly. Come on Moss, you're due. Damn - almost. Brady just tried to gun one into Moss in the end zone and Moss missed it. 3rd and 6 on the 20. And it looks like it's going to be another field goal. Welker was just interfered with but it wasn't called. Gostkowski nails a 38-yarder into the wind and it's 24-20 with more than 8 minutes left. They have to put the clamps on McGahee and make Boller throw it more. Gostkowski also needs to kick this one into the end zone, or special teams needs to make a good stick. The Ravens have been killing us with good returns.

Ravens will start at their 27-yard line. And conveniently, they go three and out and look pretty bad in doing so. Pats have great field position, at around their own 45, and Brady fires a missile into Moss. Maroney is running hard, which is nice to see. Dan Koppen just got flagged for a tough penalty after Maroney had run for a first down. Big play. Now it's 2nd and 14 on the 41. And another flag on the Pats - what the hell is going on here? Rare mental mistakes. It's now 3rd and 14. Need a clutch-ass throw here. Crap. Incomplete, and the Patriots are punting. The Ravens are going to get the ball with about 5 minutes left. A steady dose of McGahee here and the dream season could be just that.

Good stop on McGahee. A big third and 2 here. Key on McGahee. And Boller's throwing... McGahee's got it, but he's taken down short of the first down. Huge play by the Pats' D. Just what we needed.

So here we go... it's down to 3 minutes and 30 seconds and the ball is in the steady hands of Tom Brady. Brady throws one to Stallworth, who has the ball temporarily before getting popped by a DB. 2nd down. Shotgun. There's Ben Watson! Where you been hiding, Dawg? Clutch throw and catch for a first down. Incomplete on the screen attempt to Faulk - and damn, he had some green in front of him. 2nd and 10 from about midfield, and another short pass to Faulk. 3rd and 1 here. Maroney? Keeper? Brady gets the first down. We're at the two-minute warning and the Pats have a 2nd and 10 from the Ravens 39. It all comes down to this, and in a way it's pretty cool that we're trying to get it done against Ray Lewis and the vaunted Ravens D.

We've got 2 timeouts left. Brady back, and he gets pressured again. 3rd and 10, and somewhere Don Shula is waving a Ravens pompom. OH MY GOD. Brady just tried to sneak it and was stopped, but someone on the Ravens sideline called a timeout and the play was whistled dead. This could be GIGANTIC. Ray Lewis and Ed Reed are looking around incredulously. We've got another chance, and again we shoot ourselves in the foot. Offsides. Now it's 4th and 6. Yikes. I've got butterflies.

And Brady runs for the first down! Wide open field, so why not. There's a flag - holding my breath - and it's against the Ravens. A very nice turn of events. 1st and 10 at Balty's 18. This is fun. Faulk with a nice run. (That rhymed). Oh my - Brady just threw a ball that hit a helmet and bounced way up in the air... and luckily it fell to the ground. 3rd and 5 on the 13. Brady back - incomplete. And it's fourth down. The perfect season comes down to one play. Holy sheeeit.

Pats call a timeout to discuss things. And I don't believe what I just saw - the Ravens just got called for defensive holding, giving the Pats first and goal. And Brady connects with Jabar Gaffney in the left corner for a TD! Pats lead it 27-24!! Un-freaking believable.

After Ravens LB Bart Scott has a meltdown - and throws the officials flag into the stands - the Pats kick off to the Ravens with about 45 seconds left. Boller keeps going for the home run ball, but what about going sideline to sideline and trying to get into position for a field goal? Boller's last heave is caught on the 2-yard line but the receiver is tackled short of the end zone. Game over. And an incredible game it was.

Wow - this was like a playoff game. A commenter on Deadspin posted: "Why am I emotionally drained from watching a game featuring two teams I don't give a shit about?" That about sums it up - and imagine if you had a rooting interest. I want to watch and absorb all the postgame stuff. The Pats are still perfect, and if any team was going to knock them off, it was tonight. They won it on hostile turf, against an inspired, great defense, and now the talk is going to heat up. After the Steelers next week, the Pats have pattycakes in the Jets and Miami, and then the season finale in the Meadowlands against Elise Manning and the Giants. Four left baby. And for Coach Shula and those overrated '72 Dolphins? Instead of a glass of champagne tonight, how about a nice cold mug of shut the f*ck up?

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