Saturday, September 24, 2022

Bart Scott blows up Patriots Before Raven’s Retribution game

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Bart Scott knows a thing or two about facing the New England Patriots. He also knows why the Baltimore Ravens have all the motivation they need to beat the team “with a punchable face.”

Scott, who played seven seasons for the Ravens and became a Pro Bowl linebacker, believes his old team will be fired up for the Patriots. Some of that intensity comes from the Ravens building a lead in Week 2 to lose 42-38 to the Pats’ AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins.

The collapse shed an unflattering light on the lingering weaknesses in the Ravens’ secondary school. Many of those defenders, including rookie safety Kyle Hamilton, will be keen to make amends this week.

Every extra jolt the Ravens need comes from what Scott calls a “formidable foe” whom they’ve engaged in some titanic and controversial battles over the years.

In his role as a pundit for ESPN, per Raven’s Vault co-host Bobby Trosset, Scott told the Ravens and “this defense will be out for retaliation.” He also said the Patriots were the perfect opponent because “if there was a team with a punchable face, it would be the New England Patriots.”

Scott’s incisive and caustic swipe at the Patriots comes as little surprise. The New England team has rarely won an NFL-wide popularity contest in the last 20+ years.

Part of any animosity towards the Pats is rooted in some degree of envy. Resentment for a team that has appeared in nine Super Bowls and won six since Bill Belichick became head coach in 2000.

The well-known animus for the top dog has grown teeth through the many cheating scandals during the Belichick era. Beginning with the infamous “spygate” in 2007, the Patriots have often been embroiled in controversy.

There was also “Deflategate,” which involved former quarterback Tom Brady and was linked to incidents from the Pats’ playoff run during the 2014 season. The Ravens were one of the casualties of that run, but only after a highly troubled game in New England.

John Harbaugh’s Ravens built a 28-14 lead in the third quarter in the divisional playoffs, but the Patriots came back and won 35-31. The catalyst for their revival was a series of trick plays that placed eligible receivers where offensive linemen would normally line up.

Harbaugh was outraged, but the games stood, although the NFL later viewed the tactic as an illegal substitute. According to Brady and the Pats, there was little sympathy Michael Silver of Chronicle of San Francisco:

This controversial postseason meeting was just one of many classic Patriots-Ravens encounters. The Ravens were usually on the short end of the rivalry, posting a modest 4-11 record against the Patriots, according to StatMuse.

Despite losing far more than they’ve won, the Ravens have picked up some of the more significant wins of the series. Those wins include beating the Patriots 33-14 in the wild card playoffs after the 2009 season.

Scott had already gone to the New York Jets, but two other defensemen were on the field when the Ravens defeated the Pats 23-14 in the AFC championship game two years later. One of these franchise greats has explained what Patriots Week was like during his Ravens career.

Speak as a member of The 33rd teamHall-of-Famer safety man Ed Reed explained why playing the Patriots often took a little extra focus and effort: “Brady and the Patriots, Belichick and all the guys at the time I was playing, you had to do that pay a little more attention because they’ve done more.”

Reed and fellow Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis had their memorable wars with the Patriots when Brady took center stage. It’s a different story, now Belichick is trying to win with Mac Jones.

The second-year signal caller is efficient, but it also falls more into the GM category. Jones can win if his running game and defense are as good as they were against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 2.

There’s no way Jones will win this week if he’s forced to keep up with Ravens’ double-threat sensation Lamar Jackson. The latter has already thrown for six touchdowns and ran for one more this season.

Tua Tagovailoa threw six touchdowns for the Dolphins against the Ravens’ sieve-like secondary. Belichick will seek similar results from Jones, but for now the most accomplished coach of the NFL’s Super Bowl era is content to laud the Ravens as a “model of consistency.” Zack Cox from NESN.com:

Harbaugh liked to reciprocate the “respect and admiration” in quotes that were reported ESPN’s Jamison Hensley:

It’s the kind of mutual love Scott, who has spent his career thwarting the Patriots’ plans, is unlikely to like. Scott needn’t worry, however, because while there’s a lot of praise floating around now, things usually get awkward and intense when these two teams renew their acquaintances on the field.

Reed and fellow Ravens Hall of Famer Ray Lewis had their memorable wars with the Patriots when Brady took center stage. It’s a different story, now Belichick is trying to win with Mac Jones.



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