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Championship Sunday: Brady, Lewis, Jake Long

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- I'm covering the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game today.

It has become something of an annual rite that these two teams meet in the playoffs. They met last year in the title game. They have played six times since 2007 and this will be the third playoff meeting between the teams.

And all that time, the rest of the AFC East that is charged with knocking the Patriots down in the regular season has not been able to do it. The Dolphins did sneak in to win a division title in 2008 in what now seems like a mirage. And believe it or not, the Jets have had the most success unseeding the Pats from their playoff perch.

And still that hasn't been enough.

The primary reason? Let's face it, it's the quarterback. Tom Brady.

I believe as long as Brady is playing for the Patriots, the rest of the AFC East teams will be playing for a wildcard slot because Brady and the Pats are simply too dominant. So when will Brady, 35, go away? When will the door open for the other AFC East teams?

As I write in my column today Tom Brady is not declining. And in comparing him to Dan Marino, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas and others, Brady isn't suffering the ravages of time. Check out which QB I believe he is comparable to as he ages.

If my comparison is correct, it might be 2018 before we're done seeing Brady in New England, folks.

Scary.

One legend that will be leaving the NFL after this season is Ray Lewis. I appreciate that dude. He is a great player. He is a great leader. However you feel about that long-ago murder charger (later dropped) is not the topic today.

The topic today is whether Lewis gets a chance to go out on top by advancing to the Super Bowl. Or whether he will bow out after this game.

On another matter, I want to share with you a good example of how uncertain things are for the Dolphins these days.

On Saturday, Jackie Long, the wife of Jake Long, tweeted what is a clear statement of how little certainty the Dolphins have given the Dolphins offensive lineman.

"Getting a little tired of not knowing where we'll be next year!" she tweeted. "I don't wanna move but if we have to leave I better start organizing!"

This seems like a sign that the Dolphins are quite willing to let Long walk this offseason if the price is not right on a new deal.

Comments

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Think anyone on ESPN will have the gall to ask Genius Tuna why he downgraded Ryan?

Nah.......

Posted by: Roger Ovuranout | January 20, 2013 at 03:58 PM


They did asked him. He said very casually - Well with QB's you just never know. Maybe we should have taken him.

finl4life

I never knew Cubans hated the Argentines until I read your post earlier Is there some bad blood between the countries? Some history I am unaware of?

I just know both countries have beautiful, fun women.

DD,

It will matter as long as Ireland is still gm. Should Ryan advance to the sb today, the Miami media has to post the question to Ireland about his stance on the Long/Ryan decision of 2008.

The reason the question hasnt already been posted is because Ryan getting knocked out of the playoffs, even when having homefield advantage.

Ryan reaches the sb, Ireland has to be questioned about his 2008 stance of Long vs Ryan. There's no way around it as long as Ireland is still dolphins gm.

Like I said earlier, ATL would blow their wad early and then go flat. Ryan getting shakey now.

Since there is no satisfaction that can possibly be derived from following a bogus franchise, there IS a GREAT deal of satisfaction to be gained by bashing Tuna&Co.----AND BY DEMANDING AN EXPLANATION that has NEVER been given EVEN THOUGH IRELAND remains in charge.

If they cannot or will not explain their beginning draft strategy - - the strategy which still handicaps us - - then how can you even begin to trust their future "plans."

They don't know what they're doing, and they have yet to realize or admit what they've done.

It is not like King Parcells took over as czar let the inexperienced youngster choose the first pick. How can anyone believe that? Blame Parcells.

Darryl,

For me it's not the Long Vs. Ryan debate as much as the very different approaches to building a team and remember Dimmitroff who was then Pats Scout Director was the consolation prize in an all out bidding war between us and the Falcons for Parcells services while they got the young inovative mind and we got an outdated approach spearheaded by a gang of Czar's yes men

If Senso's correct re Tuna's extremely cavalier & blase response to The Q - - and it sounds like accurate reporting to me based on Tuna's shotty attitude - - It simply shows he was taking the $$ & phoning it it-----he's not one of "us," and he cannot sincerely say "maybe WE shoulda..." cuz he never gave a damn about our future.

Broder!

Amen Fin4life!

Kap coming alive! Ryan fading! Oh YEAH!

49ers have woken up! The Falcons have no answer right now for V.Davis will have to slide a Safety into the middle of the field opening it up one on one for Moss with the coverage probably rolled towards Crabtree, game on!

Complaining about it, will not change the Past.

The Tuna sucks ! He and Saben screwed the Dolphins for years ! It's going to take a lot of smart moves and time to get out of the bad decisions those fools made !

Senso,

Its just would be a "hot" media story to hear from Ireland's own lips.

Even if Ireland say, "yes I was onboard with it, but obviously it was a mistake I learned from", that much would suffice for me. Or just says he wasnt onboard with it.

But, if he tries to "dodge" the question, I dont think that would gop over to well with the Fireland or "on the fence" dolfans. Right now, I consider myself on the fence as far as Ireland goes. With this offseason being make or break concerning how I will eventually "fully view" Ireland.

..Yg. I just don't know what Ireland is supposed to say that will make anyone feel better? What would you like to hear from him that changes anything going forward? My point is that does it change anything if the Falcons lose this game? Does it mean that the Phins were right just because the Falcons come up short? This is only my opinon. But I don't need to hear anything. I just want to see success in the future. Did we learn anything from this, and do we change the overall thinking from that era?

not a knock on Tannehill, hopefully he'll be good......but it is getting old looking at the QBs that we passed on, all without trades or having to give up picks, etc....Brees, Ryan, Dalton, Kaepernick, Wilson--its like both sides of a freakin' Pro Bowl team, with backups!

Falcons who have quick LB's can't stay with Vernon Davis Nolan will roll a Safety opening it up for one of his WR's probably Moss.

A couple of great big WRs and SF can't get to Ryan. Hmm...

DD,

I fully understand your position on the Ireland situation. Its just within the Dolfanation, there are at least a "few hundreds of thousands" of dolfans viewing it differently.

It's easy to see that just from taking the temperature of this blog alone in this matter. Just think about the potential 1 to 2 million dolfans that exist out there. You just may find yourself "far.....outnumbered" in your opinion.

and as to the point of Mando's article, there is no uncertainty......all things considered, Miami aint bringing back Long--you can book it.....she'd be wise to start organizing.

eh, well, we hve to convince Tony to retire then come with us.

DD,

Also living in the State of Florida, nearly every dolfan I run into, when posed the Ryan/Long question, at least 98% of them are still hot about it.

Matt Ryan's Sunday: first-half: 271 yds; 3TDs

Jake Long's Sunday: "Honey......go on Twitter & see if you can rile my fans up to pressure the FO"

Roger Ovuranout = Daily Bash Ireland Troll of many names.

POST OF THE DAY SO FAR:


Matt Ryan's Sunday: first-half: 271 yds; 3TDs

Jake Long's Sunday: "Honey......go on Twitter & see if you can rile my fans up to pressure the FO"

Posted by: Roger Ovuranout | January 20, 2013 at 04:35 PM

LOL.............................................

Thre will be adjustments on D by Harbaugh for the 2nd half. Interestig to see if they will work.

The Falcons are scoring to easily on a very good Sec. I really thought Wittner and Goldson would keep Gonzalez in check but the CB's can't stay with Julio Jones. I expect the 49ers to drop their MLB's into more zone coverage in the 2nd half.

Do you notice how Jimmy Johnson opens and shuts his mouth rapidly several times after speaking, like a guppy in a bowl?

..Yg..I totaly agree with your point that there are a lot of fans that will raise the question again. And I think they have every right.

2008 was a long time ago.. My dedication to this team was nowhere near what it is now, so admitedly I wasn't as plugged into the heartbeat of the team. The only thing that I can say is that I seem to remember Ryan being on the fringe of being a top 5 pick that year. That some believed Flacco, and Brian Brohm the better prospects. So, right or wrong perhaps the Phins evaluation of Ryan was that he wasn't worthy of the first pick. So they went the safe route and took the highest rated player in the draft. At the time the BPA.

I understand the frustration of the fans who say. How can you ever take a lineman over a quarterback when quarterback is always the most important position, especially at that point in 2008 when the Phins were garbage at the position. I totaly get that, and can't argue it. I'm just trying to look at it from the teams point of view. Not trying to justify what they did at all.

I share the opinion that the Long pick was a mistake. It is really easy in hindsight, because both he and Flacco have been productive quarterbacks, their teams both on the verge of going to the cup. I think you get where I am coming from when I say, that all the explination in the world won't change the pick. But hopefully will change the way the team prioritizes players in the future.

Does'nt anyone out there think that Tannehill with weapons like Roddy White, Tony Gonzales and Julio Jones could not light it up? I do.

Moving forward I want to see Ireland succeed in getting those types of weapons. Parcells is history.

Please Dear God let SF win!

FIN4LIFE,

I dont care how supposedly great your secondary is, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Anthony Gonzalez are a load for even the very best to try and contain.

The real key is SF's nearly "nonexistent pass rush". You cant give Ryan that much time to find such great calibre recievers. Its "assisted suicide". LOL...

YG,

I hear the Ryan talk alot as well but in honesty didn't feel him elite coming out of B.C. remember in College he played UM every Yr. and I wasn't completely sold besides I remind everybody about Wannstedt/Brees, Saban/Rodgers and Brees. My pet peeve is Ryan aside the Falcons are a more explosive team playing in a solid Div. themselves and when analyzing both teams it's clear Dimmitroff win or lose today has outclassed and given lessons were our F.O. is concerned.

and JJ rapidly licks his lips alot too.....should try chap stick

Both of theses QBs dolphins could have. Had without trading up

I love the way Kap has settled down and is beginning to show great poise. For the Falcons to win this game they will have to keep scoring.

I can see the winner of this game easily scoring 38-40pts to gain a victory. Too many offensive weapons on both offenses.

Its "assisted suicide". LOL...

Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | January 20, 2013 at 04:45 PM

Agreed, this hasn't been the same team since J.Smith became a one armed player and they can't seem to generate any pressure without bringing the house which maybe suicide itself.

Kap > Ryan

Tell me you wouldn't take him over Ryan today.

dont forget that Miami was coming off a 1-15 season before that '08 draft.....could not blow it, had to take the safest pick--not in defense of anything, just a fact.

Guys Kaep is the real deal, lets see if the D has an answer now!

So what then - the Dolphins are supposed to just bow down and kiss Brady's cleats? Someone needs to knock him on his a**! We need to build a TEAM that can unseat the Pats - every move the Dolphins make should be geared toward beating the Pats. They're NOT invincible and neither is Brady. We need pass rushers, corners and speed on Offense - I know it is easier said than done but...I'm not ready to concede the division to NE for the next 5 years...no way! I hope they lose today.

Mike Nolan's defense not covering anybody since 1 st quarter

Sparanus ruined Long.

I'll bet Jeff Ireland just jumped out of his livingroom chair on that Matt Ryan pick. LOL...

Seems "Mr. Mo" is definitely swinging 'Frisco's way!

Kap might be the best QB in the NFL right now.

Haven't they been talking about D.Akers being unreliable since Nov.??

That missed fg could be huge should the Falcons score this possession. I know it sounds crazy, but the Falcons had better find a way to get a huge mixture of the ground game working.

Kap's just showing too much come from behind ability right now. The best thing to do is find a way to keep Kap off otf the field now.

Run game just like I said. It has to be about trying to keep Kap on the sidelines right now.

But the Falcons also need to put points on the scoreboard too. Or milkimg the clock will be counter-productive.

these "blow to the QBs head" calls have got to be adjusted, or re-thought......that should not have been a penalty......inadvertent for sure, part of the game--gotta change that call

ARMANDO,


WELCOME TO BOSTON ,WHERE CLASSY PEOPLE LIVE ,

ATL blew there wad early and haven't done much since.

Lets see if Matty can prove his worth or be considered only a small game QB.

True, it will be hard to win the east with Brady in place. But a division title isn't the main goal. The goal is and should always be the Super Bowl. Winning the division makes it easier but a wild card still gives you a chance. The Jets went to two AFC championship games in a row while division winning New England watched from home.

Niners should be up by 13 or more...but, they ain't.

Phins,

Thought you said you weren't going to drop your litter on the blog anymore until the draft LOL.

What possesed you to come back and state the obvious? LOL

Phony78,

The Pats are pretty much the measuring stick for the entire afc east. Nearly every season it seems the afc road to the sb goes thru New England.

If you gear up towards building a team that can beat the Pats, you nearl;y ensure yourself of a sb run. Gosh, youre stupid. LOL...

Its now 2 consecutive seasons the Afc title game is played in New England. If your goal is Super Bowl, it had better be centered around being constructed to beat New England.

Division title my a s s, the Pats play for sb's, they just happen to "dominate the division along the way.

Gosh, Phony78 is stupid! ROTFLMAO....................

Whoever wins Fins have egg on face......


ATL wins = Tuna/Dmitroff/Smith Debacle + Ryan/Long debate.

SF wins = Ross refusing to get rid of Ireland to clear path for Harbaugh hiring.

The level of Pony78's stupidity has no ends. In 13yrs, Bellichik and Brady has been together, 7 Afc Championship games, and 5 sb appearances.

Yet, Phony78 doesnt believe we need to be built to beat the Pats to get thier. In-f-u-c-k-i-n-g-c-r-e-d-i-b-l-e! ROTFLMAO............................

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