You hear it all the time, that some players play with a chip on their shoulder. They have an ax to grind against an upcoming opponent and somehow, THAT will make them give 110% during the game – somehow make them more of a threat, driven by a vendetta.
Do you believe that?
How do you give 110%? If you give all you’ve got, isn’t that 100% of what you’ve got?
Think about it…
And if Tom Brady gets his panties in a bunch because he thinks John Harbaugh jump started Deflate Gate, and THAT makes him more determined, do we really think that will affect the game’s outcome?
I don’t doubt for a second that Brady might be more satisfied with the win. I don’t doubt that his postgame Chardonnay or Peach Schnapps or whatever umbrella drink he chooses, will be that much sweeter if the Patriots defeat the Ravens. Maybe he’ll treat his offensive linemen to a new pair of Uggs and Gisele won’t be so mean to his receivers.
But does the vendetta make Brady play better?
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You could make the argument that an emotionally charge quarterback might be blinded by revenge and actually play LESS effectively.
Might he and Bill Belichick prepare a little harder, burn a little more midnight oil or in Brady’s case a little more potpourri? Maybe. But it’s not as if either has ever been called a slacker.
Might the defenders try and hit the Ravens a little harder? They might. But then they might overrun a play or two, or miss a couple of key tackles.
So go ahead Patriots. Polish up that chip on your shoulder. Pretend to have extra motivation. Win or lose it won’t make a difference on the scoreboard.
But this might…
When it matters most during the playoffs, the Patriots are 15-3 at home during Brady’s reign. They are 2-2 against the Ravens. The Patriots two wins are by a combined total of 7 points. The Ravens, 34 points.
Only eight times has Brady ended a home game throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. Half of those games were against the Ravens.
So go ahead. Plot your revenge.
It’s pretty funny really, just how much the Ravens are in the heads of the Patriots and their fans.