Ngata: 'We wanted to play the Patriots again'

Ngata: 'We wanted to play the Patriots again'
January 14, 2013, 10:09 pm
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FOXBORO -- It doesn't sound like the Ravens feel badly for Houston's loss. 
"I think we, personally, kind of wanted to play the Patriots again," Ravens defensive lineman Haloti Ngata said Monday. "If we were to go to the Super Bowl, it would be great to go through Foxboro and win there. So, its another matchup that I think that were excited about, and hopefully, we can get it done this time."
Things did not go according to plan last time. 
New England escaped with a 23-20 conference championship victory in 2011. The Ravens hung tough for four quarters, but a dropped game-winning touchdown by Lee Evans and a missed field goal by former kicker Billy Cundiff (who was cut the following August) sealed the deal for the Patriots. 
"The feeling that we had in that locker room, I think we all wanted to get back to the AFC Championship," Ngata said. "And then to actually have it be back in Foxboro, its a good I dont know story."Tight end Dennis Pitta shared Ngata's sentiment. 
"Were excited about this game," he said. "Its been a long road getting back to this point, and the way we left it last year didnt sit well with us. So, were excited to be in this position again and give it another shot. The Patriots are a good football team. We know that, and theyve played well all season. So, I think everyone in the building is excited about this game."
Baltimore was one of four teams to beat the Patriots this year. 
The September 23 game was yet another classic between these two teams, a 31-30 brawl that literally came down to the final seconds. New England's two-point lead was on shaky ground when Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco got the ball back with two minutes to play. Flacco completed two big passes, 24 and 17 yards, respectively, out of three to get the Ravens to midfield. He followed up with two incompletions. Just 52 seconds remained and Baltimore was hung up on the New England's 34. A 27-yard defensive pass interference call on Patriots then-cornerback Devin McCourty improved the situation mightily. 
The Ravens won on a 27-yard Justin Tucker field goal.
But just like New England vowed its regular season win over Houston dried up and blew away before the playoffs, Baltimore claims its regular season win is long-forgotten. That game was way back in the Replacement Ref days, after all.  
"I think I look at it completely different," Ravens receiver Torrey Smith insisted. "Its the playoffs, and they are playing well dominating guys out there offensively and defensively. Its a completely different team. And, the refs were just coming back as well. That was an adjustment for some guys, too. 
"But New England is New England. We have a lot of respect for those guys, and they have been in this position so many times over the past few years. They have the history. They have been there, and we want to get to where they have been. They were there last year. They knocked us out, and for us, we want to get to that point, get this win and get to the Super Bowl."