Pats-Ravens: The refs, the talkers, the line

Pats-Ravens: The refs, the talkers, the line
December 22, 2013, 2:00 pm
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BALTIMORE – The weather in Baltimore? Balmy.

What else do you need to know about the climate for your viewing experience Sunday afternoon when the Patriots and Ravens meet?

-- First off, Ron Winter is your referee. The Patriots haven’t had Winter this season. He has a little Patriots-Ravens history.

You’ll remember Winter was the referee to whom Tom Brady turned in 2009 after Terrell Suggs went low (and not that vicious). Brady’s request for a flag was granted and so began the Suggs-Brady tete-a-tete that lasted a few seasons.

Winter’s crew in 2012 led the NFL in holding calls per game.

-- As of noon on Sunday, Bovada.com had the game as a pick ‘em with the total at 45.5. The Patriots have only covered once in their past five games and they’ve gone over the total in three of their past five. Feels like Ravens and under to a friend of mine.

-- Jim Nantz and Phil Simms have the call for CBS.

Simms’ talking points? CBS sent out a couple of quotes from the analyst this week. As always, please put a “Jeeeeeemmmm . . . ” before the opening word while reading to yourself and use that weird Kentucky accent and you’ll have it down.

“Baltimore and New England are two of the greatest surviving teams there are in the NFL. They survive. The best way to describe them is, they are battle-tested. And that is not an overused phrase. In a pressure situation it’s just not a big deal to them. Why? The two things that stick out about both teams are the coaches and the quarterbacks. They don’t flinch. And they can play it right to the end.”