Ty Law 'a Patriot to the core'

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Ty Law 'a Patriot to the core'

By Adam Hart
CSNNE.com

Despite playing for the hated Jets and making "pit stops" in Kansas City and Denver, Ty Law has again pledged allegiance to the New England Patriots.

Law began his career in New England, winning three Super Bowls and intercepting 36 passes over 10 seasons. He returned to Boston Tuesday night as an honoree at the 10th Annual The Tradition.

"I always get a great welcome home when I come back. It's humbling to realize the fans don't forget about you," Law said as a guest on Comcast SportsNet's Mohegan Sun Sports Tonight. "They say you always were a Patriot no matter what team you played for, so it feels good for me because that's how I feel in my heart: no matter what other uniform I ever wore, when you stripped me down I was a Patriot to the core."

At times, there was a lot to be stripped. Embroiled in a contract dispute in 2004, Law betrayed his core. "That bridge is burned," he reportedly said. "I can't even see myself putting on that uniform again, that's how bad I feel about playing here."

He suited up for just seven games with the Patriots in the 2004 championship season, after which Law was released. He then had two stints with the rival New York Jets, played two seasons for the Chiefs and ended his career in Denver. But, as they say, time heals all wounds.

"Those were pit stops for me. Sometimes you've got to do what you got to do. I'm happy to be back. I'm a Patriot, man. I'm a civilian, man, and I can say that's my team right there," said Law. "The Patriots are my team for the rest of my life."

Prior to the The Tradition event, he expressed a desire to officially end his career as a Patriot with a one-day retirement deal.

A championship run, McCourty's ceiling

With renewed allegiance to the Patriots, Law predicted the team has another championship run coming in the near future.

"There's going to be another championship coming around real soon; as long as you have No. 12 you have a chance," said Law. "I'm looking forward to seeing those guys play and pick up where they left off last year."

The Patriots lost to the New York Jets 28-21 in the AFC Divisional Playoffs Round, after a 14-2 regular season. The team received major contributions from rookies on both sides of the ball, most notably cornerback Devin McCourty and his seven interceptions.

"He's a great young corner," Law said of McCourty, the latest heir to the position Law anchored during New England's three-Super Bowl run. "He's a different style of corner than myself, but he's remarkable in his own rite. He can do it all: he can play aggressively, he can play from bump-and-run, he can play off.

"The sky's the limit for this kid. To come in your rookie year and accomplish what he accomplished, there's no telling what he's going to do once he gets more experience and plays a lot longer."

It's the promise shown by McCourty and his rookie classmates -- Rob Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham, et al -- that gives Law hope the Patriots will build on a successful 2010 regular season.

"There's been a lot of transition with the team, and you've got to think to be such a young team to get as far as they have this year we're going to look forward to another exciting season -- whenever they get it started this year," said Law, who predicts cooler heads will prevail in regard to the ongoing NFL lockout.

Know Thine Enemy: A complete breakdown of the Ravens

Know Thine Enemy: A complete breakdown of the Ravens

After a 3-0 start, the Ravens dropped a 28-27 decision to the Raiders in Baltimore. That started a four-game skid for Baltimore which included back-to-back losses at the Jets and Giants. But they got back on track against the Steelers and have won four out of five with their only being to the Cowboys. It’s hard to get a clean read on who they really are. 

They had narrow, early-season wins over crap teams like Cleveland and Jacksonville. They had a narrow loss to an outstanding Raiders team and were close with the Cowboys but got run over late with Dallas scoring on its last five possessions. They are coming off their most impressive team win, a 38-6 triumph over the Dolphins. 

This game is a big one in the AFC race not just because it’s a divisional leader but also because it will be a common game between the Patriots and Raiders. The Raiders already beat Baltimore. 

The Pats need to keep pace in a tiebreaker they currently trail. Weird schedule quirk? The Ravens have had only one road game that required a long commute since September. That was the game at Dallas. They just played six of their last nine and four of their last five at home.

LAST 5

Ravens 21, Steelers 14
Ravens 28, Browns 7
At Cowboys 27, Ravens 17
Ravens 19, Bengals 14
Ravens 38, Dolphins 6

OFFENSIVE STATS TO CHEW ON

More than half of Joe Flacco’s 323 completions have gone to three players: tight end Dennis Pitta (61 catches), wide receiver Mike Wallace (57) and wide receiver Steve Smith (54). Those players are 31, 30 and 37 respectively so it’s a veteran group.
Flacco is 114 of 159 (72 percent) with nine touchdowns and three picks in Baltimore’s last four games. He has 15 TDs and 11 picks this season.

The Ravens don’t run it much: 502 pass attempts, 287 rushing attempts. Terrence West and Kenneth Dixon are the lead backs. West has carried more than 15 times in a game on three occasions this season.

Rookie left tackle Ronnie Stanley has been playing very well as has the rest of the Ravens offensive line in recent weeks. Still, Baltimore is just at 34.1 on third down conversions.

DEFENSIVE STATS TO CHEW ON

The Ravens have allowed 207 points this season, tied with the Patriots for lowest in the AFC and just behind Seattle (194) overall.
Baltimore’s allowing just 33.3 percent conversions on third down and only 3.4 yards per carry.

Opposing quarterbacks are completing 64.1 percent of their passes and have 21 touchdown passes and 14 picks against the Ravens defense. Ten of the Ravens 14 picks came against the Browns, Jaguars and in last week’s rout of Miami.
 
WHERE ARE THEIR HEADS AT

"I just think they've got a great team. They've got Tom Brady. They've been the best team in the conference, and it's going to be our toughest challenge of the year." – John Harbaugh, Ravens coach, on Monday night’s matchup

Bovada: Brady third in MVP race behind Elliot, Carr

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Bovada: Brady third in MVP race behind Elliot, Carr

Tom Brady has racked up some impressive numbers over eight games, but are they enough to surpass Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott or Raiders quarterback Derek Carr in the MVP race?

The Patriots have gone 7-1 since Brady returned from his four-game suspension to start the year, and the league's all-time winningest quarterback has completed 68.9 percent of his passes in that stretch (third in the league) for 2,470 yards. He has 19 touchdowns, he's been picked once, and he is averaging 8.2 yards per attempt (third), giving him a 113.1 quarterback rating (first). 

According to Bovada, he's currently the third-best bet to win MVP at 15/2, down from 4/1 last week. Ahead of him? Both Elliott (12/5) and Carr (7/2). 

The Carr comparison is an interesting one for obvious reasons. Because they play the same position, it's easier to match up their stats. In 12 games, Carr has completed 65.5 percent of his passes (12th) for 3,375 yards (fourth), 24 touchdowns (seventh) and five interceptions. He's averaging 7.4 yards per attempt (15th), and  he has a rating of 100.3 (seventh).

While Carr has the statistical advantage of playing in four more games than Brady has, he's also led his team to a record of 10-2 and the No. 1 seed in the AFC at the moment. (The Raiders hold the strength-of-victory tiebreaker edge over the Patriots, who are also 10-2.)

Meanwhile, Elliott, the talented rookie out of Ohio State who has the benefit of running behind arguably the league's best offensive line, has racked up 263 carries for 1,285 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He's also posted 28 catches for 322 yards and a score. He leads the league in total rush yards, he's second in the league in rushing touchdowns behind Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount, and he's fourth in yards per attempt (4.9).