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Torrey Smith: We’re a different team now

Torrey Smith AP

We’ve got a rematch in the AFC Championship Game, which means the Ravens are trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s painful loss to the Patriots.

Lee Evans couldn’t catch a pass in the end zone that he should have caught and then Billy Cundiff missed a field goal as time expired to send the Patriots to Indy and leave the Ravens to lick their wounds. You might imagine that the prospect of another game with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line might conjure up some memories of that loss, but Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith said Monday that last year’s game won’t have a bearing on this season’s matchup.

“Last year is in the past. We came up a few plays short,” Smith said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. “We’re a different team now.”

The Ravens have not looked like the offensively shaky and defensively exhausted team that lost three straight games in the regular season. They’ve gotten healthier and seen their offense click in both playoff games after it finally came to life against the Giants in Week 16.

We’ve seen a team get hot at the right time and ride a low seed to the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons. The Ravens will try to make it three in a row in New England next Sunday.

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52 Responses to “Torrey Smith: We’re a different team now”
  1. j0esixpack says: Jan 14, 2013 3:49 PM

    The Patriots might be listed as favorites, but last time I checked they beat the Patriots 31-30 in the regular season.

    Seems to me the Patriots might have a chip on their shoulder about that game – as well they should. Look for them to adopt the mindset of an underdog, regardless of what the Las Vegas Line says.

  2. blackngold4life says: Jan 14, 2013 3:52 PM

    This dude is a play makein monster! I wish Mike Wallace had it in him to COMPETE like Smith maybe he’d get the $ he was asking 4. I can’t stand the Ratbirds but I give props when it’s due and he deserves um

  3. grpatriot says: Jan 14, 2013 3:52 PM

    Of the 7 AFCCG’s the Pats have lost 1 in Indy 2006…None since 07 win, 11 win and 12 well?

  4. richwizl says: Jan 14, 2013 3:54 PM

    I expect a close, hard-fought game between the two best teams in the AFC. Everybody in NE knows how good the Ravens are, believe me, and Flacco gets better every year.

  5. ccjcsr says: Jan 14, 2013 3:55 PM

    Different team when Champ Bailey was getting toasted on a 9 route!

  6. wallacejay says: Jan 14, 2013 3:55 PM

    Denver beat the Ravens in regular season too…

  7. southpaw2k says: Jan 14, 2013 3:57 PM

    And the Ravens will make it three in a row Sunday night. Payback is coming, Brady.

  8. getyourownname says: Jan 14, 2013 3:57 PM

    The dropped pass by Evans was on second down, not third down. The next play was an incomplete pass to Pitta. Then came the Cundiff miss on 4th down.

  9. ampats says: Jan 14, 2013 3:58 PM

    To this day that was a very “close”call by the replacement refs on the final FG but neverless both teams are different. The Patriots D is playing much better especially as a result of Talib,moving McCourty to S and Dennard has to be the absolute steal of the draft.

    The Ravens are playing much better since Ray has announced his farewell tour. These games are always close except in 2010 better known as the Welker Hangover when the Ravens came here and won.

  10. hadjiali says: Jan 14, 2013 4:00 PM

    On the other hand, so are the Patriots, who handily dispatched the ‘out for revenge’ Texans.

    Subtract a Bronco DB horribly misplaying a Hail Mary and this conversation is moot.

  11. jakec4 says: Jan 14, 2013 4:03 PM

    He’s a flat out liar. Every player, coach, Ravens fan, person that just likes to come out of the woodwork when the Ravens are on a deep playoff run remember what it felt like when Evans dropped that pass and Cundiff missed the kick. It was horrible. They want to stick it to the Patriots the same way they stuck it to them in the playoffs in 2009 in the worst way possible.

  12. amanistumor says: Jan 14, 2013 4:08 PM

    Can the league just setup a meet-n-greet with the Ref’s and Brady for tomorrow so they can get their manlove out of their system prior to Sunday?

    That way they don’t have to step around eggshells while reffing the game, afraid to miss out on that postgame pic & autograph if the dare not side with Mr. Brady.

  13. ravenator says: Jan 14, 2013 4:14 PM

    Should be a tough game but Torrey Kong is coming on strong lately. To think he couldve been a patriot with Tom Brady slinging him the ball, yikes!

  14. ravanator says: Jan 14, 2013 4:14 PM

    Ravens are not a different team, same as they always are, Pretenders and not Contenders!

  15. jjarvis says: Jan 14, 2013 4:14 PM

    These historical stats are meaningless. There’s almost no one on the team that was there six years ago. The teams are not only not the same as they were then, they aren’t even the same as they were a year ago. They aren’t even playing the same as they did earlier this season. Even if they were, that game came down to the wire and there’s no reason not to think this one will.

    It’s not fun to talk about or analyze but all these playoff games come down to execution. You don’t get crappy teams in the playoffs and a good team can beat a great team if the good one out-executes it. This game will be decided by whether Welker holds on to a critical third down pass or whether Jacoby Jones fumbles a kickoff, etc.

  16. flipper14 says: Jan 14, 2013 4:17 PM

    Ravens offense against New England first time they played this season in Baltimore: 28 first downs, 503 total yards, Flacco threw for 383 (28-of-39) with 3 TDs (1 pick) and Rice ran for 100 and scored a touchdown. Flacco’s put up really big numbers the last three times the two teams have played one another.

  17. faaaaaaq says: Jan 14, 2013 4:20 PM

    “ride a low seed to the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons.”

    You are confused. The Ravens were the #2 seed last year. How is that “a low seed to the Super Bowl?”

    We are the #4 seed this year which puts us in the bottom half of the seeding process, but by no means are we “a low seed.”

    We’ll see how our “ride” turns out on Sunday.

  18. southpaw2k says: Jan 14, 2013 4:26 PM

    jakec4 says:
    Jan 14, 2013 4:03 PM
    He’s a flat out liar. Every player, coach, Ravens fan, person that just likes to come out of the woodwork when the Ravens are on a deep playoff run remember what it felt like when Evans dropped that pass and Cundiff missed the kick. It was horrible. They want to stick it to the Patriots the same way they stuck it to them in the playoffs in 2009 in the worst way possible.

    —————————————————-

    How exactly are you calling Torrey a liar? Because he said last year’s AFC Championship Game was in the past, and implied he doesn’t think about it anymore? Fans surely remember it (myself included), but who are you to say that the Ravens haven’t put it out of their minds now? Athletes are programmed to think and react differently than most of the rest of us. When I screw up at work, it does hang over my head for a while. Might even upset me when I’m at home at night for a while. Athletes condition themselves to move on after every game, whether it’s a win or a loss. There’s no question in my mind that the Ravens put last year’s loss out of their minds by the time the Super Bowl was over. They turned their attention towards the 2012 season, and they’re back in a position to win a championship again. That’s the discipline and mental toughness that all athletes have or should have.

  19. pabrownsfan says: Jan 14, 2013 4:29 PM

    kudos to both teams on a good year. i have to pull for the ravens though. best of luck to them!

  20. portnoychunk says: Jan 14, 2013 4:34 PM

    I think most Patriot fans know how good and tough the Ravens are and don’t expect an easy win, if they do win. Pats aren’t the same team either – Talib and Dennard have solidified the secondary and enabled a more aggressive pass rush. Last years game, this years game….none of it means anything. Two great teams will play this weekend and the winner will deserve the shot at the title. These teams have earned it. As a Pats fan, most Pats-Ravens games drive me crazy, because they’re so close….like you can’t relax and enjoy it.

  21. severinsmith says: Jan 14, 2013 4:45 PM

    This will certainly be an interesting game, but I’d argue the Pats are more of a different team than the Ravens.

    Better DBs in Talib and Dennard, and McCourty is way better at safety than corner. The running game is more productive than last year, and no question Lloyd is more of an addition than Ochocino.

    The linebackers are more solid, and their pass rush is better than it was at this point last year after Carter went down, not to mention both lines seem healthier.

    The only two negatives I really see are Gronkowski going down (and he didn’t play a full game last year), and Gostkowski has regressed as a kicker this year.

    As a Pats fan, the Ravens were the team I feared most in the playoffs, but it seems to me if you are comparing this year to last, that the Pats have more changes for the better than the Ravens.

    I think this will be a great game. Looking forward to it.

  22. steelersownyou says: Jan 14, 2013 4:46 PM

    The main question is…. If the ratbirds even have a chance in this game. Which I strongly doubt. How will they screw it up and who will be the goat. My educated guess is flacco will throw a few picks..he’s ripe for the picken!

  23. ravenator says: Jan 14, 2013 4:54 PM

    Still upset from being Tebowd out of the playoffs and going 8-8 fading into irrelevancy. Sucks to be you Steeler fans.

  24. ravenator says: Jan 14, 2013 4:55 PM

    I love how steeler fans still talk after their rival is right back in the AFC Championship while theyre still trying to figure out what went wrong with the season, 8-8 hahahahaha need I say more

  25. getyourownname says: Jan 14, 2013 4:58 PM

    steelersownyou says:
    Jan 14, 2013 4:46 PM
    …My educated guess ….
    ********************
    You have identified the problem.

  26. southpaw2k says: Jan 14, 2013 4:59 PM

    faaaaaaq says:
    Jan 14, 2013 4:20 PM
    “ride a low seed to the Super Bowl in each of the last two seasons.”

    You are confused. The Ravens were the #2 seed last year. How is that “a low seed to the Super Bowl?”

    We are the #4 seed this year which puts us in the bottom half of the seeding process, but by no means are we “a low seed.”

    We’ll see how our “ride” turns out on Sunday.

    ————————————————–

    I think he’s referring to the last two Super Bowl champs – the Giants and the Packers. The Giants were a 4 seed last year, and the Packers were a 6 the year before, so they were both in the bottom half of the seeding leading up to their respective championships.

  27. pricejustin24 says: Jan 14, 2013 5:03 PM

    Ravens gonna hoist the Lombardi!!!!!!!

  28. patriotinvasion says: Jan 14, 2013 5:03 PM

    flipper14 says: Jan 14, 2013 4:17 PM

    Ravens offense against New England first time they played this season in Baltimore: 28 first downs, 503 total yards, Flacco threw for 383 (28-of-39) with 3 TDs (1 pick) and Rice ran for 100 and scored a touchdown. Flacco’s put up really big numbers the last three times the two teams have played one another.
    ____

    Those numbers are true, albeit against a Patriots defense that did not have their starting 2 CB’s now in Talib and Dennard. Did not have McCourty at safety. And did not have a full season under the belts of rookie contributors in Hightower, Jones, Francis, Dennard, and Wilson.

    On the flip side, Hernandez didn’t play and Lardarius Webb did. That will be reversed on Sunday.

  29. beauregard says: Jan 14, 2013 5:09 PM

    The Ravens better get a handle on stopping kick returns. Your special teams can NOT give up another 14 points and expect to win.

  30. ravensdominate says: Jan 14, 2013 5:14 PM

    Remember when the steelers went to mile high and list to Tebow? And then after that thevRavens went to mile high and knocked off Peyton manning??? That was cool.

  31. richwizl says: Jan 14, 2013 5:16 PM

    Neither team is the same as when they played earlier this year; both teams are much improved. Two very physical, smart teams going at it this weekend. Let’s just hope the officiating is reasonably fair.

  32. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 14, 2013 5:32 PM

    pricejustin24 says:
    Jan 14, 2013 5:03 PM
    Ravens gonna hoist the Lombardi!!!!!!!

    2 5 The staff must be dusting the one they have….

  33. ahostiletakeover says: Jan 14, 2013 5:47 PM

    If the Ravens can run some clock on offense instead of just scoring on big plays all of the time, it will go a long way in helping that defense stay off the field. The defense is playing admirably in most respects, but when you’re on the field for 80 or 90 snaps EVERY SINGLE WEEK, you’re obviously going to start giving up some yards and more importantly points.

    Of course, its hard to complain about how you get points in the playoffs, especially when you’re going up against the Brady bunch. I expect another close, hard fought classic between two great teams. Hoping for a healthy team going forward for whoever wins, Pats fans.

  34. harrisonhits2 says: Jan 14, 2013 5:48 PM

    “amanistumor says:
    Jan 14, 2013 4:08 PM
    Can the league just setup a meet-n-greet with the Ref’s and Brady for tomorrow so they can get their manlove out of their system prior to Sunday?

    That way they don’t have to step around eggshells while reffing the game, afraid to miss out on that postgame pic & autograph if the dare not side with Mr. Brady.”

    ————-

    Umm, just out of curiosity did you watch the Pats-Texans game the other night ? The refs blew call after call in favor of the Texans.

    If the Ravens and Harbaugh had calls so massively blown against them, Harbaugh’s head would have imploded on the sideline and the Ravens players would be still be crying next year about it.

    The Pats just ignored it and kept on trucking. But more to the point, this made up “waaaaaaa waaaaa Brady gets all the calls” crap was once again misproven. The Pats get just as many bad calls against them as any other team. The difference is the never ever never cry about it.

  35. ulfarthelunatic says: Jan 14, 2013 5:55 PM

    Since I’ve seen the lie repeated all over the web today I will repost this comment –

    All of the balls Charles Tillman hacked out of receivers arms this year? He didn’t actually do that. They were “dropped passes” – passes the receiver ” should have caught”. There was actually no defender there making a great play.

    Interesting but understandable how this meme about last years AFCCG has spread. Everyone except the fanbase hates the Patriots because they are successful, so its pains people to give a Patriot player credit for a brilliant defensive play.

    Sterling Moore – you know, the DB who wasn’t actually there and didn’t actually make a great play – did it again to Demarious Thomas when the Pats played the Broncos this year.

  36. nofunleague says: Jan 14, 2013 6:12 PM

    Ask the Colts and the Ravens about their playoff game and they both said that neither team was the same as the game earlier in the season. so be it with the Ravens and the Pats. Stop all of the rhetoric , and let the teams play the game. and Steeler Nation, you have nothing to say. YOU GOT OWNED. Change your forum name before you further embarrass yourself.

  37. Nofoolnodrool says: Jan 14, 2013 6:12 PM

    Very happy the ravens are a new team. Sad the team can’t help their mentally challenged fans.

    They play the pats tough and have a good chance to win …rehabbing their fans ( some..not all) not so easy.

  38. faaaaaaq says: Jan 14, 2013 6:18 PM

    “southpaw2k says: Jan 14, 2013 4:59 PM

    I think he’s referring to the last two Super Bowl champs – the Giants and the Packers. The Giants were a 4 seed last year, and the Packers were a 6 the year before, so they were both in the bottom half of the seeding leading up to their respective championships.”

    ——————————————————

    You are absolutely right. I didn’t read that sentence carefully enough. Thanks for the correction.

  39. ampatsisahypocrite says: Jan 14, 2013 6:19 PM

    What exactly is different about the Ravens this year? What, Flacco isn’t throwing up the same blind jump balls and getting away with it? I mean, the last pass in regulation was a JOKE — underthrown and should’ve been picked off. EXCEPT for the fact is was so badly under thrown, the safety took a horrible angle. Congrats Joe on being rewarded for your own incompetence!

    Nah, looks like the same old Ravens to me…

  40. reed20fence says: Jan 14, 2013 6:21 PM

    There’s no two ways about it. Unless the front 4 can get consistent pressure against Brady and make him uncomfortable, it’ll be a long night.

    The problem? Brady looked too comfortable against one of the league’s elite front 4s in Houston.

    Baltimore will have to, HAVE TO, stay in the no huddle defense.

    Study that San Fran tape like your life depended on it.

  41. scoobies05 says: Jan 14, 2013 6:42 PM

    the two best teams in the afc peaking at the exact right time. should be another classic matchup between 2 teams that always play each other tough. lets go ravens!!

  42. jtchernak says: Jan 14, 2013 6:51 PM

    I have a question for rational Ravens fans. What happened when you lot 3 or 4 in a row? And how has that changed in the playoffs. As a patriots fan I don’t watch all ravens games and I’m curious

  43. ravensfan19 says: Jan 14, 2013 8:12 PM

    Steeler fans be quiet. Your team is Old and Washed up, 8-8 Lmao. You got knocked out of the Playoffs and Schooled by Tim Tebow LMAOOO

  44. steelcurtainn says: Jan 14, 2013 8:17 PM

    C’mon man!!!! Are people really buying into that line. The Ravens are the same team, average team but nothing great. They got lucky on the hail mary bomb in Denver or they would be sitting at home watching this week. Pats should win this one providing no lucky circumstances happen again and should host the 49ers in the sb.

  45. johninthewest says: Jan 14, 2013 9:23 PM

    Raven will lose by halftime next week..

  46. ppdoc13 says: Jan 14, 2013 11:31 PM

    @steelersownyou – since your team is trolling for draft picks I am surprised you opened your mouth. But to say the Joe will toss a couple of picks is possible but not likely. If you go to the QBs in the playoffs with real playoff hx, Joe has a lower int ratio than all of them. He just doesn’t throw a lot of picks. His arm is strong enough to get the ball out of bounds or he takes the sack for which he gets as much hate as Ben does when he does the same thing. Difference is that Ben is fragile and misses way too many games. He is officially on the downside of his career. Meanwhile, Joe, (knock on wood) has yet to miss a start.

  47. scoobies05 says: Jan 14, 2013 11:56 PM

    but when ben runs around and avoids tackles and chucks one up its a great play? come on steel curtain….you can do better. the ravens are a good team playing well at the right time…is there luck involved? sure…a little luck always helps. but whats the old saying. rather be lucky and in the afc championship then be the steelers at 8 and 8 sitting at home as their fans cry about missing the playoffs…or something like that

  48. jlv3gem says: Jan 15, 2013 12:08 AM

    Why are so many people referring to the Flacco to Jacoby Jones play as a “Hail Mary?” That pass was obviously thrown to jacoby jones and only jacoby jones. See definition of a Hail Mary pass please

  49. patsfan22 says: Jan 15, 2013 2:46 AM

    I have a question for rational Ravens fans. What happened when you lot 3 or 4 in a row? And how has that changed in the playoffs. As a patriots fan I don’t watch all ravens games and I’m curious

    ———————————————————-

    I’m a Pats fan but I think it has something to do with the firing of Cam Cameron. Jim Caldwell has come in and although they got blown out the next game in Denver Caldwell had only a few days to prepare, since then they’ve been playing better which would make sense since a lot of people think Cam had been holding the offense back.

    I would also say Ray’s impending retirement was a big factor in the toughness this team has showed recently.

    It’s going to be a tough close game and whilst as a Pats fan I hate the Ravens (I’m sure the feeling is mutual) I do respect them as a team, especially Ray Lewis and were it against anyone else i’d be rooting for him and Reed to go out with a ring.

  50. chudisoursavor19gobrowns says: Jan 15, 2013 5:44 AM

    Browns fired Billy Cundiff. That’s what you get for taking a Browns reject. Art Model sucks!

  51. pabrownsfan says: Jan 15, 2013 9:07 AM

    i loved the comment from steelersownyou.. um.. wasnt that big ben down the stretch in important games????? hhhhhmmmm

  52. johninthewest says: Jan 17, 2013 12:36 AM

    Yep you’re correct. You are a different team that wins football games on lucky hail marys.

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