original pic via

As you’re well aware if you have even a cursory following of the NFL, the Ravens lost to the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game last season because Lee Evans is awful. The Ravens then got Cundiff’d when it tried to force overtime. Last week, someone fired up Peter King’s Xerox of Fate, as the Patriots lost to Arizona when the team was Gostkowski’d, which is like being Cundiff’d only less is at stake.

That storyline is likely to be belabored endlessly and painfully during the pregame and the beginning of the game itself, until a new talking point is developed. That talking point could be how Wes Welker continues to be phased out of the Greatriots offense, even though he nearly had 100 receiving last week in the loss. Or it could be how Joe Flacco is nearing quasi-eliteness because he outplayed Brady in a playoff game and now has the FEARSOME RAVENS NO-HUDDLE.

That no-huddle might have been slightly constrained, as there was some doubt whether the Ravens’ signature deep threat, Torrey Smith, would play fewer than 24 hours after his 19-year-old brother, Tevin Jones, died in a motorcycle accident. Fortunately for the Ravens, Smith will indeed play and the team will not be forced to rely upon Jacoby Jones more than any offense reasonably should. Though Lee Evans’ successor figuring heavily in the outcome would be the best outcome for narrative purposes outside of another decisive field goal being shanked.

Oh, since the game is on NBC, the NFR’s numbell one smaltest anaryst thought he would share his memories of playing in Baltimore: