Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs didn’t hold back after his team’s 28-13 victory in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday, shouting as he ran through the Gillette Stadium tunnel that the New England Patriots were “arrogant f——!”
“(We) shut them out in the second half! Tell them to have fun at the Pro Bowl!” he shouted as he exchanged congratulatory hugs and high-fives with teammates as they walked into the locker room. Seven Patriots were selected to play in the Pro Bowl, which is slated to be played Sunday. Players on teams that reach the Super Bowl do not play in the Pro Bowl the weekend before.
A few minutes later, an excited Suggs explained how his Ravens had an edge even though they were nearly nine-point underdogs playing on the road against a Patriots team most predicted would win.
“Y’all gotta understand, we had an advantage on any team that’s ever walked into Foxborough, because we’ve been here before and we’ve also won here before in a playoff game,” said Suggs, who was on the 2009 Ravens team that upset the Patriots in Foxborough in the playoffs and on the team that nearly knocked off New England in last season’s AFC title game.
Patriots receiver Deion Branch was more subtle with his jabs when informed of Suggs’ comments after the game.
“I don’t know. I think,” said Branch, before a long pause, “they won the game. I’ll leave it at that. Champions carry themselves a little different. If you talk to Ray (Lewis) it might be a little different. If you talk to some other guys, they are champions. That’s not how a true champion talks, regardless of whether you win or lose. It just doesn’t work that way. But congratulations to the Ravens.”
The bad blood between Suggs and Tom Brady, in particular, dates back a number of years. In 2010, a season in which Brady was named NFL MVP, Suggs said he voted for Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick over Brady for the Pro Bowl. He also called Brady’s three Super Bowl titles “questionable” because of the “tuck rule” game in 2001 and the Spygate scandal that surfaced in 2007.
After Sunday’s game, he was more complimentary of the Patriots’ quarterback.
“You can’t take anything away from 12 (Brady),” Suggs told ESPNBoston.com. “You gotta play perfect to beat him, and we played perfect. I mean, a second-half shutout is pretty good.”
Suggs, however, saved his biggest pat on the back for his own signal-caller, Joe Flacco, who threw for 240 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday.
“I can’t wait to hear what Skip Bayless (of ESPN’s “First Take”) says tomorrow because Joe once again, two years in a row, outplayed the great No. 12, and he showed just how ‘Joe Cool’ he is,” Suggs said. “But he still has one more to get. We’re not satisfied by any means. We’re going to celebrate tonight, and tomorrow it’s back to work.”