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Patriots' Tom Brady not focusing on past playoff setbacks against Ravens

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on playoff losses to Ravens: "We can never change anything that's happened in the past."
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on playoff losses to Ravens: "We can never change anything that's happened in the past." (Jim Rogash, Getty Images)

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a three-time Super Bowl champion and a two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player.

But twice in the playoffs, his path to the Super Bowl has been blocked by the Ravens.

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Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco outdueled Brady during the 2012 AFC championship game, sending the Ravens to Super Bowl XLVII, which they won over the San Francisco 49ers. And the Ravens also defeated the Patriots in the AFC wild-card round after the 2009 season.

With the Ravens and Patriots set to meet again Saturday in an AFC divisional round game at Gillette Stadium, Brady says he's not focused on the past.

"Everything's different at this point," Brady said Monday during his weekly WEEI radio appearance in Boston. "We can never change anything that's happened in the past, nor can they. You can't bring players out of retirement, they can't either. It's the guys we've got vs. the guys they've got, which that's an entirely new team that we have and an entirely new team that they have.

"There's some carryover, there's some characteristics that are the same, but these teams have established their own identities. It's going to be the Patriots' 2014 version vs. the Ravens' 2014 version and we go from there. We'll be able to evaluate some stuff scheme-wise that they could possibly do versus us, that's always helpful. But it will be determined by what happens on the field Saturday night, not anything that's happened in the past."

Brady was complimentary of a Ravens front seven that sacked Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger five times during their AFC wild-card win Saturday. Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil had two sacks and led the Ravens with 17 sacks during the regular season. Terrell Suggs had 11 sacks during the regular season. The Ravens also got defensive tackle Haloti Ngata back from a four-game suspension for violating the NFL performance-enhancing drug policy, and he recorded a sack in his first game back.

"They've got a good front," Brady said. "We've faced quite a few teams that have good fronts this year. Obviously, Dumervil's had a phenomenal year. He's been a great player since he's been in the league. Suggs is as good as they get.  Ngata's as good as they get. [Pernell] McPhee's had a good year. And then they rotate some other guys in there, Brandon Williams is a really good player. So, they've got a good front."

The Ravens are the sixth seed and the Patriots are the top seed. The Ravens have a strong track record in the playoffs, though.

"They're really well coached," Brady said. "They've got a lot of great players, certainly guys that have been on championship teams. So, they know how to win. That's why it makes for a great matchup.

"That's why I'm excited about it. You wouldn't want anything handed to you. I think we worked hard to earn where we're at this year, but now we've got to earn it going forward."

awilson@baltsun.com
twitter.com/RavensInsider

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