The trash talk between the Baltimore Ravens and New England began even before the AFC Championship Game rematch was set. Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo tweeted a series of digs at the Patriots while they were facing the Houston Texans during the Divisional Round on Sunday.
Just after the Patriots took a 10-3 lead in the second quarter on Sunday night, Ayanbadejo deemed New England's fast-paced offense to be "suspect." As the Patriots ran up their lead over the Texans, Ayanbadejo's Twitter rant went on as well. He referred to the Pats' offense as a "gimmick" and then called out the organization for the Spygate scandal and cutting a player hours before last year's Super Bowl.
The Patriots went on to win their playoff opener, setting up a rematch of last year's AFC Title game with the Ravens. When asked about Ayanbadejo's comments, some Patriots players just shrugged it off.
"I can't speak for everybody but me personally I'm not on the social network, Facebook, none of that," New England cornerback Aqib Talib told USA Today Sports. "So that's in one ear and out the other."
Ayanbadejo isn't the only AFC opponent to question the Patriots' hurry-up offense. Before an AFC East game during the regular season, New York Jets linebacker Calvin Pace suggested that Tom Brady's up-tempo attack might not even be within the rules.
“It’s borderline illegal because sometimes the guys aren’t always set when they snap the ball,” Pace said in October, via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com. “But it’s smart. Why not hurry a team up? I wish we would do it. For a defense, it just puts pressure on you.”
On Monday morning, Ayanbadejo might have been feeling a different sort of pressure after his rant. The first tweet from his account the day after the Patriots' win was an apology.