Ok, I will admit it: I'm a sucker for a good movie reference.
Well, ESPN analyst and former New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi found a way to mix the classic movie "The Godfather" with Sunday's AFC Championship Game. While Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is being universally praised for his playoff performances, Baltimore Ravens counterpart Joe Flacco is being heavily criticized.
Here is how Bruschi explained the two quarterbacks in an ESPN conference call Thursday:
"Joe Flacco, he wants his respect, he hasn't gotten it, and he's going to get his opportunity against New England because there's going to be multiple lead changes. He may have to bring his team back in the fourth quarter. You want it, you've got it, Joe Flacco; here's opportunity right now, because right now Tom Brady is Michael Corleone and Joe Flacco is Fredo. That's who [Flacco] is. He's Fredo. He wants his respect. Well, if you want your respect, you're going to have to be that quarterback that plays well, not better than Brady, but leads your team to victory. So you want it, you've got it."
That is a very accurate portrayal by Bruschi. Flacco has complained that he doesn't get the respect of top-level quarterbacks. But he has yet to perform at an elite level in the playoffs. Meanwhile, Brady, who is second all time in playoff wins, is the gatekeeper standing in Flacco's way.
Which Corleone -- Michael (Brady) or Fredo (Flacco) -- prevails in the AFC title game?