'T-Sizzle' heats up rivalry with Brady

BALTIMORE – Terrell Suggs(notes) sat on a lounge chair in a crowded restaurant Monday night, devouring a calamari appetizer and baiting Tom Brady(notes) as only he can.

Suggs, the Ravens' star pass rusher – not to mention the NFL's loudest Brady-basher – had filled out his Pro Bowl ballot earlier that day. He was asked who he'd selected at the quarterback position.

"Philip Rivers(notes)," he answered. "Peyton Manning(notes)."

He paused for effect. "And Ryan Fitzpatrick(notes)."

Um, no Brady, he of the 31 touchdowns, four interceptions and league-best 109.9 passer rating – not to mention an October victory over Suggs' team?

[Male model: Tom Brady’s un-athletic footwear contract]

Suggs shrugged. "I'm pretty sure he didn't vote for me, either," he said of the Patriots' MVP candidate.

The player known as T-Sizzle has been hot for all things New England since Baltimore knocked the Pats out of the playoffs last January in a blowout Suggs described as a "humbling ass-whippin.' "

He and Brady jawed at one another when the two teams met at Gillette Stadium earlier this season, and each party engaged in some postgame trash talk, with Suggs goofing on Brady's celebrity wife, Gisele Bundchen, and Brady firing back, "They talk a lot for only beating us once in nine years."

That only seemed to encourage Suggs, who earlier this month complained that the NFL displayed favoritism toward Brady and Manning in terms of rules-enforcement and later admitted to a "personal vendetta" against the two while proclaiming that the Saints' Drew Brees(notes) is the best quarterback in football.

After forcing a Brees fumble in Baltimore's 30-24 victory over New Orleans on Sunday, Suggs made a point of telling me, "I don't think he got rattled at all. A couple of times I was in his face, but it didn't faze him. He's one of the most composed quarterbacks in the league. And you notice he doesn't whine to the refs when he doesn't get the call like some other guys. That says a lot about that man."

The fiery Suggs is sixth in the league with 11 sacks.
(Rob Carr/AP Photo)

With Suggs obviously out to tweak Brady at every opportunity, a playoff rematch between the Pats and Ravens looms as a tantalizing possibility. When I asked Suggs on Monday night whether he hated the Patriots or AFC North rival Steelers more, he replied, "At this point I'd say it's about 50-50."

For the record, I also questioned Sizzle about the F-bomb he'd dropped earlier in discussing his Pro Bowl picks.

"Why Fitzpatrick?" he repeated. "He's a good player. He's from Arizona, you know. I played against him in high school. He was good – but he wasn't that good."

For the record, Fitzpatrick's team, by my assessment, is better than only five NFL foes, the Bills' recent run of four victories in six games notwithstanding. On Sunday they'll try to make it five for seven as Fitzpatrick leads Buffalo into a divisional battle against Brady and the Pats. If you're wondering where Suggs' rooting interests lie, I have a pretty good idea of the answer.

[Rewind: Suggs accuses NFL of favoring Brady]

Now, on to our questions, with Sizzle the fast-rising Ravens (and everybody else) still staring up at the Brady Bunch:

1. New England Patriots: Will Bill Belichick come up with a goal-line package featuring 313-pound Dan Connolly(notes) as a running back – a package that could be deployed when the Pats are near their own goal line?

2. Atlanta Falcons: Can you believe that Tony Gonzalez(notes) – and not Jerry Rice – is the only player in NFL history with 12 consecutive seasons of 60 receptions or more?

3. Baltimore Ravens: How much better is Ray Rice's(notes) life when backfield mate Le'Ron McClain(notes) is healthy?

4. Philadelphia Eagles: Why do I get the feeling that DeSean Jackson's(notes) favorite movie character is Rod Tidwell?

5. Pittsburgh Steelers: When a team changes left tackles two weeks before the end of the regular season, is that an ominous sign?

6. New York Jets: When LaDainian Tomlinson(notes) said he "wanted to run through a brick wall" for Rex Ryan, did Sal Alosi get nervous?

7. New Orleans Saints: Has anyone noticed that rookie tight end Jimmy Graham(notes) is really, really good – and might he follow Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates(notes) to complete the holy ex-hoopster-turned-All-Pro trinity?

8. Chicago Bears: If "Prime Time" says that Devin Hester(notes) is the best return man of all time, is there any question that Devin Hester is the best return man of all time?

9. Green Bay Packers: What dragged on longer – Brett Favre's(notes) retirement, or the Pack's offensive linemen making their way to the line of scrimmage in the final seconds of Sunday night's defeat to the Patriots?

10. New York Giants: When Tom Coughlin sat in that darkened room for two-and-a-half hours after the Giants blew a 21-point lead and lost to the Eagles on Sunday, how weird would it have been if he'd bumped into this Texas Tech receiver?

Gilberry had 3 sacks and a forced fumble against the Rams on Sunday.
(Jeff Curry/US Presswire)

11. Kansas City Chiefs: What kind of energy drink did Wallace Gilberry(notes) chug before Sunday's game against the Rams, and does K.C. have a bona-fide pair of bookend pass rushers in him and Tamba Hali(notes)?

12. San Diego Chargers: Are you ready for A.J. vs. V-Jax, the sequel?

13. Indianapolis Colts: Yo, Peyton Manning – what can Brown do for you?

14. Jacksonville Jaguars: Did Jack Del Rio come down with a case of Belichick Fever at Lucas Oil Stadium?

15. Oakland Raiders: When Tom Cable delivers a halftime tirade, do his assistants worry they might be accidentally bumped?

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Is it just me, or does Raheem Morris seem more and more impressive as he grows into his role?

17. Dallas Cowboys: Has a player whose season ended prematurely ever had as good a week as Tony Romo(notes) just did?

18. Miami Dolphins: Did Dan Henning, like Brett Favre, wait a year too long to retire?

19. Tennessee Titans: Who is Jeff Fisher less excited to see these days – Vince Young(notes), Bo Scaife(notes) or Woody?

20. Houston Texans: When teammates Brian Cushing(notes) and Antonio Smith started scrapping during Sunday's game against the Titans, did the officials consider ejecting Cortland Finnegan(notes)?

21. St. Louis Rams: With all due respect to Sam Bradford(notes), has anyone besides me pondered the idea that backup A.J. Feeley(notes) might have a better chance of prodding this flawed team to the playoffs?

22. Washington Redskins: Did Sunday truly mark the resurrection of Rex Grossman(notes), or did it merely bury Donovan McNabb's(notes) Redskins career for good?

23. Seattle Seahawks: With the way Matt Hasselbeck(notes) has been serving up turnovers lately, might a certain rookie wideout with a sweet tooth be temped to break into the quarterback's house in the middle of the night?

24. San Francisco 49ers: In the wake of its repeal in the U.S. Senate, is Mike Singletary trying to revive "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"?

25. Detroit Lions: If, as Dominic Raiola(notes) says, the Lions aren't "gonna be punks anymore," will these Michigan icons be jealous?

26. Cleveland Browns: Can someone kindly remind me, again, how this team beat the Saints and Patriots?

27. Buffalo Bills: Don't you get the distinct feeling that Fred Jackson(notes) will be burning the Bills as a member of the Patriots someday?

28. Minnesota Vikings: Are we there yet?

29. Cincinnati Bengals: How strong did Cedric Benson(notes) look on Sunday, and how quickly will he bolt for greener pastures after the season?

30. Arizona Cardinals: Is John Skelton's(notes) nickname "Bones" – and, if not, how many times over the past 22 years did someone try to make it so?

31. Denver Broncos: Is it time to take the handcuffs off of Tim Tebow(notes), or are they there for a reason?

32. Carolina Panthers: If Tyler Brayton(notes) tries to pull another punk move in Pittsburgh on Thursday night, don't you get the feeling Mike Tomlin would give him a much swifter and severe punishment than Roger Goodell did last week?