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Rob Ninkovich: ‘I knew that we were going to beat’ Ravens before kickoff

12.22.13 at 9:41 pm ET
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BALTIMORE — In the mind of defensive end Rob Ninkovich, there was no doubt what was going to happen Sunday afternoon.

Ninkovich, who had six tackles and a sack in Sunday’s 41-7 thumping of the Ravens, said he knew the outcome even before he took the field.

“Coming in here, on the bus ride in here, I felt great,” he said. “I knew that we were going to beat these guys. And getting some hand gestures from some of the fans, that’s always a good motivating thing.

“I was confident — I knew that we had worked hard. I knew that we had put in the work. If you put the time in, you put the effort in, and you do it on the practice field, it’s going to come out in the end.”

Ninkovich said that it was a combination of good preparation. execution, and an ability to force turnovers that allowed the Patriots defense to hold Baltimore to just seven points on the afternoon.

“I think we did a great job during the week. We know these guys — we play them a lot. It just comes down to execution,” he said. “We got some turnovers, and that was a big thing for us. We haven’t gotten a lot of turnovers in the last three or four weeks. That was a point of emphasis — getting turnovers.”

The Patriots were able to come away with three interceptions (two from rookie cornerback Logan Ryan and a third from safety Tavon Wilson) and a fumble recovery (by Chandler Jones) and turn those into points. Jones and Wilson immediately cashed theirs in with touchdowns, while Ryan’s takeaways led to a touchdown and a field goal.

In the end, it all added up to an impressive afternoon for the New England defense, which was able to silence some of its doubters with an impressive, complete-game performance for the first time all year.

“You have to ignore things from the outside,” Ninkovich said. “And knowing that we have the personnel and talent to do that, but we have to do it consistently, and that’€™s a big point of emphasis as well. We have to be consistent throughout the whole game. You can’€™t come on in the first half and then give up some things in the second half. You’€™ve got to play four quarters, and [Sunday] we did some good things, but there are some things we can improve on.”

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