While New England was in the process of defeating the Houston Texans on Sunday to set up an AFC Championship Game rematch with Baltimore, Ravens linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo ripped the Patriots on Twitter, particularly criticizing their no-huddle offense.
"New England does some suspect stuff on offense. Can't really respect it. Comparable to a cheap shot b4 a fight," Ayanbadejo tweeted.
In tweets that followed he also called the Patriots' hurry-up offense "a gimmick" and made references to the Spygate scandal.
He apologized Monday for comments with another tweet.
"I made selfish comments on twitter last night that reflected poorly upon myself, my teammates, and the organization. For that I apologize," he wrote.
Ayanbadejo will get an opportunity to see New England's offense in person next Sunday when the Ravens visit the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season. New England won last year's meeting 23-20 thanks to a missed field goal by Baltimore's Billy Cundiff as time expired.
The Patriots gained 457 yards of total offense in Sunday's 41-28 victory over the Texans, as Tom Brady passed for 344 yards while orchestrating a hurry-up offense that confounded Houston throughout the contest.
But Ayanbadejo was unimpressed, referring to the Patriots' approach as "a gimmick" Sunday.
"Are you watching the game pats vs texans?" Ayanbadejo tweeted. "If so you see the hurry snap offense catch em b4 they set up. It's a gimmick."
He later tweeted: "Their offense is good enough to be successful with out that."
Ayanbadejo proceeded to make a critical reference to the Spygate scandal and Patriots coach Bill Belichick's decision to cut wide receiver Tiquan Underwood one day before Super Bowl XLVI.
"You know the same organization that did spygate and cut a guy the day b4 the Super Bowl," he tweeted.
Ayanbadejo also referred to the Patriots' 2007 season, when they completed the only 16-0 regular season in NFL history but lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
"18-1," he tweeted.
Brady, in his weekly radio interview with WEEI on Monday, took the high road when asked about the tweets.
"I think we've had a lot of people comment about our team and our players this year, and I think the best thing that we do is ignore the noise and we go out and try to prepare, and nothing really that anybody says or does is going to affect what happens next Sunday," he said. "I think it's best for us to just focus on what we can do and that's prepare and work and do what we've done all season. People want to say things, write things, they have the liberty to do that, but it doesn't really have any bearing on what we do."
Brady made it clear that he didn't need the remarks for motivation, instead focusing on the fact that his team is one win away from a return to the Super Bowl.
"That's the only motivation we need," he said. "That's the ultimate motivation."
Ayanbadejo, a standout player on the Ravens' special teams unit, started three games this season and registered one sack.
The Ravens rallied past the Patriots for a 31-30 victory in Week 3 this season. Ayanbadejo, who did not record a tackle in that contest, posted several tweets stating that he "Can't Wait!" for the latest rematch between the rivals.
ESPNBoston.com's Field Yates contributed to this report.