The nightmares began before this year's first playoff game. They grew more excruciating and painful the night before the Ravens put the Patriots' 2012 season to rest.

Yet the nightmares did not stop! It's all because of That Game.

Footballs sticking to helmets. Easy interceptions dropped. Receptions eluding fumbling hands. Confetti joyously falling on something other than the Patriots logo.

Is there anything to knock these horrid That Game dreams right out of our heads?

The Patriots are not in That Game this year, but the night sweats and morning shakes of fear and, well, fiercer fear, continue to haunt every Bob Kraft bobblehead doll on the mantel.

That Game is Sunday and with it comes what every Pats fans dreads — horrendous memories. No more glorious mind trips of triumphant Tom Brady and smiling Bill Belichick and beaming Deion Branch and fist-pumping Adam Vinatieri, and confetti streaming about a Lombardi Trophy held aloft by the hands of Patriots from Tedy Bruschi to Earthwind Moreland.

Remember that.

No, you can't! It's the nightmares. That Game.

The Ravens and 49ers go at it Sunday in That Game. The Patriots and fans will watch as miserable thoughts dart in and out. Sleep will bring more aggravating nightmares of That Game, more traumatic than seems possible.