Rob Long: Ravens/Pats
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The Baltimore Ravens are, once again in the AFC Championship game. This time it’s the New England Patriots in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
There are a lot of interesting numbers to throw out for this game. The Ravens are undefeated against teams with double-digit wins this year. There only loss against a winning team was the Tennessee Titans but they didn’t make the play-offs.
The Patriots, on the other end, haven’t beaten a team with a winning record. They had a 1-2 record against play-off teams in the regular season with their lone win being against the Denver Broncos. The Pats also beat the Broncos in the Divisional Round of the play-offs.
By examining those numbers you could draw the conclusion that the Ravens are battle tested and the Patriots are not. Yup, that’s the conclusion I choose to draw.
The Ravens went undefeated in a division that sent three teams to the post-season. The New England Patriots went 5-1 in a division where the other three teams had a combined 20-28 record. No other team had a winning record in the AFC East. That has to mean something.
The Patriots beat a Broncos defense that was ranked 20th in the NFL. The Ravens went up against a Houston Texans defense that was ranked 2nd in the league. Many analysts are making a huge mistake in looking at last week’s games as a barometer of what’s going to take place this Sunday. Again, that’s a huge mistake. The Ravens are NOT the Broncos. As far as the Ravens’ offense is concerned, the Pats defense isn’t as studly as the Texans’. Don’t expect Joe Flacco and company to struggle as much against the Patriots.
Ravens 27 Patriots 23