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TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 3: Baltimore Ravens Vs. New England Patriots

Ravens
Patriots
AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
New England Patriots v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Quarterback
Joe Flacco has been climbing the charts in the NFL. He outplayed Brady in last year’s AFC championship, but the Ravens came up short in that game. Flacco has a big arm and can make all the plays needed to win this game.
The Patriots are coming off a stunning home loss to the Arizona Cardinals and while Tom Brady turned it on in the fourth quarter and gave the Patriots a chance to tie the game, he was under pressure throughout the game. He is an accurate passer and he will be put to the test in this game.
Offense
Winner The Ravens may have come up on the short end against Philadelphia, but they have a powerful offense. Start with running back Ray Rice, who can run inside or outside. Anquan Boldin can get open on third downs and speedy Torrey Smith can stretch the defense.
Wes Welker has been a vital part of the Patriots offense but he has not been a big part of the Patriots gameplan through the first two games. Welker may play a bigger role in this game since Aaron Hernandez injured his ankle. Brady will try to get the ball to Rob Gronkowski frequently.
Defense
Winner The Ravens may not be the dominant defense they once were, but they can still punish opponents and they will test Brady. The Ravens still depend on Ray Lewis and Ed Reed, but cornerback Ladarius Webb is solid in coverage and superior tackler.
The Patriots knew their defense was not very good last year and they still made it to the Super Bowl. There are still plenty of weaknesses but they appear much improved at stopping the run. Linebacker Jerrod Mayo has plenty of speed and had nine tackles vs. Arizona.
Special Teams
Winner The Ravens know the pain of missing a last-second field goal. New placekicker Justin Tucker was 3-of-3 in the loss to the Eagles, including a 56-yarder. Punter Sam Koch averaged 50.2 yards on five punts in that game.
The Patriots have been the beneficiaries of excellent placekicking for more than a decade, but Stephen Gostkowski’s miss kept them from beating the Cardinals in Week Two.

The Winner Is

AFC Championship - Baltimore Ravens v New England Patriots
Winner Ravens
3 out of 4

This is a game that the Ravens have circled on their calendar since they fell short against the Pats in the AFC Championship game last January. The Ravens not only are playing with revenge in mind, they are getting stronger while the Pats have some weaknesses.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 4: Tight end Dennis Pitta #88 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates with teammate quarterback Joe Flacco #5 after scoring a second quarter touchdown against the Miami Dolphins at M&T Bank Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 04:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots looks to throw a pass during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Baltimore Ravens at New England Patriots

    The Ravens and Patriots meet again in Gillette in what should be another great game.

  2. MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 1:  Dak Prescott #4 of the Dallas Cowboys hands the ball off to Ezekiel Elliott #21in the first half of the game agains the Minnesota Vikings on December 1, 2016 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 04:  Eli Manning #10 of the New York Giants drops back to pass in the first quarter during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

    The NFC East rivals meet again in the Meadowlands as the Cowboys look to avenge their only loss of the year.

  3. SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 04: Quarterback Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks passes during warmups before a game against the Carolina Panthers at CenturyLink Field on December 4, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images) GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 04:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers is pressured by Christian Covington #95 of the Houston Texans during the first half of a game at Lambeau Field on December 4, 2016 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
    Week 14 Tale Of The Tape: Seattle Seahawks at Green Bay Packers

    The Seahawks travel to Lambeau for a match-up with the resurgent Pack.

See All Tales of the Tape

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