Nobody said this would be easy, it never is for the Ravens. Here’s what they’re up against, since 1990 when the NFL went to the current 12 team playoff format home teams win 73% of Divisional Round games. In the NFL regular season home teams win about 57%, in the AFC/NFC Championship round home teams win 60%.
So what gives home teams that big 73% (70-26) edge in this round? It’s more than just home-field; remember it’s the top 4 teams in the league with home-field. The top 2 teams in each conference earned that home field this weekend by having the best records in the regular season. They also earned a bye for their regular season work. While the Ravens and this week’s other road teams were winning games last week they were also adding wear and tear and injuries to their rosters. While four teams were winning in the Wild Card round this week’s home teams were resting and game planning.
The Ravens were the only road team to win in the Wild Card round and if form holds likely only 1 road team will win this weekend. History and last week’s win at Pittsburgh tell us that The Ravens are certainly equipped to be that team. Dallas has a decent shot at Green Bay but I’d be surprised to see Indianapolis and Carolina survive their road trips to Denver and Seattle.
- Under John Harbaugh the Ravens are 7-4 in road playoff games.
- Joe Flacco’s 7 road playoff wins are the most by a QB in NFL history.
- Flacco is 7-2 in his last 9 playoff games with 20 TD passes and only 2 interceptions.
- Flacco 166 passes without an interception, if he throws 14 without a pick Saturday it’ll be the second longest streak in post-season history.
- The Ravens have intercepted Tom Brady 7 times in 3 playoff games.
- Belichick’s Pats are 1-2 in the post-season at home with the Ravens, 11-1 against the rest of the NFL.
- With 19 wins Belichick is tied with Don Shula for second place on the all-time postseason win list. Tom Landry leads with 20.
- Tom Brady is third all-time with 43 postseason TD passes (Montana 45, Favre 44).
- With a win Pats will be in their 4th consecutive AFC Championship game.
- Over the last 7 years the Patriots post season record is 4-5.
Championship Week Projections
(NFC) Green Bay at Seattle
(AFC) Baltimore at Denver
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