I think the Patriots (10-2) are a very good football team and I think the Ravens (7-5) might be a very good football team. I also know I enjoy watching these two get together. No, this isn’t the Ravens-Steelers rivalry but it’s a close second.

The Ravens and Steelers meet twice every season and often a third time in playoffs, and like this year Baltimore and Pittsburgh are usually battling each other for the AFC North title, so that’s number one on the rivalry list. The NFL schedule only guarantees that the Ravens meet the Patriots once every three years but they sure have seen a lot of each other lately.

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Monday night will be the ninth time the teams have met since the 2009 season. During this period the Patriots have won 3 of the 4 regular season games and the teams have split the 4 playoff games (all played in New England).

The Patriots don’t fear the Ravens but they damn well respect John Harbaugh’s team. In those 4 playoff games in Foxborough the Ravens won two blowouts (33-14 in 2010 and 28-13 in the ’13 AFC Title Game). The Patriots wins were 23-20 in the 2010 AFC Championship Game (Evans, Cundiff) and 35-31 in the 2015 Divisional Playoff.

All-time the Patriots have won 7 of 8 regular season games with the Ravens; Baltimore’s only win (31-30) came in their 2012 Super Bowl winning season. The Patriots have the best record in the AFC; the Ravens have won 4 of their last 5 and are coming off their best game of the season as they put a sudden stop (38-6) to the Dolphins 6-game win streak.

This isn’t a must game for the Ravens, that will likely come Christmas day in Pittsburgh, but it is a measuring stick game. If the Ravens take down the Patriots Monday night they’ll be putting the Pats and rest of the NFL on notice.

Did You Know…

* Bill Belichick’s first NFL job was with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.

* Justin Tucker has converted 35 consecutive field goals the NFL record is 44.

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* John Harbaugh’s Ravens are 7-4 on MNF with only 1 Monday night game at home.

* In his last game at New England Joe Flacco threw for 292 yards and 4 touchdowns.

* Undrafted LB Zach Orr leads the Ravens with 110 tackles, 41 more than the next best.

* Most TD passes on MNF; Marino 74, Favre 69, Brees 46, Brady 44.

* Pats CB Cyrus Jones was a prep star at Gilman.

* The Patriots have 10+ wins for 14 straight seasons, the NFL record is 16 (49ers).

* The Patriots have thrown only 1-interception in 12 games. Since 1970 fewest in a season is 5.

* LeGarrette Blount has 13 rushing TD’s one away from the Patriots season record (Curtis Martin).

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