NFL Divisional Playoff Preview – Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots

One of the better rivalries during the 2000s in the NFL has been the Baltimore Ravens vs New England Patriots. The Ravens are one of the tough teams the Patriots had to defeat during their 16-0 regular season in 2007. The Ravens have talked about the Patriots getting preferential treatment from the NFL over time.

This Saturday, they will meet up again at Gillette Stadium at 4:30 on NBC. For the Ravens, their offense has to be able to get going quickly & take the edge from an improved Patriots defensive unit that got upgraded in the offseason with the acquisition of former Pro Bowl CB Darrelle Revis. If the Ravens are going to be successful, Joe Flacco will have to challenge Revis & show no fear against him. Most likely, Revis will be locked down on veteran wide receiver Steve Smith for most of the day so Smith will have to work on separation on a regular basis.

If the Ravens can get the passing game going, Justin Forsett, the replacement for running back Ray Rice, is going to have to be able to get a physical running game going against the Patriots defensive line, led by big Vince Wilfork.

On the Patriots side of things, the offense goes through Tom Brady & Rob Gronkowski. Gronk is one of the most uncoverable tight ends in all of football & the Ravens will have to make sure that their linebacking group can make sure that one is constantly spying on Gronk consistently. If the Ravens can’t defend that combination, it will be a wrap, quickly. NO questions asked.

The Patriots are on a collision course & on a true mission to get back to the SuperBowl with Tom Brady having his career coming to an end. This is not the year for the Ravens to mess around with the hoodie & the pretty boy.

 

Patriots – 34, Ravens 21.