The Baltimore Ravens could not ask for a bigger game for their Monday Night Football spotlight. They have to go on the road and take down the 10-2 New England Patriots.
The Ravens have a knack for frustrating Tom Brady and his Patriots. Baltimore consistently gives the Patriots more of a fight than their division rivals. The Patriots don’t like the Jets, but it’s not like they take any of their AFC East foes too seriously. Since 2001 the Patriots have won 13 times. Bill Belichick is a great coach, the Patriots have been a great team, but let’s not pretend they don’t get a free pass into the playoffs.
The Patriots are a team that doesn’t deal with frustration all that well. It is an emotion that seldom comes up when you win 10 plus games annually and have won four Super Bowls. The Giants frustrated an undefeated Patriots team in the Super Bowl. The Big Blue win shocked everyone, including the Patriots. The Patriots expect to walk into every game and win. Therefore the key to beating them is simply making it a brutal fight.
The purple and black have come into Gillette Stadium before. They marched all over New England in the 2009 playoffs. Joe Flacco outperformed Tom Brady in the 2011 AFC Title Game, and if it was not for Lee Evans and Billy Cundiff, Baltimore would have won. Baltimore came right back and won in 2012 to get to Super Bowl XLVII. The Ravens two 14 point leads over the Patriots in 2014, New England made two comebacks and won the game.
The point is that the Ravens know how to beat the Patriots in the playoffs. Right now, Baltimore is playing playoff football. One loss could end up being the reason they sit at home, watching these very Patriots in the postseason. This game matters more to the Ravens, and it is one reason they have a chance to win this game.
The Bottom Line
Terrell Suggs, Joe Flacco, Marshall Yanda, these are players who have been in this situation before. These are players that are not about to bow down to the Patriots. This is a Ravens team that is going to go in and do some damage. They have a chance to win because they are not afraid of the moment and they certainly aren’t afraid of the Patriots.
The Ravens defense is the best defense the Patriots will see this year. The purple and black lead the league with the top ranked defense. Baltimore has the fifth best pass defense and the best run defense in football. The Ravens have shut down top flight play-makers this season. They have shut down Le’Veon Bell, slowed down Antonio Brown and flustered Ben Roethlisberger for three plus quarters in their win against the Steelers. Baltimore stuffed LeSean McCoy and handled Jay Ajayi and the Dolphins. Tonight they get to add Tom Brady to that list.
The Ravens are hungry and intimidated. The Patriots have lost only two games this season; one of these games was with Jacoby Brissett under center. New England is very good but the purple and black are heating up. If this game goes down to the wire, the Ravens will win. Brady and company will get frustrated. He’ll start yelling and the Ravens will start celebrating. This game boils down to one thing, a desperate Ravens team that is under the Patriots mighty armor.