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Baltimore @ New England.....The Pats Are Favoured But The Ravens Are Fearless

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  • Baltimore @ New England.....The Pats Are Favoured But The Ravens Are Fearless

    I am not just saying this because of my obvious bias, but Baltimore is the ultimate nightmare for a home field/bye team. A lot of teams would be a bit anxious going into Foxboro, and even though they act like they are in control, no doubt have a slight fear for the Pats prowess at home. Not so for The Ravens. I don't think anyone puts fear into them. And Flacco, who many still do not believe in, seems immune to pressure. Those are the scariest guys to play against. The kind that will defy the odds, and make those unexpected long passes to change the face of the game.

    Lets not forget the fact that The Ravens have won 2 of the last 3 playoff meetings in Foxboro, and barely lost the one game, with a dropped end zone pass and a botched field goal attempt near the end of the game.

    Baltimore present The Pats with a tremendous front 7 on D, and if they can get to Brady, he may lose an edge. Just think of Suggs, Ngata, Dumervil for starters, and throw in the first year sensation Mosley. These guys are aggressive and powerful, and bent like Lewis, in that they are warriors. An inside push on Brady for most of the day, could be a key to the outcome of this game.

    Sure, The Ravens are weak in the Dbackfield. That is a concern. And so is Gronk! But I can imagine Harbaugh and his coaches coming up with a game plan that minimizes Gronk. Again, if the front 7 are on top of their game, and Gronk is kept to human standards, Brady may get rattled.

    On O, never count out Flacco. We've felt it. Other teams have too. As I say, he is immune to pressure. He drives Ds a little crazy when he complete passes when you least expect it. Plus he believes in himself and he's won the crown.

    Forsett isn't too shabby either, and Smith Sr seems to carry that chip with him, everywhere he plays.

    I do not underestimate what The Pats are capable of. They have played fabulous football for most of the season. Belichick, like him or not, is an elite HC. And Brady is one of the best QBs ever to play. And when Gronk is Gronk, few teams can stop him. BUT.....anything can happen when The Ravens come to town. There are one of those teams you just don't want to come up against, especially early in the playoffs, when the slate is clean. They can make for an early vacation, even for the best!

  • #2
    I like the way Brian Billick puts it..... "The Patriots are an intimidating team, and Bill Belichick is probably the best coach of his generation. Consequently, there are opponents that lose to the Patriots in Foxborough just as soon as they step off the bus. That's not going to happen here. The Ravens aren't the team they were in the 2012 AFC title game (Ray Lewis is gone, Ray Rice is gone), but they will be a formidable matchup for the Patriots -- exactly the sort of tough, dangerous squad a top seed doesn't want to face coming off a bye week."

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    • #3
      I'm hoping to see NE absolutely hammer the Ravens, and not because I'm a Pats fan. I don't want to hear more of the 'Flacco is an elite QB' crowd coming around anymore. I don't dislike the guy personally and I probably shouldn't let it get to me, but Ravens trolls can be horrible, lol. I'm hoping that we see something as bad or maybe even worse than how the Pats beat them in BAL back in 2013.

      I doubt it'll actually happen, but I suppose I can hope lol. If NE doesn't do it, I hope DEN does it(or in the unlikely event that IND beats DEN, then I hope IND does it).

      As for the match up issue BAL may present NE with, it's hard to say if they still have that edge over them. For awhile it very much seemed that they did, from 2007-2012, they never lost to NE by more than 3 points.

      Last year though, that streak ended with a 41-7 loss. Although, it does seem the Ravens have gotten better since then, moving from 12th defense back up to 8th, and their running game has improved, with improvements to their Offensive Line and getting Lineman back from injury I believe. The Pats run defense may be able to handle them better than many might think though, they are 9th in the NFL.

      I think the biggest key lies in the Ravens front 7 versus the Pats Offensive Line, and if they can confuse and/or scare Brady into errors.

      On a side note, I wonder what it is in particular about the Ravens front 7 that gives Brady issues. They are a very good physical front 7, however Pittsburgh had one of the best front 7s for awhile too but Brady didn't seem to have any issues with them, he would dink and dunk them with ease it seemed. BAL probably does something more specific with looks or etc. that gives Brady in particular trouble.

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      • #4
        Baltimore has a great coaching staff: Pees, Kubiak, Spagnuolo, Dennison.

        They have a balanced offense and a stout front that can stop the run and rush the passer. IDK if NE's fondness for MOF routes matches up well with them.

        It should be an interesting game.
        "Stultum est timere quod vitare non potes." ~ Publilius Syrus

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        • #5
          Great points CanDB. I think Baltimore is the team that NE LEAST wanted to see this week in their home. However, I have mixed feelings about who I want to win. Certainly for our SB chances, i would love to see baltimore win. But, I do think that we need to prove something. If we could go into NE and win that game, then we would walk proud into the SB ready to beat anyone.

          Thinking back to the revenge tour where we had to go on the road and fight our way to the SB against GB, those road playoff games are what made us ready to go and take down the heavily favored packers.

          Again, it would certainly be a easier road to have balt come to denver, but i am fine either way. If we have to go to foxburough, yes, our chances diminish, but we have to win those kinds of games.

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          • #6
            Baltimore is battle tested. This is just another game for them. There isn't anything the Pats can show/do that will fluster them in Foxboro.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by fightinglee View Post
              Great points CanDB. I think Baltimore is the team that NE LEAST wanted to see this week in their home. However, I have mixed feelings about who I want to win. Certainly for our SB chances, i would love to see baltimore win. But, I do think that we need to prove something. If we could go into NE and win that game, then we would walk proud into the SB ready to beat anyone.

              Thinking back to the revenge tour where we had to go on the road and fight our way to the SB against GB, those road playoff games are what made us ready to go and take down the heavily favored packers.

              Again, it would certainly be a easier road to have balt come to denver, but i am fine either way. If we have to go to foxburough, yes, our chances diminish, but we have to win those kinds of games.
              I'm kind of thinking with having BAL come to DEN, that DEN fans should be careful what they wish for. BAL does match up better with NE than they do with DEN, and while I would favor DEN to win, if my team is the 2 seed I would be weary of facing a wild card team that just beat the 1 seed.

              2 seeds as of late don't seem to have a very good track record against wild card teams that knock off the 1 seed before facing them.

              Since 2005(the season after the last time all 4 teams with a bye made it to the Championship round), I believe Pittsburgh is the only team that was a 2 seed to ever beat a team playing in the wildcard round that had knocked off the 1 seed in the playoffs that year(08, beating 6 seed BAL after they knocked off 1 seed TN, and in 10 beating 6 seed NYJ after they knocked off 1 seed NE).

              05-6 PIT beat 1 IND...then beat 2 DEN
              07-6 NYG beat 1 DAL...then beat 2 GB
              10-6 GB beat 1 ATL...then beat 2 CHI
              11-4 NYG beat 1 GB...then beat 2 SFO
              12-4 BAL beat 1 DEN...then beat 2 NE

              Granted, often times the 2 seeded team plays the team from the wild card round closer, and sometimes comes very close to winning and perhaps had a very good chance of winning near the end(SFO took NYG to OT for instance, losing when the NYG got a FG off of a fumble on a kick return(or punt return, I forget which), however they seem to usually lose, and Pittsburgh seems to be the only 2 seed that's been able to stop a hot wildcard team from reaching the Super Bowl.

              Now sure, each match up is different, and there are elements of that match up in particular that impact how it goes, and team can overcome a team being on a hot streak(and Pittsburgh isn't the only team that can, lol), and I feel very confident that there were other factors that went into those games aside from the winning team being hot, it just seems that it's hard for a 2 seed to stop a wild card team that has already beaten a 1 seed.

              It's just not a match up I would want my team to have, and I do actually think it's better for DEN to have to win in NE than deal with a wild card team on a hot streak. I believe I said a similar thing to CAR fans who said they would prefer NO knock off SEA to not have to go up there during the playoffs for the 2013 season. If NO had actually went up to SEA and won, they would probably be on a hot streak and perhaps even tougher to beat than SEA in SEA.

              That's the problem with feeling like you have to avoid facing a team in the playoffs, you may get your wish to not see that team, but the team you get instead may be more of a challenge. If a team is the 1 seed, there are very strong chances that you'll have to deal with them before making the Super Bowl, and in their stadium, and if someone takes care of them for you, historically speaking it seems odds would favor that team over you.

              Like I said, each match up is different, but it just may not be as good as many DEN fans may think of getting their wish for BAL to knock off NE.
              Last edited by fallforward3y+; 01-07-2015, 04:58 PM.

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              • #8
                Its not the teams, its playing at home. I would rather face NE at home then the Ravens on the road for example. Our record with Manning at Mile High is something like 26-3 and I would fancy our chances against anyone here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by bronx_2003 View Post
                  Its not the teams, its playing at home. I would rather face NE at home then the Ravens on the road for example. Our record with Manning at Mile High is something like 26-3 and I would fancy our chances against anyone here.
                  I get that it isn't the teams specifically, but I think many DEN fans want to avoid playing NE in Foxboro. Though it seems to be more about playing them in Foxboro than playing them in general, even so it is a match up you want to avoid. Though most teams probably have the team they would prefer not to have to face, if you feel like you have little chance of beating that team(whether it's playing them in general or because you'd have to play them in their stadium), it could be problematic if you actually do have slim chances of beating them, especially if they are the number 1 seed and there is a good chance you'll face them.

                  While Denver is very good at home, here's the thing, NE also is. For DEN to get BAL at home, they would have to already have beaten NE in NE, and win against a team that had a great HFA in their stadium. They would have shown that they can do that, and it may be a sign that your HFA may not give you much of an edge on them.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fightinglee View Post
                    Great points CanDB. I think Baltimore is the team that NE LEAST wanted to see this week in their home. However, I have mixed feelings about who I want to win. Certainly for our SB chances, i would love to see baltimore win. But, I do think that we need to prove something. If we could go into NE and win that game, then we would walk proud into the SB ready to beat anyone.

                    Thinking back to the revenge tour where we had to go on the road and fight our way to the SB against GB, those road playoff games are what made us ready to go and take down the heavily favored packers.

                    Again, it would certainly be a easier road to have balt come to denver, but i am fine either way. If we have to go to foxburough, yes, our chances diminish, but we have to win those kinds of games.
                    I know bud......I want us to beat The Pats this postseason. That would be so satisfying! And you know, having Baltimore here is no big picnic either.

                    The good news is that we beat The Pats in the playoffs last season, and we gave Baltimore a lickin the last time they played us, week one of 2013. Both games were at home, and that's always a good thing if you can get it.

                    In the end, I guess we should worry about what we can control, and not much else. Of course, a little wishful thinking from an old fan can't be too far off limits.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fallforward3y+ View Post
                      I get that it isn't the teams specifically, but I think many DEN fans want to avoid playing NE in Foxboro. Though it seems to be more about playing them in Foxboro than playing them in general, even so it is a match up you want to avoid. Though most teams probably have the team they would prefer not to have to face, if you feel like you have little chance of beating that team(whether it's playing them in general or because you'd have to play them in their stadium), it could be problematic if you actually do have slim chances of beating them, especially if they are the number 1 seed and there is a good chance you'll face them.

                      While Denver is very good at home, here's the thing, NE also is. For DEN to get BAL at home, they would have to already have beaten NE in NE, and win against a team that had a great HFA in their stadium. They would have shown that they can do that, and it may be a sign that your HFA may not give you much of an edge on them.
                      I get what your saying but we have to play one of them, and Baltimore would be a very tough match-up but definitely preferable to going to NE.

                      Ideally Baltimore would win a physical match-up and be running on empty next week, as long as we take care of business Sunday

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                      • #12
                        There's another way to look at things. If you are strong enough to make it to the conference final, you have to expect to play a top tier football team, simple as that. You're down to 4 of the best teams in the NFL at that point, and you have little time to worry about who makes it that far. By then, you are glad to be there, and deep into strategy.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bronx_2003 View Post
                          I get what your saying but we have to play one of them, and Baltimore would be a very tough match-up but definitely preferable to going to NE.

                          Ideally Baltimore would win a physical match-up and be running on empty next week, as long as we take care of business Sunday
                          A favorable thing is that DEN seems to not be a very good match up for BAL. I don't see their run game giving Denver issues, and Peyton doesn't seem to struggle with BAL's defense the way Brady seems to. I think that the BAL-DEN playoff game for the 2012 season was very flukey, it isn't legitimate evidence that BAL has a match up edge on DEN.

                          I do doubt BAL will actually beat NE, but if they do there does seem to be a good chance for DEN to be one of the few 2 seeds that knocks off a team that has already beaten the 1 seed in the same playoff season.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by fallforward3y+ View Post
                            A favorable thing is that DEN seems to not be a very good match up for BAL. I don't see their run game giving Denver issues, and Peyton doesn't seem to struggle with BAL's defense the way Brady seems to. I think that the BAL-DEN playoff game for the 2012 season was very flukey, it isn't legitimate evidence that BAL has a match up edge on DEN.

                            I do doubt BAL will actually beat NE, but if they do there does seem to be a good chance for DEN to be one of the few 2 seeds that knocks off a team that has already beaten the 1 seed in the same playoff season.
                            Baltimore are physical with a good pass rush but I think at home we will handle them pretty easily, I can't see that offense doing much and we have too many weapons for such a patchwork secondary.

                            I doubt they beat NE though

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                            • #15
                              Beating the Patriots in Foxborough would do more to legitimize the Broncos as a champion than playing the Ravens in Denver.

                              A good team would not hope for the Ravens in fear the Patriots.
                              sigpic

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