I was listening to sports radio out of Baltimore the other day and man, are Ravens fans confident in their defense. One caller said he expects the final score to be 24-17, Baltimore. I heard another say he expects the Ravens to hold the Patriots to under 20 points.
Matt Light and the rest of the Patriots offensive line are going to have their hands full on Sunday. Protection will be key because they’re facing the best remaining defense in the league. (FILE:Icon/SMI)
Only one time this season the Patriots have failed to score at least 20 points. That was in Week 8 when they lost 25-17 at Pittsburgh. And since week 10, the team has scored at least 30 points in every game except one (Week 16 win over Miami 27-24). That’s a pretty effective offense if you ask me. All season long the constant for the Patriots has been Brady’s ability to put points on the board.
Looking at Baltimore’s defense, their reputation precedes them. The team is known as a defensive powerhouse with Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs leading the charge. And their line is centered by Pro Bowl nose tackle Haloti Ngata. Let’s take a quick look at their stats: Suggs has 14 sacks on the season, Lewis has 95 tackles and Ngata had a career high 64 tackles this year. The Patriots offensive line is going to have their hands full. I think the line of scrimmage is where the battle will be won on Sunday.
This week we also heard some news about Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco. Apparently he’s never been on a skateboard before and figured, this week, would be the prime time to try it out. His neighbor saw him and promptly called the franchise office and told on him. Now, I have no problem if Flacco wants to try his best Tony Hawk impersonation but I think he could have waited a week. The real question I have is why did his neighbor feel the need to rat him out? Do they hand out free tickets to fans policing the team in Baltimore? Either way, I don’t think we have much to worry about when it comes to the Ravens’ offense. As long as our defense can control Ray Rice I think we’ll be okay.
Fun fact: Aaron Hernandez has one more rushing yard this postseason than Rice (five attempts, 61 yards to 21 attempts, 60 yards).
Now that we’re only a few days away from the big showdown the anticipation is building. Tom Brady is going to have to have yet another fearfully fantastic performance. The anger he came out with last week was the spark that ignited their demolition of Tebow and the Broncos (45-10 was the score from last weekend). I liked the change up on offense and using Hernandez as a running back and I hope he’s healthy enough to do that again. The Patriots have a lot of offensive power and I think, if their offensive line can hold up to a surging defense, they’ll be well on their way to cruising through Baltimore and playing in Indianapolis in two weeks.