With Sunday’s match-up against the Ravens getting closer, I took a look at some different aspects of Baltimore game statistically, and there were a few things that stood out.

Here are five quick points worth mentioning:

  • 1) As always, they’re tough defensively.¬† Like 2009 the Ravens once again are ranked third in the NFL defensively, giving up an average of¬†257.8 yards per game.¬† They’re ranked¬†2nd¬†in pass defense, allowing a meager 156.6 yards per game, although it’s been against teams that aren’t quite the level of what the Patriots have been offensively.¬†
    Looking at the rankings based on¬†total offense per¬†game,¬†they’ve played the Jets (ranked 15th), Cincinnati (9th), Browns (25th), and the Steelers (29th).¬† New England is ranked 11th in that category, but they’re 1st in the NFL in¬†points per game with an average of 32.8.¬† So¬†it¬†should be interesting to see how well they match up this time – especially considering that we’ll¬†be seeing New England’s revamped offense for the first time against them Sunday.
  • 2) Baltimore continues to¬†be tough against the run.¬† They’re a little off from last year’s average per-game total (93.3),¬†allowing an average of 101.2 yards per game this year.¬† It¬†should be a good test for Patriots runningback¬†BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who so far finds himself ranked in the middle of the pack in the NFL in yards per carry with 4.6.
  • 3) Baltimore’s pass rush isn’t quite as daunting so far compared to last year, ranking at the lower part of the pack in sacks.¬†¬† This season they’re ranked 23rd this season with just 8 sacks, compared to league leading Tennessee who surprisingly have 22 so far.¬† New England has just 7 of their own defensively.¬†
    They got to Tom Brady three times in that debacle back in January, although this season Brady’s been fairly well protected, having only been sacked five times so far this¬†year.¬† We’ll see how that goes on Sunday.
  • 4) The Patriots success coming off of a bye isn’t a given, and the Ravens are a team that could potentially give them trouble.¬† Last year, the Ravens played a team coming off its bye three times, and was 2-1.¬† One would have to believe they’ll likely be tough again this weekend.
  • 5) Third down should be a tough one this week for New England.¬† The Ravens’ defense has allowed teams to convert only 26.6 percent of the time, and should be a good test for the Patriots.¬† New England is ranked first in the league in 3rd down efficiency, coverting 55.3 percent of them.