With all that said, there is one area in which the Ravens have clearly played better without Lewis, and that is in pass coverage. When Lewis has played this season, opposing running backs have caught 70 percent of the passes thrown their way and averaged 5.6 yards per target. Those numbers are a little lower than the average for running backs. In his absence, though, that catch rate fell to 62 percent and the average gain to 3.9 yards. That might not matter against some teams, but against the Patriots, it could be a fatal flaw. To a large degree, New England is a running team (only Seattle had more carries in the regular season), and that means Lewis' performance on early downs will be crucial. However, the Patriots' running backs are also dangerous receivers. New England averaged 8.1 yards per pass when throwing to its running backs (mostly Danny Woodhead, but also Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden) this season, the highest of any team in the league. Vereen might have been the MVP of New England's playoff win over Houston, catching five passes on six targets for 83 yards and two receiving touchdowns. Obviously, if the Patriots split Ridley out wide against Baltimore as they did against the Texans, Lewis won't be vacating the middle to cover him. However, Lewis will be in charge of covering receivers out of the backfield, and that could be a serious problem. If Baltimore wants to win one more for Ray, the Ravens will need to help him out on passing downs.