There isn't much data, but I like to sort through how team rank on offense and defense compared to other teams that played their opponents. The way to do this is to find out the average that teams are allowing OUTSIDE of when NE/Balt played them, then find how NE/Balt did relative to those stats. This isn't rocket science, but it helps to cut through some perception that offenses/defenses are better or worse than they actually are, based on the weakness or strength of their few opponent this season. Also, I don't separate offensive vs defensive TDs (pick-6s) because every team can argue that their defense "didn't really allow points" based on turnovers and field position. Win/Loss New England's opponents are 5-1 when playing other teams. They have won by an average score of 22.5 - 16.3 against other teams. Baltimore's opponents are 2-4 when playing other teams. They have lost by an average score of 23.5 - 16.2 against other teams. When New England has the ball... New England Offense New England has scored 20 ppg. Their opponents have allowed 16.3 ppg to other teams. New England's offense is +3.7 for ppg. New England has averaged 395 ypg. Their opponents have allowed 285 ypg to other teams. New England's offense is +110 for ypg. This huge differential between yards/pts can be attributed to red zone struggles. Baltimore Defense Baltimore has allowed 17.7 ppg. Their opponents have averaged 16.2 ppg vs. other opponents. Baltimore's defense is -1.5 ppg. Here's a shocker. Early stats suggest the Ravens' defense may not be that good at all. Relative to how many points they should be allowing, they are allowing MORE. Baltimore has allowed 282 ypg. Their opponents have averaged 291 ypg vs other teams. Baltimore's defense is +10 ypg. Baltimore's defense has yet to prove it's as good as previous years. They've played against some bad offenses and haven't dominated as much as their perception. Conclusion: Based on early stats, the Patriots may just have their breakout offensive game. It's hard to criticize a Ray Lewis defense, but the Ravens may have peaked before the losses of several corners, Bart Scott, Adalius Thomas, and Rex Ryan. If the Patriots can finish off drives, a 30+ point effort would not be shocking at all. The media portrays the Patriots' offense as the team that needs to prove it's elite status, but the reality is the Ravens' defense may be in for a bigger challenge. When Baltimore has the ball... Ravens Offense The Ravens are averaging 34.3 ppg. Their opponents have allowed 23.5 ppg vs. other teams. The Ravens offense is +10.8 ppg. Early indications are that the Ravens have an excellent offense, although their opponents are allowing a TD more than the Patriots' opponents have. The Ravens are averaging 430.3 ypg. Their opponents have allowed 333.3 ypg vs. other teams. The Ravens offense is +97 ypg. Again very impressive, but it might surprise many people that the Patriots offense (minus Welker for two games) has been relatively better at moving the ball. Of course, red zone offense is important, and the Ravens' strong running game might make a difference on Sunday. New England Defense The Patriots are allowing 17 ppg. Their opponents are averaging 22.5 ppg against other teams. The Patriots defense is +5.5 ppg. The Patriots will have a big challenge against the Ravens' offense, but so far their defense has allowed fewer points than the Baltimore D, despite playing against much better offenses (their opponents have averaged almost a touchdown more per game than the Ravens' opponents.) The Patriots are allowing 262.3 ypg. Their opponents are averaging 337.3 ypg game against other teams. The Patriots defense is +75 ypg. Conclusion The Patriots defense has been extremely good this season, much better than the Ravens. Sunday will be a huge test (although last Sunday was also a big test.) Overall The Patriots relativity index for points is + 9.2 ppg (3.7 + 5.5) The Ravens relativity index for points is + 9.3 ppg (10.8 - 1.5) The Patriots relativity index for yards is + 185 ypg (110 + 75) The Ravens relativity index for yards is + 107 (97 + 10) The Ravens have played teams that are averaging a 7 pt loss per game, not including the Ravens. The Patriots have played teams that are averaging a 7 pt win per game, not including the Patriots. Despite what the media says, the Patriots have been equally impressive this year, and the yards/points suggests the Patriots are a red zone makeover from being an easy favorite. They are also playing at home, Welker may be back, and Brady continues to improve every week.