Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Evidence suggests Ravens can beat the Patriots, and they will!

Heading into the AFC Championship, all week long media outlets (us excluded of course) will be analyzing, overanalyzing, opining and beating more dead horses than a glue factory. You will hear very little that will please you because undoubtedly all of the national pundits and douchebags (like Skip Bayless) will be totally smitten with Love Potion No. 12 and huggin’ the Ugg-in’.

So before these bozos have you looking for the nearest cliff or bridge, check out these morsels to kick around the water cooler:

· The Ravens are the only NFL team to earn the playoffs the past four seasons – and the only team to win a playoff game each of those four years (2008-11)

· John Harbaugh is just the fourth head coach in NFL history to earn the playoffs in each of his first four seasons

· Ray Rice became just the second player in NFL history to post multiple 1,000-yard rushing/700-yard receiving seasons (also in 2009)

· WR Torrey Smith (second-round pick) ranked No. 3 in the NFL in receiving yards by a rookie, posting Ravens rookie records in catches (50), receiving yards (841) and touchdowns (7).

· Joe Flacco is the only starting QB since the 1970 merger to make the playoffs in each of his first four seasons.

· The Ravens own the best playoff winning percentage (.625) in NFL history (since 1970 merger), compiling a 10-6 postseason mark.

· The Ravens are 7-4 on the road in all-time postseason play, posting the second-best road win percentage (.636) since the 1970 merger.

· In their postseason history, the Ravens have dominated the turnover battle, registering a +17 mark in 16 games.

· Baltimore’s 32 INTs rank as the most in NFL postseason play since 2000, while the 552 INT return yards also stand first.

· Ravens are 8-2 all-time when leading at halftime in a playoff game; 0-4 when they trail.

· When leading after 3 quarters in postseason play the Ravens are 8-0.

· The Ravens have never allowed a 300 yard passer during the post season

· Ray Rice ran for an 83-yard TD, the second-longest run in NFL postseason history. His jolt was the longest in Ravens playoff history

· Suggs has the NFL’s most postseason sacks (10) since 2008.

· During the 2009 WC Playoff game #Ravens forced QB Tom Brady into 4 turnovers (3 INTs and 1 fumble)

· During that 1/10/10 WC Playoff Game the #Ravens ran up 24 points v. #Patriots in the first quarter.

· The Patriots had the 31st-ranked unit in 2011 (411.1 ypg), allowing 293.9 passing yards and 117.1 rushing yards per contest.

· Ed Reed & Bryant McKinnie & Patriots NT Vince Wilfork all played on the 2001 (12-0) Miami Hurricanes & won the BCS National Championship.

· Ravens are 11-0 in 2011 when scoring 20+ points.

· Tom Brady has a career QB Rating v. Ravens of 77.9 with 4TD passes and 3 interceptions in 4 games. He has been sacked 10 times in those 4 games. Against the rest of the league he has a 96.9 QBR.

· In his last 2 outings v. Ravens Brady’s QB Ratings were a putrid 69.5 and 49.1.

· The Patriots were 0-2 during the season against teams with better than a .500 record (Steelers & Giants). In those games Tom Brady had 4 TD passes and 2 interceptions in total and a combined 86.4 passer rating. Against teams with .500 or worse records Brady was 13-1 with a 108.6 QBR.

So for those who think the Ravens don't have a shot on Sunday, you're wrong. The NFL is all about matchups and the physicality on the line of scrimmage. And if the Ravens can win there (and their history in New England says they can) then all of the pretty stats Brady has compiled against lesser opponents won't mean a thing. Your proof lies above.

Look for the Ravens to win in the trenches and for Joe Flacco to make some plays in the passing game. Let's not forget that the Patriots are just a few weeks removed from allowing the Bills and Dolphins to get out to big leads. Those sexy comebacks won't be in play on Sunday.

And after Sunday, neither will the Patriots.

Ravens 24, Patriots 23.


Anonymous said...

Patriots will have a great game......your final score ....Patriots 28 Ravens 10......

Anonymous said...

Naw Ravens 29-20

Jerry B said...

From your lips to God's ears, TL! As for me, I'm tempering my enthusiasm lest I be too disappointed should they lose. However, if they get to Indianapolis, there will be no stopping them from the Lombardi Trophy!

richieG said...

Hi TL,
My heart is with the Ravens but my head says the Pats will do their best SD Chargers imitation and light it up. Can Flacco keep pace - past results from him AND his receivers AND previous game plans indicate no. While some are thinking that the Ravens D will bully the Pats into turnovers like they did 2 years ago, I say that that game has haunted Brady and he will not let that happen again.
Here's hoping Pagano dials up the schemes used in the first Steelers game and the Jets game and lets the chips fall where they may!!!
richieG in Dallas

Tony Lombardi said...

Richie, I think SD has vertical threats that the Patriots lack. I also think the Chargers' offensive line held up extremely well. The Ravens' D-Line has matched up well in the past v. Patriots O-line so I don't see Brady "Bolting" the Ravens.

LOS said...

The ravens will be victorious. If the offense can't get shit going, then everyone will be watching the defense score and win the game for us. Cause we all know that DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS!!!

Jerry B said...

TL: Agree with your "match-up" assessment in this one, with one of the best defenses going against one of the best offenses! Defense has prevailed to date in the playoffs with two prolific offenses already being dispatched. Given our history with the Patriots and Brady, we should be able to prevail in a close one......

Scott said...

Jimmy Smith and Cary Williams on Gronkowski and Hernandez. Size advantaged negated and no threat of being burned by speed.

Lardarius Webb on Welker. Our fastest and best cover corner on their best receiver.

Reed plays center field.

Pollard blitzing.

Ravens win 30-24.

PatsFan14 said...