Is it 2012 again? One year later, and we are back at Foxboro in late January, and they are playing host to the Baltimore Ravens. The two teams played a classic game that ended with a shocking miss on a field goal that should have sent the game to overtime. Joe Flacco outplayed the legendary Tom Brady, and if the ravens want to have a shot at changing the result from last year, Flacco will need to have a similar performance. Let’s see what else we should look out for.
How the Ravens can Win: Well this team just won’t quit will they. The Ravens looked flat out awful towards the end of the season, but Ray Lewis returning has inspired this team to played like their glory days again. Baltimore has revenge on their mind, and revenge is a great motivator. And do you think Ray Lewis and the Ravens are ready for this run to end? The Ravens defense played fantastic last week. Let’s not forget that Denver got two special teams touchdowns, meaning that the Peyton Manning led Broncos offense put up just 21 points. If they play the same way against the Pats, I like their chances of keeping them under 27, which could be enough if Joe Flacco can keep his troops going. Speaking of which, 38 against Denver’s defense! Wow. Didn’t see that one coming.
How the Patriots can Win: The Pats have lost one game since Halloween, and it doesn’t look like they are expected to lose the rest of the playoffs. Gronk can’t seem to stay healthy. Last year in the playoffs, he sprained his ankle in the AFC Championship vs. Baltimore, and he was 50% at best in the Super Bowl. Last week, Gronk re-broke his forearm from earlier in the season, and he will be out the rest of the way. Considering what a big weapon he is, that will surely be a big loss for this fantastic offense. In addition, the Patriots have found Shane Vareen as their new guy, and he is yet another weapon to have to contend with. In addition, the defense is still looking solid, holding Houston to 14 points for most of the game.
Our Prediction: I’d love to pull the trigger here on a Baltimore upset. More importantly, I’d love to see New England drive it down for a game tying field goal, only to miss it and send Baltimore to the Super Bowl the same way New England did last year. Baltimore one this game earlier in the season, but these are two different teams now. With Denver out, it’s hard to not call New England the favorites. The Pats were my pick to make the Super Bowl to start the season, and I don’t see that changing now. My heart says Baltimore, but my head says New England. When it comes to picking sports, go with your head. New England wins another close one 30-24.
What do you think will happen? Will Baltimore avenge last season’s disappointing end in the same stadium? Or will New England once again end Baltimore’s season in championship week. Let us know what you think in the comments!